Astralis recovered from a disappointing showing at BLAST to dominate Group A on the first day of IEM Chicago.
Astralis began the day against Korean side MVP.PK. The Koreans started admirably and secured seven rounds on the T side of Nuke. However, they were unable to handle the Danes after swapping sides and only managed to pick up one round win on CT side as Astralis closed out the victory.
Later, Astralis faced Danish rivals North in a best of three series. North was unable to put up a challenge and only picked up nine rounds across two maps as Astralis stormed through the series. Astralis will face FaZe Clan on Thursday for top place in the group and favourable seeding as both teams have qualified for the playoffs.
Elsewhere in Group A, MVP.PK became the first team eliminated from the tournament after losing 2-1 to NRG in the lower bracket. They were soon joined by Renegades who were upset 2-1 by an unfancied LDLC. The winning teams will play in elimination series on Wednesday with LDLC playing North and NRG facing MIBR.
Group B gave the biggest upset of the day when BLAST champions NaVi were knocked down to the lower bracket. Solid performances from star players Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov and Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev weren’t enough to save NaVi as they slumped to a 16-6 loss to the new look eUnited. NaVi will face BIG in an elimination game on Wednesday while eUnited will play Fnatic for a place in the playoffs.
The other two matches in Group B gave no surprises as mousesports and Team Liquid recorded victories against AVANGAR and Luminosity respectively. The two winners will face each other with the victor securing a place in the playoffs. AVANGAR and Luminosity will also play each other, the loser will be sent home.