Counter-Strike IEM Beijing-Haidian 2019 Grand Final Recap- 100 Thieves versus Astralis

Counter-Strike IEM Beijing-Haidian 2019 Grand Final Recap-  100 Thieves versus Astralis
Credit: ESL_CSGO via Twitch

Occasionally the statistics simply don’t sway; the numbers and metrics stubbornly hold fast, with no amount of pleading or hoping actually altering the truth.  This Grand Final hosted by ESL and Intel is one such time, for better or worse.  100 Thieves had quite the run through the semifinals of IEM Beijing 2019, made even more impressive by the fact that their organization is currently undergoing some growing pains as they rebrand.  Astralis, on the other hand, has looked pristine throughout the tournament, not dropping a singular map in their gamut.  The odds placed Astralis as a clear favorite at 1.15/6.05, and the Vegas statisticians were right on the money.

Astralis walked away from the Grand Final with a clean (3-0) sweep, and 100 Thieves struggled mightily to make themselves even appear competitive outside of the first map.

100 Thieves received first map pick, and they opted for Vertigo.  Vertigo is the newest map in the active-duty map pool, and its a favorite for underdog teams punching upwards to attempt to upset clear favorites.  The first fifteen closed with the closest score possible, (8-7) with Astralis clutching the final round shutting 100 Thieves two map streak.  Both Astralis stars ‘device’ and ‘gla1ve’ picked up multiple triple frags in a round, with ‘gla1ve’ on roundabout flanks that consistently surprised the 100 Thieves.

100 Thieves stars ‘jks’ and ‘jkaem’ also pulled triple frags, and they brought their team to a heavily contested (14-14) 28 rounds in the map off a defuse covered by smoke.  Astralis on T side picked the two final rounds of standard time without the bomb; simply eliminating the enemy team as they waited for bomb plants.  The first map ended (16-14) favoring Astralis, and would mark the last time in the Grand Final that 100 Thieves would look competitive.

Nuke was Astralis map pick and was again shown to be a new stomping ground for Astralis.  Astralis used to fear Nuke, being brought there by other teams seeking an advantage against the Danish powerhouse, as they were historically weak there.

It’s clear in this tournament alone, Astralis has removed that weakness entirely.  Their positioning and placement were impeccable throughout the series, and they closed the map near-uncontested, at (16-5).  Besides Magisk completing two separate triple frags, there was arguably not much else to commentate on.  It was a one-sided demolition, and 100 Thieves were becoming frustrated with the little headway they were making.

The final map was yet another 100 Thieves pick, and they opted for Train.  100 Thieves managed to put up an entire 3 rounds in the entirety of the map before Astralis clutched the victory (and the sweet prize pool) without ever dropping a map.

Astralis walk away from this tournament with a new-found statement that they can readily display: they’re the best, and it looks like no one can compete with their level.