Astralis showed why they are the world’s number one CS:GO team by beating third ranking Team Liquid at the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals 3-1.
The much awaited match between the two top teams came as early as the group stage where the Astralis won 2-0 over Liquid to take the first outright semis berth. Liquid had to claw their way up through the quarterfinals by upsetting world number two Natus Vincere and MIBR afterwards.
Map 1: Train
The draft strongly suggested Liquid’s preparations as they immediately took out Nuke – an Astralis signature map – but it also gave a chance for the Danish club to pick Train, a map which was last played by Liquid way back April at ESL One Cologne 2018.
However, Liquid instantly waxed hot at the T side of Train behind an 8-1 run. The Danes attempted to salvage some rounds but they were immediately stopped by a 3v1 by Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski. The reset was given and Liquid went on to take a decisive 11-4 lead at the half.
Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth patched things up for Astralis come switch as they take the first four rounds, but the signs of life was once again halted by EliGE and Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken who combined for 45 frags to take map 1 16-8.
Map 2: Mirage
Liquid was confident coming to Mirage as EliGE once again provided a stellar 4k opener to help them take the first rounds. Astralis pulls off 6 straight rounds to recover but Liquid closed out the remaining rounds of the half to take a decent 9-6 lead.
Finally, the switch came along with Astralis’ senses especially Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander led the Danes with his game high 31 kill output including a quad kill and an anti-eco ace to dismantle the Liquid offense, leaving them helpless as he ties the series 16-11 at 1 map apiece.
Map 3: Inferno
All eyes are back to the ‘stars’ after a fancy closeout in Mirage, but Liquid was quick to response by taking four straight rounds after losing the pistol. This, however would be less significant as the Danes pulled off an eco win to take back the momentum and swing fully towards a 10-5 half lead.
Just like the first half, the opening rounds of the switch went good for Liquid. They even managed to even the score 11 apiece but the tie ought to be their last win at the map as Astralis plowed 5 straight rounds to take the series lead 2-1
Map 4: Dust 2
The first half of Dust 2 was the closest between the two teams across the series. Both teams exchanged runs that eventually ended at 8-7 favoring the Americans. However, it seemed that the switch showed signs of fatigue on the Liquid side as their defense crumbled rounds after rounds at the hands of Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz.
Liquid was left helpless until they punched two consecutive rounds at the 23rd and 24th but their effort was futile as Astralis secured the final two rounds to put the icing on their cake, winning three consecutive maps to take and defend their ESL Pro League title.