At the end of Friday's action at Intel Extreme Masters Katowice, the final two teams to compete in the semifinals have been decided. Immortals and Astralis both came out on top of their series to round out the semifinals.
Immortals outlasts North
The series started on Immortals' map pick, Cache, and North looked vastly underprepared. The Immortals T-side raced out to a huge lead, and North could not stop the bleeding with their CT-side defense, no matter what they tried. The map looked to be Immortals' to lose. Once the sides switched, North seemed to be rejuvenated. Despite Immortals needing only two rounds to close out the map, North chipped away at the lead until its in-game leader, Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen, earned a quad-kill to tie the game at 14 rounds apiece.
The tie seemed to snap Immortals out of the funk. With the game slipping away, Henrique "HEN1" Teles stepped up, controlling the B-site well with the AWP to snuff out North's comeback and win Cache 16-14.
The second map switched to North's pick, Overpass. Although North snowballed a pistol round win into a healthy economy, Immortals stormed back with fiery CT-side play, winning nine straight rounds to close out the half 9-6. North turned the tables with CT-side aggression of its own in the second half and was able to force overtime with overwhelming speed toward the B-site. North capitalized on its momentum to sweep Immortals in the extra rounds and take the second map 19-15.
With the series tied 1-1, North looked to one of its most familiar maps at this tournament, Cobblestone, to secure the semifinal spot. But Immortals stole the initial pistol round and rolled to a 11-4 lead at the half. North wasn't able to mount a comeback this time, and Immortals won the match and series with a 16-6 win.
Astralis easily handles Natus Vincere
With Na'Vi up against one of the best teams in the world, the first map of the series needed to go its way. Na'Vi picked Mirage to start but lost the opening pistol round. Astralis has been sensational in pistol rounds this tournament, and Na'Vi looked outclassed from the jump. But Na'Vi wrestled back into the game after a clean bomb plant gave them loads of time to set up for Astralis' retake. They easily denied Astralis, and the half leveled out at 8-7 with Astralis hanging onto a tiny lead.
When the sides switched, Astralis turned on the jets, shredding through CT-side defenses with superior team movement. Astralis ran circles around Na'Vi, and after Andreas "Xyp9x" Hojsleth earned a quad kill, Astralis was on map point. Na'Vi needed a miracle from one of its two stars, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovacs or Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev.
The team got one from both.
GuardiaN scored an impossible ace with the AWP, and two rounds later, s1mple drilled a few superhuman flicks of his own to get Na'Vi back within shouting distance. Astralis would not be denied, though, and its own AWPer Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz came out on top in the final round, as Astralis closed out Mirage 16-11.
Nuke wasn't anywhere near as dramatic. Astralis won another opening pistol round and launched their economy into the stratosphere. Na'Vi desperately tried to buy its way back into rounds, but Astralis wrangled Na'Vi into its own demise by controlling every part of the map with precise team maneuvers. Astralis ran away with the map in the most dominating performance of the tournament, winning 16-2 and advancing to the semifinals.
The semifinals will commence on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. when Immortals takes on FaZe Clan, which will be followed by Astralis and Heroic to round out the day.