CSGO 2018 Retrospective: The reign of Astralis

Astralis is likely the most talked about CSGO team of 2018, and for good reason. The Danish roster’s domination has been so prominent that by the end of the year, it was hard to imagine anyone else winning a LAN final.

Astralis won ten out of a total of twelve grand finales in 2018 – a number that hasn’t been replicated by any other team in the history of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. To add to this, one of those finals was the FACEIT Major in London, the most prestigious achievement for a Counter-Strike team in a single year. Moreover, Astralis won a Major in 2017 defeating Virtus.pro and has become the second organization to win more than one Major (alongside fnatic). Fans are yet to see if 2019 will see a continuation of the sheer domination presented by the Danes or rather a deterioration in form. As for now, Astralis are the definite champions in the competitive Counter-Strike world.

Magisk comes onboard replacing Kjearbye

Following a quite successful 2017, the team decided to replace Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye with Emil “Magisk” Reif. Quite a shocking change as Kjaerbye looked comfortable in the lineup and even received the MVP of Astralis’ success at the ELEAGUE Major that year. And so, Kjearbye departed to play for their rivals, North, while Astralis would start the year with new talent on their side, Magisk.

The addition of Emil Reif proved to be just what the team needed to get fired up for the year. As 2018 progressed, Magisk became more and more accustomed to the roster and his rifler and entry fragger role. Alongside his talented teammates, Astralis looked dominant as ever with Magisk.

Magisk took over for Kjearbye

This led to a fruitful year and, eventually, Emil Reif would go on to win an MVP award at Blast Pro Series Lisbon after defeating s1mple’s Natus Vincere.

Astralis’ streak of success in 2018

No one can deny the Danes their dominant form. The number of trophies and records set by Astralis is undeniably impressive. fnatic’s or NiP’s best years don’t come close to Astralis’ 2018.

The year kicked off with the team’s first victory at DreamHack Masters Marseille at which Natus Vincere failed to counter the Danish force. Astralis would go on to IEM Sydney where they lost their first of two finals in 2018 against FaZe Clan in one of few disappointing performances; 3-0 in a best-of-five series. The painful loss did not, however, halt the Danes’ ambitions.

Following Sydney, they went on to win ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals as well as ECS Season 5 Finals, beating Team Liquid in both finals. Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen and Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz would be crowned the MVPs of the tournaments respectably. Before the FACEIT Major victory, Astralis treaded on to win one more LAN as they were victorious at ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier. Yet again, they beat the unfortunate American Liquid. They had a comfortable path to victory at the FACEIT Major in London. After getting out of the New Legends stage with a 3-1 record, Astralis faced FaZe, Liquid, and then Na’Vi in the final. The Danish team won all matches with a 2-0 score without running into much trouble. Dev1ce took home the MVP of the Major. This wouldn’t be the last victory.

dev1ce and the rest of Astralis

Astralis squad following their win at the FACEIT Major in London

Following triumph at the Major, Astralis won five out of six more events. They found success at BLAST Pro Series Istanbul, IEM Chicago, ECS Season 6 Finals, ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals, and BLAST Pro Series Lisbon. If that wasn’t already enough, by winning ESL Pro League Season 8, Astralis won the Intel Grand Slam and took home an extra $1 million.

Astralis

Astralis winning the Intel Grand Slam

Additionally, over the course of the year, due to massive prizes received from LAN wins, three of the Astralis players have officially become millionaires from tournament earnings. Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, and Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen all make the list and are the first players in CSGO history to break the $1 million ceiling. Shockingly, this is just money accumulated from prizes and does not include contracts, sponsorships, and others. The youngsters must be swimming in cash by now.

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From a more “fun fact” kind of side, Astralis is still unbeaten on Nuke, currently sitting at 27 since late February. Right now, it is absolute suicide to attempt playing against Astralis on Nuke.

Moreover, Astralis has been sitting at #1 place on the HLTV top 30 ranking since the 23rd of April. That makes it 65 weeks. Just let that sink in for a moment.

How long will the Astralis era last?

The outstanding year began some type of an era for the Danes. However, every era must come to an end. At the moment, there does not seem to be any team that is able to counter the beauty of Astralis’ style of Counter-Strike. The composure presented by dev1ce and his team is uncanny. Paired with excellent aim and a mastermind coach, Danny “zonic” Sørensen, Astralis is a force that is currently to be reckoned with. Liquid has already lost four finals against Astralis in 2018. FaZe Clan has not found the drive to remain consistent throughout the year. Meanwhile, s1mple’s Natus Vincere did overcome Astralis on two occasions, but they haven’t presented as good of a form. It will be exciting to see how 2019 pans out for the Danes and whether their form and drive continues from the absolute domination that they showcased back in 2018.

What do you think of the Astralis era? Let us know in the comments down below!


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