IEM Sydney Day One – Five Key Points
The first day of IEM Sydney has concluded following eight best-of-one matches. The event’s schedule was thrown out the window as North and OpTic kicked the day off with a triple overtime Inferno battle, before convincing wins in subsequent matches were able to rectify the timetable.
The results for the first day of the swiss group stage are as follows:
- North v OpTic – 25:23 (Inferno)
- SK v ViCi – 16:6 (Cobblestone)
- Astralis v Chiefs – 16:5 (Inferno)
- FaZe v Renegades – 16:4 (Mirage)
Round 2 – 1W-0L
- SK v North – 16:14 (Cobblestone)
- Astralis v FaZe – 16:7 (Cobblestone)
Round 2 – 0W-1L
- OpTic v ViCi – 16:8 (Train)
- Chiefs v Renegades – 16:5 (Train)
With these results, the team’s records going into Day Two are:
- SK – 2W-0L
- Astralis – 2W-0L
- FaZe – 1W-1L
- North – 1W-1L
- OpTic – 1W-1L
- Chiefs – 1W-1L
- Renegades – 0W-2L
- ViCi – 0W-2L
Five Key Points
North continue to underwhelm with lacklustre T sides
Ever since winning EPICENTER Moscow under dignitas, the North core have been billed as a top five team in the world. However, North’s recent struggles, including at StarLadder and IEM Katowice, have extended to their IEM Sydney campaign. The Danish side got out to a massive lead against OpTic on Inferno, with 10 rounds on their CT side and the first three rounds on T to make it a 13-5 scoreline. But MSL’s men weren’t able to find a way into many rounds after establishing this lead, except for a Hail Mary A halls rush at 15-14 down that would somehow secure them overtime. Their match against SK on Cobblestone went a similar way, with North managing to get 9 rounds on their CT side before uninspired and disjointed T side play would result in a 16-14 loss. The Danes are still a likely shot at making it through to the semi-finals, but will need a reinvigorated T half to avoid an upset.
New-look Renegades get drubbed
With Nifty and nexa stepping into the Renegades lineup, it was unknown how the majority-Australian team would perform at their first LAN event. nexa’s inexperience in calling and playing against a team as good as FaZe on LAN showed, with Renegades playing a disjointed T side and losing 16-4 on Mirage. This kind of result was to be expected, but the side’s draw of Chiefs for the second round of play set them up to have a great chance to bounce back and grab a 1-1 record. What wasn’t to be expected, however, was Renegades going down 0-15 on their T side of Train. The side again looked uncoordinated, throwing away crucial clutch rounds due to rookie errors and failing to trade kills while taking bomb sites. The 16-5 loss means that Renegades will face ViCi on day two in an elimination match where they will be expected to win, but may struggle to do so.
Chiefs impress against tough opponents
The Chiefs, along with ViCi, were undoubtedly the underdog team going into IEM Sydney. Their track record against international opponents is quite disappointing and were yet to face the caliber of an Astralis-level team. Despite a 16-5 scoreline against the Danish world champions, Chiefs showed a lot of promise on their T side. A few hiccups early on were rectified toward the latter stages of the half, thanks in no small part to aliStair’s AWP openings, with the Australian player finding four opening kills onto Astralis superstar device. Chiefs’ newest arrival pecks was also a nuisance towards the A halls, finding lurk kills and ensuring Astralis members didn’t rotate off the bombsite. The Chiefs really shined against domestic rivals Renegades on Train, taking a perfect 15-0 CT half and translating it into a 16-5 win. INS, a player that has been one of the best in the Australian scene of late, reached expectations, dropping 26 kills, including 7 openings and various multi-frag cleanup rounds. Controlled aggression and smart rotations meant that Renegades were rarely afforded a way into a round. Chiefs will be tested in the coming stages of the event, facing OpTic first up on day two.
FaZe and Astralis decide on Cobblestone
Cobblestone has been the perma-ban for both FaZe and Astralis for over a year. On the rare occasion that either side has played the map in recent history, they’ve been beaten, often by teams that they would otherwise outclass. However, with both lineups refusing to veto it, Cobblestone was the stage that the two best teams in the world would do battle on. Astralis, starting on the T side, went up 5-0 thanks to a 1v4 pistol round clutch from Xyp9x and some clean following rounds. FaZe’s double AWP setup between allu and NiKo would net them 6 rounds before Astralis closed out the half at 9-6. A strong CT side from the Danish side would allow them to get out to a 15-6 lead before a trade of rounds ended the game at 16-7. Astralis, a team notorious for their expression of hatred for Cobblestone, showed that they have a lot to offer on this map should they need to bring it out again.
Unlikely AWPers step up
The main AWPer for a team is a role that rarely changes. However, North’s play on Inferno and Cobblestone featured k0nfig picking up the ‘big green’ over cajunb in many situations. k0nfig’s more aggressive, peek-heavy style was a large contributor to North’s lockout CT half against OpTic and found opening picks on A against SK. Similarly, TACO, another noted entry-fragger, was picking up the AWP and locking down the B platform on Cobblestone against both North and ViCi, however not in place of FalleN. These two unlikely snipers were crucial in their team’s victories on day one and may need to step up again throughout the event.
The first match-ups for Day Two are as follows:
- ViCi v Renegades
- OpTic v Chiefs
- North v FaZe
- SK v Astralis
Watch today’s games from 1PM AEDT – https://www.twitch.tv/esl_csgo