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IEM Beijing Review

Astralis claim their fourth title of the year after defeating 100 Thieves in the final of IEM Beijing

Valentin Gustafsson
Freelance Esports Writer
13th Nov, 2019·☕️ 5 min read
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Astralis claim their fourth title of the year after defeating 100 Thieves in the final of IEM Beijing. Read on as we recap the tournament.

Tournament Winner: Astralis

Astralis
Record: 9 / 0 / 0
Most Played Map: Nuke (100%)
Best Map: Nuke (100%)
Worst Map: Vertigo (100%)

Astralis claim their fourth title of the year by winning Intel Extreme Masters in Beijing, China.

The Danes were completely dominant from start to finish. In fact, not a single team was able to take a map against them in the tournament. They made quick work of the Chinese team ViCi in the opening match, winning 16:5 and 16:4 on their signature maps, Nuke and Inferno.

The former Renegades roster, now known as 100 Thieves, awaited in the winners’ match. The team from down under was able to put up more of a fight than ViCi did, but ultimately it was Astralis that proved to be the far stronger side after 16:10 and 16:9 wins on Inferno and Nuke after some excellent plays by Xyp9x and device in particular.

Meanwhile, in Group B, FaZe managed to fend off Evil Geniuses in a three map thriller to book their place in the semi-finals against Astralis. With FaZe having shown good form at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen earlier this month, fans were hopeful that the starstudded side would have a chance at an upset.

However, Astralis shut their hopes down real fast by annihilating FaZe 16:0 on Dust2. The following map, Nuke, wouldn’t be much better for FaZe. Nuke is generally regarded as a CT-sided map, but Astralis made it look the complete opposite as they blitzed through FaZe, winning 13 rounds on their T-side to close out the first half 13:2 in their favor. The CT side was not much different, as Astralis won three straight to secure their place in the finals.

The final match of the tournament would be a repeat of the group stage, as Astralis took on 100 Thieves. The first map of the best-of-five series would end up going all 30 rounds, but ultimately it was Astralis that would come out victorious. The two maps that followed were not as close, as Astralis dominated 100 Thieves 16:5 and 16:3 on Nuke and Train to become the champions of IEM Beijing.

Featured Match: Vitality vs 100 Thieves

While the final did not live up to expectations, the semi-final between Vitality and 100 Thieves certainly did. This match had a plethora of sick individual plays from both teams. Mirage was a close affair in the early goings, with great clutch plays from the likes of shox and ALEX as well as a crazy wallbang from Gratisfaction that completely turned the round in the favor of 100 Thieves. Ultimately, it was Vitality that would come up trumps after a stellar T-sided performance.

Vitality winning Mirage meant that the pressure was now on 100 Thieves as they would need to defeat Vitality on their map pick, Nuke. This turned out to be a real nailbiter, with 100 Thieves taking it down after all 30 rounds in regulation. This was a true team performance from the side of 100 Thieves, but the most impressive performance in my mind came off the back of RpK. The Frenchman was absolutely stellar for Vitality, completely turning the tide for his team on numerous occasions. Vitality often found themselves short on money, but RpK was often able to find key multi-kills with just a FAMAS in his hands. Despite RpK’s best efforts, it was 100 Thieves that proved to be the better side which took us to the decider map; Inferno.

Inferno was all about 100 Thieves and Justin “jks” Savage, who was nothing short of incredible on the B bombsite for his side. The Australian ended the map on a staggering 28–4 scoreline for a +24 K/D differential with a total ADR of 145.1. Vitality simply had no answer for jks, who was able to completely shut down the Frenchmen with the Krieg in particular. jks has been on fire all throughout 2019, and it would be a surprise to me if he doesn’t break HLTV’s Top 20 at the end of the year — which would be a first for an Australian player.

Featured Player: gla1ve (Astralis)

gla1ve
Team: Astralis
K/D Ratio: 1.63
Headshot Percentage: 45.7%
Assists / Round: 0.19

One of the things that makes Astralis such a good team is the fact that gla1ve isn’t just one of the best strategical in-game leaders in the game, he is also one of the better ones when it comes to the fragging department. This was an excellent tournament from gla1ve, who was the clear MVP for Astralis during the playoffs in particular. In Astralis’ mauling of FaZe in the semi-finals, gla1ve ended the series on a scoreline of 39–18 for a K/D differential of +21.

In the final, we saw yet another monstrous performance from gla1ve, who ended the series on a scoreline of 66–40 for a K/D differential of +26. This made gla1ve the clear best pick in fantasy here on Skrilla, and this really emphasizes why it is often not worth paying up for the likes of device and Magisk on Astralis, as players like gla1ve and Xyp9x have the potential to match or outscore them at a lower price point.

In total, gla1ve ended the tournament on a total K/D ratio of 1.64 with 0.88 kills/round and 0.19 assists/round, only rivaled by device whos stats were somewhat inflated by the opening match against a weak ViCi side.

This was a truly exceptional tournament from gla1ve, that really highlights his importance to this Astralis side. Now we just need Xyp9x to get his share of the plaudits as well.

Best Bet

100 Thieves (Top 2)

IEM Beijing had a very solid format with a BO5 grand final, which really sets up well for favorites like Astralis. So it was unsurprising to see the Danes take it down at odds of 1.95. However, those who believed in a deep run from 100 Thieves were able to get a larger payout, as a Top 2 finish from the boys paid out at odds of 6.00.