Team Liquid and Astralis both took the long path to join Faze Clan and Fnatic at the semifinals of the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII – Chicago.
Team Liquid spoiled the long awaited return of former Major champions Team LDLC.com with a reverse 2-1 sweep. Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella’s men initially fell victim to the surprise run of LDLC who qualified to the Chicago event after winning the GG.BET Shuffle last month. However despite the decent start, LDLC ran out of steam as Liquid clutched them in Cache 16:14 and eventually delivering the death blow in Mirage 16:4
On the other hand, the reigning Major Champions delivered a swift beating to mousesports. After slipping against Faze Clan at the upper bracket of the group stage, Astralis were forced to enter the playoffs through the quarterfinals. But, Astralis being Astralis, the champions cruised past mousesports with a clean 2-0 on Train 16:5 and Nuker 16:13
In an interesting turn of events, Natus Vincere went down winless at IEM Chicago just days after winning BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2018. The CIS group fell short after North American squad eUnited staged a huge upset at their opener. Down to the lower bracket, Navi immediately lost to BIG Clan 2-0, handing them down one of their worst LAN finishes in recent memory.
Fnatic meanwhile are getting great results so far after issues emerged within the team post FACEIT Major. Fielding in Swedish prodigy Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin in his first big LAN, Fnatic stormed the group stages by downing BIG Clan, eUnited, and eventually Liquid to book the outright semifinals berth along with Faze.
LDLC share a bit of success similar to Fnatic. The French organization are looking to take back their former 2014 glory days. The former two time Major champions’ path was never easy, but IEM Chicago has been one of their best finishes in a huge LAN for quite some time.