Astralis edge past Liquid to secure ECS semis
Astralis have survived a narrow series against Liquid (Train 16-4, Overpass 9-16, Inferno 16-10) in Group B's decider to secure the last spot in ECS Season 3 semi-finals.
Group B's decider began with Liquid starting off their pick, Train, as CT with a pistol round going their way. After getting the bomb down twice in a row, Astralis took over the first gunrounds with a couple of outside executes for a 4-2 lead.
Liquid replied by throwing grenades into A main in the following eco for their third round, but once the Danes bought up again, the half was firmly in their hands. Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth kept picking off aggressors towards the B bombsite for numerous early advantages, and Astralis dominated the half with 12 rounds to their name.
The North American side added another pistol round on the board, but Nicolai "device" Reedtz's triple with the Scout ensured an easy route to victory on map one, which his team clinched at 16-4.
On Astralis' pick, Overpass, which the North American side rarely plays, Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander kicked it off with a triple kill in the pistol round as Terrorists to go up 3-0. Liquid then turned around numerous disadvantageous situations with Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski picking up a triple on each bombsite, while Nick "nitr0" Cannella pitched in with three of his own in a B retake.
Astralis broke the five-round streak with one of their own, but found themselves in an economy reset situation as Liquid extended their lead to 7-4. Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye's side then turned a half-buy into a round win, but once again couldn't string rounds together and switched to the CT side with six rounds to their name.
nitr0's quad-kill gave his team the second pistol, followed by two comfortable anti-ecos for 12-6. Despite Xyp9x's efforts in a couple of rounds, including his double in a 2v2 and a 1v1 clutch, Liquid managed to break Astralis twice more and completed the stunning win on Overpass at 16-9.
It came down to Inferno, where Astralis once again got off to the better start, this time as CT. From the first seven rounds, only one went Liquid's way as the Danes fended off several dangerous attacks.
Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz's team started coming back into the half with a couple of successful A hits, closing the gap to 6-4. Astralis then decimated the next quick execute, but Liquid went back to what had worked and proceeded to grab three more rounds out of the last four.
In the second pistol, a full 5v5 retake went their way as well, and so did the first gunround in which Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken put up three quick kills from pit for a 10-8 lead. However, a gap in the B site allowed Astralis to grab a half-buy round and regain their advantage.
It wasn't until 13-10 when it looked like Liquid would get back on the horse, but Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen's 1v2 after a 2v5 disadvantage, as well as device's 1v2 in the following round, secured the match for Astralis who advanced to the ECS Season 3 semi-finals following a 16-10 scoreline.
K - D
Nicolai 'device' Reedtzdevice
56 - 48
Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussendupreeh
56 - 49
Andreas 'Xyp9x' HøjslethXyp9x
48 - 43
Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossandergla1ve
45 - 48
Markus 'Kjaerbye' KjærbyeKjaerbye
50 - 49