‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
The second semifinals of the IEM Katowice 2019 Major is Astralis vs MIBR. Astralis have looked dominant throughout the Major while MIBR have slowly ramped up over time. Among all of the different teams that came into the Major, I picked MIBR as the one that had the highest chance to upset Astralis in a bo3 match.
MIBR gave Astralis multiple close matchups in 2018 with the mixed Brazilian-NA lineup. Now they’ve reunited with felps, TACO, and zews. While they started off shaky against Cloud9 in their first game, the inherent cohesion and chemistry of the team seems to look better than it has before.
While their teamplay looks good, Astralis are still on another level. In terms of tactics, I have gla1ve and Astralis firmly ahead of MIBR at the current time. Gla1ve continually proves why he is the best in-game leader in the world. His team is refined in everything they do, whether that is utility usage, executes, or defaults. In terms of ordering the rounds and adjusting tactics, no one matches up to gla1ve.
In terms of individual skill and intangibles, it’s competitive for both teams. Coldzera has been looking like a monster since the Brazilians have reunited. The same thing can be said of dev1ce. Overall, there doesn’t seem to be a particular weak link. While both are superstar players, with the way these teams matchup, dev1ce should be more impactful. The reason being that Coldzera’s best rounds are often him closing rounds in small man situations. Astralis consistently play the best small man CS in the world, so he will naturally be inhibited. On the other side, dev1ce’s mobile AWP could be a terror, especially if he can antistrat FalleN’s movements on the map.
Overall, Astralis has an overall edge when it comes to tactics, superstar impact, and teamplay. Let’s look at the map veto.
I think the map veto looks something like this.
Astralis ban Train
MIBR ban Nuke
Astralis pick Inferno
MIBR pick Dust2
Astralis ban cache
MIBR ban Overpass
Last map Mirage
The reasoning is as follows. Astralis should be able to float cache as MIBR have never embraced the map, even back in 2017. They should instead ban Train as that’s been MIBR’s best map so far this Major. MIBR have to ban nuke.
Astralis should then pick Inferno as a punish pick. It is Astralis’ second best map and the one MIBR have played the most at this event. MIBR have been only okay on the map. With that much information in terms of how they play, Astralis should have plenty of information to take them down,
As for MIBR, their first pick should be Dust2. In an interview with HLTV, coldzera said that they were going to pick Dust2, but Renegades picked it first. I think it’s one of the “weaker” maps in Astralis’ map pool and MIBR’s best choice if Train is banned. In the second bans, Astralis will get rid of cache as they’re fine with either of the two remaining maps. MIBR will then have a choice between Overpass and Mirage. While Astralis’ Overpass has their worst W-L ratio, they are still a good Overpass team and we have yet to see MIBR play the map. As that’s the case, I’m going to assume that MIBR go with Mirage as the final map.
While I think the series will be close, I have Astralis winning this 2-0.