For the entire year of 2018, Astralis were the bane of Team Liquid’s existence. Granted, Astralis was the bane of every team in the world. The Danish superteam is one of the best CSGO teams in history and they would set multiple records last year. However, there wasn’t another team that hated them as much as Liquid. Six. Team Liquid was eliminated by Astralis six times, with five of those instances in the Grand Finals of an event. However, it has finally happened. Team Liquid has beaten Astralis for the iBUYPOWER Masters trophy.
Liquid would get so close to each championship, only for Astralis to snatch it away from their grasps. They would lose to them at IEM Chicago, the London Major, the ELEAGUE CSGO Premier, Season Five of the ECS, and at the ESL Pro League for Season Seven. History would repeat itself over and over again, much to the dismay of Liquid’s roster and coaching staff. At last, they have finally rid themselves of the demon that has haunted them for the past year.
For their first map, Inferno, the Danes would show off some of the same skill that netted them ten championships in 2018. Lukas “gla1ve“ Rossander and company were clicking on all cylinders, hopping out to an early 6-0 lead on their CT side. Russel “Twistzz“ Van Dulken would finally answer back with a clutch 1v2 round win, but even that would be answered the round after. Although Team Liquid would win a few rounds, they would still hit the half at a 12-3 disadvantage.
It got even worse on Astralis’ T side, as they tried to pile more pain on the Liquid roster. After winning the first three rounds of the second half, Team Liquid managed to salvage a single round win. Unfortunately, Astralis closed up shop and ended the map with a convincing 16-4 win.
Dust2 was looking like more of the same after Astralis jumped to a quick 5-1 lead on their CT side. Team Liquid’s captain, Nick “nitr0“ Cannella, would call a tactical pause to prevent the game from running away from them. This seemed to do the trick, as Team Liquid stormed back with an eight-round winning streak before Astralis took the final round of the half.
Team Liquid then kept the pressure on their CT side, locking down both sites and reaching map point without losing a single round. The Danes mounted a valiant comeback, reaching eleven rounds before the North American side would take the map. Liquid’s newest addition, Jacky “Stewie2k” Yip, pumped out the damage in this game and finished with an impressive 111.2 ADR. Also, this was Astralis’ first map loss in the tournament and it set the tone for the deciding map, Overpass.
In similar fashion to the last map, Astralis came out swinging with both arms. The Danish juggernaut jumped to an early 7-0 lead over Liquid, causing early concern for the fans in attendance. However, Team Liquid’s executes began to break the solid defense of Astralis. Keith “NAF“ Markovic led the way for his side, as they ended up winning six of the last eight rounds of the half. They would then sprint ahead, winning six unanswered rounds in a row. Astralis battled until the end but unfortunately for them, Liquid would not be denied. They would take the last map 16-11 and take home the iBUYPOWER Masters trophy.
The entire staff and roster of Team Liquid must be feeling incredibly relieved after that win against Astralis. Having lost so many Finals in a row to that team must have had a huge effect on their mental. As a result, this win must be extra sweet to the team and their fans. They now look ahead to their next tournaments invigorated and refreshed. Winning a tournament against the best team in the world should give them immense confidence, especially with the Katowice Major coming up.
As for Astralis, it is another bump in the road for one of the greatest teams in CS history. They have been incredible, especially over the past year, but they haven’t been perfect. This team still loses, but every time they do, they get hungrier. Although HLTV named Nicolai “device“ Reedtz the second best CSGO player of 2018, he was relatively quiet in the Grand Finals. Look for this team to hit the Katowice Major with a fire we’ve never seen before.
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