Alex “Waldo” Waldherr is a CSGO connoisseur and valued member of the Luckbox community. This weekend, he's at IEM Chicago, so lookout for his updates from the United Center via the Luckbox Twitter account. Meanwhile, enjoy his IEM Chicago semi-final preview and predictions
IEM Chicago 2019 semi-finals
- ENCE vs MIBR - 9.30pm CEST - live stream and odds
- Vitality vs Team Liquid 12.20am (Sunday) - live stream and odds
Living up to the hype
IEM Chicago 2019 has not disappointed so far in terms of storylines and drama.
Heroic put up a fight worthy of their organisation's name against the world number 2, Vitality (winning 3-2 in map count), and silenced a lot of doubters.
Wilton "zews" Prado was a better coach stand in in the absence of Marcelo "coldzera" David than any Brazilian fan could have hoped for. Who would've thought at the beginning of the LAN that he could have a better HLTV 2.0 rating in a BO3 than Richard "shox" Papillon? It's 2019, that's absolutely mental.
But that's enough about the past when the future is so enticing. We have some incredible match-ups in store for our semi finals, featuring three expected contenders and one big underdog, so let's get to it.
ENCE (4) vs MIBR (15)
Prediction: 2-0 ENCE
Map to watch for: Train
Storyline: MIBR and zews are the Cinderella stories of IEM Chicago this year, seeing the god of lightning mixing with the Windy City to form the perfect storm. But ENCE have weathered many a storm in the last seven months, so we should see the clock strike midnight for the Brazilian squad. Not to downplay the Braziliant achievement of winning with a coach in the lineup, but G2 have become known for being inconsistent. It's tough for the French superstars to win when those very stars that are supposed carry you are being out performed by the opposing coach. ENCE have quietly dominated their way into the semi finals, making short work of a very strong Heroic lineup while looking to be in much better form than they were in Cologne. I think that this should be a quick 2-0 for a well drilled team that I believe is a class above the G2 squad that MIBR barely squeezed past.
Liquid (1) vs Vitality (2)
Prediction: 2-1 Liquid
Map to watch for: Dust II
Storyline: It is scorching hot in Chicago, but still nowhere near enough to make Liquid boil, even in the near 100 degree Fahrenheit heat. I don't think it can be overstated that Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut will likely be acting as the Thanos of the server, killing at will with the snap of his fingers. But the Team Liquid Avenger squad has ascended to unseen heights. In my opinion, ZywOo's talent is good for a map, and it's possible that Vitality can pounce for a series win if his supporting cast chimes in, but I still think Liquid are in control of their destiny. Vitality can play well and will still lose if Liquid is on their A game. It will take Liquid playing poorly, plus Vitality capitalising, for this series to go the way of the French. But I'm thinking that this will be a much closer, more exciting series than the first.
Say hi to Waldo in the Windy City
So there are my thoughts! Feel free to find me at the United Center tomorrow to discuss them further! My name will be on my jersey, see you there!
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Pictures: Copyright ESL | Helena Kristiansson