Astralis faced Team Liquid at ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals in Montpellier to secure a semi-final spot against mousesports. The best-of-three encounter went all the way to three maps. Full of juicy plays and multi-kills, the matchup could have easily been the final of the whole tournament.
Astralis looked strong as ever on Overpass. A map that is usually not on their repertoire saw the Danish squad go absolutely berserk by clinching the first 10 rounds on their counter-terrorist side. The defense created by the Danes was held tight by none other than Emil “Magisk” Reif. Magisk looked stellar and got two back-to-back 4K rounds to absolutely shut down Liquid’s attack waves.
Finally, Liquid got a round on the boards. Unfortunately for them, they would be able to find two more before halftime, ending things at 12-3 for the Danish side.
Liquid kicked off the second half on the right foot, getting the pistol and the subsequent round before Astralis responded with two of their own. Liquid then mounted on a comeback of their own, getting to as close as 15-12. In the end, Jake “Stewie2K” Yip’s and Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski’s solid performances weren’t enough to turn things around. Astralis got away with a score of 16-12 following a great entry double kill by Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen to open up B site, leaving Liquid helpless.
Inferno, a map that Astralis has an immensely large win percentage on (81.8%) over the last 11 matches, looked hopeless, to say the least.
Liquid got the first nine rounds on the board before Astralis responded with one round, and that would be all the Danes would clinch for the rest of the half. That’s right. The half went 14-1 in favor of the American side. The attacks on banana especially went haywire for the Danes. Nades, molotovs, and unfortunate timings paired with excellent retakes from Liquid were unstoppable. The 4K AWP B site hold from Keith “NAF” Markovic sums up the half of the match.
Astralis’ CT-side started off right. The Danes put up five rounds on the board and looked as if they had regained their mojo. That was not the case as Liquid quickly retaliated with the last two rounds necessary to close out Inferno in their favor, 16-6.
Everyone, except for Nicolai “device” Reedtz, was lackluster. Magisk failed to carry over his momentum from the last match, and it was only device that had a positive K/D ratio and managed to put up 23 kills, the most on the server.
Vertigo, the decider map of this ESL Pro League encounter, yet again proved how terrorist-sided the map really is.
Astralis started off on T-side and quickly gained a 4-point lead by a series of successful A site raids. The American side then responded with three rounds of their own, and that is when device and co. started to switch things up by making their plays a bit more unpredictable. This led them to gain a massive lead at half-time, 11-4. By any other map standards, 11-4 is a disastrous result. However, those four rounds were just enough to squeeze by for Liquid.
Right off the bat, the Americans strung together an astonishing 11 rounds, making it 14-11 in their favor. The dynamic duo of EliGe and his SG553-wielding and the AWP-ing skills of Stewie2K proved to be unstoppable. Both played an integral role in the ultimate comeback.
Astralis finally responded with two rounds, but it just was not enough to cut it. Liquid won 16-13 on Vertigo and will play in the semi-final of ESL Pro League in Montpellier against mousesports.
Does the Astralis era end here and now after another failed showing by the Danes? Let us know in the comments below and remember to follow us for your latest dose of esports news!
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