Sun 6th May 2018 - 4:03pm General

FaZe have won the 2018 edition of IEM Sydney after defeating Astralis on three close maps.


The title decider kicked off on Cache, which began at a frantic pace. FaZe drew first blood on the back of a triple-kill from Håvard "rain" Nygaard, but Astralis hit back immediately and eventually took the lead after capitalising on their opponents' double eco.

After getting their economy back on track, FaZe responded with a five-round streak, forcing Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander to call a tactical pause. Eleven rounds into the game, Nicolai "device"Reedtz still had to pick up a kill, but then he finally stepped up to the plate and helped his team to win back-to-back rounds with some crucial kills. It looked like this would be an 8-7 half, but Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács pulled off a sensational 1v2 clutch on the A site to reassert his team's dominance in the game.

Down 5-10, came out of the break looking much livelier and started racking up rounds, eventually levelling the score at 12-12 following a 1v3 clutch from Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth on the B site. The Danish team would go on to claim two map points but could not convert, allowing FaZe to take the game into overtime.

FaZe maintained the new-found momentum and won three of the first four rounds of overtime to hit map point. Astralis still made one final push in an effort to equalise the score, but Finn "karrigan" Andersen clutched a 1v2 to put the game to bed.

FaZe won back-to-back overtime games

Next up was Overpass, where Astralis got out to a quick 3-0 lead following a near-flawless T pistol round. After getting their economy in order, however, FaZe instantly won three in a row, and they held strong even after losing to a very weak buy from the Danes. karrigan's men shut down any chances of Astralisstringing rounds together or building up an economy, and went into the break with a 10-5 lead.

Now playing on the CT side, Astralis got off to another great start, winning three of the opening four rounds of the half to bring the deficit to three. FaZe upped the pace and won three rounds in a row, but then they struggled to find a way past the Astralis defence. A triple kill from karrigan in a post-plant 3v3 put FaZe on two map points, but, just like on Cache, they could not deal the finishing blow, with Astralis bagging the final rounds to force overtime.

The first overtime did not determine a winner as the two teams cancelled each other out. In the second half, Astralis still fought back after losing three rounds on the offensive side, but a trio of kills from Nikola "NiKo" Kovač sealed the deal for FaZe, who were now just one map away one victory.

Astralis wasted a 10-0 lead on Train

Train, the map that followed, quickly turned into a massacre. FaZe, who began the game on the offensive side, simply could not break through the defence and kept losing all aims duels, with the scoreline quickly hitting 10-0 in Astralis' favour.

A 1v3 clutch from GuardiaN then breathed some life into FaZe's players, with the European mixture going on to win three more rounds before the end of the half to keep their comeback hopes alive.

FaZe came out of the break full of confidence and won the pistol round and the subsequent anti-ecos to cut the gap to just six rounds. After buying up, Astralis immediately won back-to-back rounds, but then they were caught off-guard by an Richard "Xizt" Landström flank as they tried to push the inner site.

That was the start of a great run from FaZe, who step up a strong defence and instantly countered Astralis' 14th round, not letting the Danes hit map point. Every time that the Terrorists seemed to be in control, rain was there to deny them, with FaZe stringing six rounds together en route to a 16-14 finish to earn their first title of 2018.



Mateo Kolacko

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