The IEM Sydney group stage has concluded with SK, FaZe, Astralis and OpTic advancing to the semi-finals. Day two ran relatively smoothly compared to day one, with a lot of convincing map wins taking place.
The results are as follows:
- Renegades v ViCi – 16:5 (Cobblestone)
- OpTic v Chiefs – 16:4 (Train)
- FaZe v North – 19:16 (Cache)
- SK v Astralis – 16:12 (Inferno)
- Chiefs v North – 16:13 (Nuke)
- FaZe v OpTic – 16:6 (Train)
- Astralis v Renegades – 16:3 (Nuke)
- OpTic v Chiefs – 16:10 (Train)
With the conclusion of the swiss group stage, the final standings are:
- SK – 3W-0L
- FaZe – 3W-1L
- Astralis – 3W-1L
- OpTic – 3W-2L
- Chiefs – 2W-3L
- North – 1W-3L
- Renegades – 1W-3L
- ViCi – 0W-3L
Four Key Points
SK build on their return to form
SK Gaming had a woeful March-April period with group stage exits at IEM Katowice and StarLadder. The Brazilian side managed to pick themselves up with a first place finish at the cs_summit and taking out Astralis to secure first seed going into the IEM Sydney playoffs has all but alerted the international seen to the return of SK. FalleN, whose stats had dropped following the addition of felps, dropped 26 frags on the Inferno matchup, playing the aggressive AWP style that’s expected of the veteran in-game leader. SK’s CT side was stalwart, claiming 10 rounds in the second half to secure at 16-12 win. The team have a great chance at making the finals of the event, facing OpTic in a best of three on Sunday.
No fifth, no problem for OpTic
The lack of an in-game leading presence for OpTic, since the departure of stanislaw, was looking to be their downfall. Rumours of players leaving and poor results put the former top three team in a lot of strife. However, with the temporary additions of jasonR and, more recently, hazed, the side have put together some decent and unexpected tournament results, including third place at the cs_summit and, now, top four at IEM Sydney. While their three wins came against lesser sides, the Americans still showed great tactical and individual skill, with fast outer takes on Train netting them a lot of gun rounds and players like NAF and mixwell putting in solid performances. A best of three against SK will be a tough ask for hazed and his crew, but their ‘nothing-to-lose’ mentality during this period may push them into making riskier plays and throwing the Brazilians off guard.
INS and Chiefs show the world what they’re made of
A 15-0 CT half against Renegades on day one was more than what anyone expected of Chiefs during their IEM Sydney campaign. And after being smashed by OpTic on Train 16-4, the team’s draw of North for their next round of play signalled that the event was coming to a close for the Australians. However, a stellar T side performance on Nuke, of all maps, allowed Chiefs to scrape past the Danish side 16-13. This massive upset was predicated on the performance of INS, a player who has shown a lot of potential in the domestic scene, dropping 30 kills and 120 ADR. INS was also instrumental in Chiefs’ lockout win against Renegades and put on a great performance against OpTic in a losing effort. The underdog side’s display has surely turned heads internationally, and while they were eliminated by OpTic, who they faced for a second time on Train, the Australians’ only direction is up after a showing like this at an international event of this caliber.
North disappoint yet again
The IEM Sydney participants provided a clear cut top four before the event started. The presence of SK, FaZe, Astralis and North meant that it’d be tough for the other four underdogs to make an impact or find their way onto the arena stage. North, while looking underwhelming at the majority of their recent events, have always had an immense level of skill and tactical depth on the roster that should see them handle lesser teams. A match against Chiefs on Nuke is one such situation. But an inability to shut down the Australians’ T side attacks left North stunned and eliminated from IEM Sydney. The Danish team hasn’t been able to rekindle the success found at EPICENTER Moscow, and while their recent tournament finishes have ranged from average to sub-par, this has to be the most disappointing and alarming.
Following the finalisation of the group stage, the semi-final match-ups are as follows:
- SK v OpTic
- FaZe v Astralis
Semi-Finals matches start from 3PM AEDT – https://www.twitch.tv/esl_csgo