Despite mousesports’ surprisingly strong showing against Complexity in the play-in stage, the team failed to excel in the opening match of Group A. Astralis entered as the favourite team and looked the part in a big way. Still, mousesports made the team sweat before giving up the second map, Inferno.
Somewhat clean 2-0 vs @mousesports and we move on!
Ggwp! Some solid teamplay today and good individual moments! More of that! 🙌🏼
See you tomorrow for more CS 🤸🏼♀️
— Peter Rasmussen (@dupreeh) February 18, 2021
The first map, Nuke, was mousesports’ pick. That didn’t bode well for the team as it is historically one of Astralis’ best maps. While it’s been a long time since Astralis had its 31-game winning streak broken on the map, choosing Nuke against the four-time major-winning lineup is rarely a good idea.
Astralis breezed through the first half on the CT side, despite the absence of Nuke specialist Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen. Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz interrupted mousesports’ repeated tries to hit secret, scoring 21 kills along the way. Astralis locked down the sites tightly, and mousesports barely got a plant for the first few rounds. The Christopher “dexter” Nong-led roster could only manage two rounds in the first half, with Astralis up 13-2 at halftime.
mousesports gained some confidence after winning the second pistol round. Instead of showing aggression, mousesports held down the map, ran down the time, and played a strong defensive side. The team looked rock solid in the second half but Astralis’ first half lead was just too much to contend with. Astralis strung together a few rounds and took the game 16-8.
Things didn’t look up for mousesports as the team had lost its map pick, but the young quintet jumped into Inferno looking strong. After losing the first two rounds to Astralis’ well-calculated pushes, mousesports came out on top by winning multiple eco rounds. The back and forth continued for the entire first half as mousesports turned the Danes away from both bomb sites. The score was 8-7 at the half, which was entirely manageable for mousesports.
Unfortunately, Astralis’ defense on Inferno was unbreakable. The team lost the second pistol round while trying out a double rotate tactic, dying to Emil “Magisk” Reif’s epic CT hold.
The loss didn’t sour mousesports as the two teams traded momentum until the score reached 12-12. However, Astralis finally took control and one-upped its opponents consistently, taking four rounds in a row to seal the series up with a 16-12 win.
Despite losing the game, mousesports’ performance was commendable, especially considering IEM Katowice 2021 is dexter’s official debut with the team. Mousesports has now moved to the lower bracket to compete against Gambit Esports for a slot in lower bracket semifinals.
Meanwhile, Astralis moves on to face Evil Geniuses. That’s a compelling match as Evil Geniuses looked very strong at points in 2020, but has been generally underwhelming since moving to Europe. Astralis will be looking to push towards its third IEM Katowice championship, while Evil Geniuses will be looking to instantly establish itself as a serious contender.