The quarter-finals are done and we are now left with four teams. All four have had a great run so far and today's matchups look really exciting. So let's dive a little deeper into them.
The first semi-final will be featuring the Russian Team Spirit and the International FaZe.
The Russians have so far been immaculate, and are by far the biggest positive story of the Major. Throughout the Challengers- and Legends Stage, "chopper"s troops have only dropped two maps: One overtime on Dust2 against G2 where they narrowly lost at 19-17, and a Vertigo in the Bo3 against Copenhagen Flames whereafter they destroyed the Danes on the following two maps.
The individuals of Spirit have also been doing great. Both "degster" and "Patsi" reside in the top5 when it comes to rating in the Legends Stage.
FaZe came into the event as the #1 favorites even though the field in Antwerp is incredibly strong. The "karrigan"-led squad has been phenomenal to start the year with wins at IEM Katowice and ESL Pro League Season 15. They have not quite found that same level of dominance at the Major so far. They started the tournament with a big 16-8 loss against ENCE and have also dropped a map against the Copenhagen Flames and NIP. FaZe are still a strong team, but they don't have quite the same momentum that Spirit has amassed over the last couple of weeks. One thing they do have going for them is their experience. This is a team of seasoned players who have loads of experience playing on the big stage, while Spirit is a very unproven entity when it comes to the arena environment.
This match could really be going either way, but for Spirit to win they probably need it to go three maps because of FaZe's incredibly strong map pool.
In the second semi-final, we will see "Snappi"s ENCE take on the reigning champions of Na'Vi.
ENCE, like Team Spirit, also had to go through the Challengers Stage. All of their wins were pretty comfortable, but their 2-1 loss against G2 was not pretty. They only barely picked up their own map pick in overtime and lost the other two at 16-7 and 16-9. At the Legends Stage, the only team that has taken a win against them was the Copenhagen Flames who did so on day one. ENCE did of course get their revenge yesterday when they eliminated them from the tournament.
One thing that ENCE have going for them in a major way is the level that "dycha" and Spinx" are hitting at the moment. It seems that those two have peeked at the exact right moment. One that we need to see a little more from is "hades", who to be fair had a good showing yesterday against the Flames, but overall have not really found his rhythm yet at this Major.
On the other side stands Na'Vi. The superstar-wielding CIS giants and reigning Major winners. "boombl4" and co. are yet undefeated even though they have had some trouble along the way. Their opening match against G2 was challenging for the squad who needed overtime to take a 19-17 win. They have almost dropped maps against NIP and Heroic, whereof the latter was close to eliminating them in the quarter-finals yesterday.
If all of Na'Vi show up they are the favorites in this match, but we have not yet seen that at this event. "s1mple" has not been bad, but at the same time, he hasn't been the dominating force that we know him to be. The other two stars of the team in "b1t" and "electroNic" have also played some incredible games, but have for some reason struggled to do it at the same time.
When the teams last faced each other at IEM Katowice in February it was Na'Vi that came out on top, but only barely. We will probably once again be in for a thrilling three-mapper.