IEM Chicago 2018 Grand Finals Preview: Team Liquid vs Astralis

The crowning moment is finally upon us as Team Liquid square up against the number 1 CS:GO team in the world, Astralis, at the IEM Chicago 2018 Grand Finals.

Although both considered among the favourites heading into the tournament, neither one looked like they were going to make it to the Grand Finals early on. Astralis, in particular, looked shaky during the group stages. They’d lost to FaZe Clan 2-0 and dropped to second seed of their group. Meanwhile, Team Liquid also encountered their fair share of troubles in the form of a Fnatic squad that’s been bolstered by the recent additions of Simon ‘twist‘ Eliasson and Ludvig ‘Brollan‘ Brolin to their roster.

Coincidentally, each team would avenge the other in the playoffs in one of the most tightly contested semifinals to date; Astralis continued to look less like their dominant selves as they had to scrape and claw their way to a win against Fnatic. 

Now, these two longtime rivals will face off in the IEM Chicago 2018 Grand Finals.

Who do we think will emerge victorious and walk away with the trophy, a $100,000 in prize money, and a point in the Intel Grand Slam? Read on more below to find out.

IEM Chicago 2018 Grand Finals

IEM Chicago 2018 Grand Finals

Jonathan ‘EliGE’ Jablonowski has stepped up big for Team Liquid in recent months and will play a key role if the North Americans are to upset the Danes in the IEM CHicago 2018 Grand Finals. (Team Liquid)

Match Schedule: November 11, 2018 — 1400H GMT-6

The Map Veto in the IEM Chicago 2018 Grand Finals should be interesting, to say the least. Team Liquid have shown so far that they can play five out of seven maps ably. They’ve also proven that they’re not above playing out of their comfort zones. On the other hand, Astralis can play on just about every map. Although they do tend to ban Cache, an aversion that they do not share with their opponents.

We could see Astralis banning Cache first, with Team Liquid countering with a ban on Nuke. The latter is a pretty self-explanatory move considering how Astralis have been literally unbeatable there in recent months.

As for who we think we’ll win, Team Liquid are in prime position to take down their longtime nemesis. The Danes are not playing up to their usual standards. In fact, none of Astralis’ players are among the tournament’s best performers. Team Liquid are also headed into the Grand Finals with the hotter hand; FaZe Clan only managed to win five rounds in the final two maps of their semifinal tilt combined, which included a 16-1 beating on Mirage.

While it’ll be hard to predict just how many games it will take for Team Liquid to emerge victorious, smart money’s on them finally getting the better of Astralis.

Betting: Team Liquid to win at 2.86 odds. (GGbet)

All IEM Chicago 2018 Grand Finals odds courtesy of GGbet.

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