Astralis have defeated mousesports 2-0 (Mirage 16-12, Inferno 16-5) to secure a place in the grand final of ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals, where they will have a chance to win the first season of Intel Grand Slam.
The series began on mousesports' pick, Mirage, which the European side had lost 14-16 in the previous encounter with the Danes. It was heading in a similar direction this time in the beginning, as the two sides went back and forth early.
Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth's 1v3 clutch in the third round was key in Astralis securing their first three rounds as Terrorists while mousesports went up 5-3. The Danes proceeded to take control of the half with six in a row, one of which included another unlikely turnaround from Nicolai "device" Reedtz, who had already been playing a great game and clutched a 1v2 in the 12th round on top to help his team rack up a 9-6 half.
With the second pistol round going their way, Astralis were in prime position to claim their opponents' map choice with a 13-6 lead, but mousesports still had a fight left in them, as they abused weaknesses on the B bombsite to close the gap. It was a risky A play that ended up backfiring and stopping their streak at 13-11, with Astralis securing two out of the next three rounds on the back of key plays from Xyp9x in B apps and short.
mousesports needed Inferno to stay alive in the series, but they were on the back foot from the get-go despite winning the second-round forcebuy following a lost pistol, as Astralis won a forcebuy in turn and picked up a 4-1 advantage early on as Terrorists.
The two teams started going back and forth round by round, with no one able to break the other team's economy completely. The European mixture managed to win a couple of disadvantageous situations, including a 3v5 and a 2v3 on the back of plays from Miikka "suNny" Kemppi and Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný, but they still faltered towards the end of the half to go down 5-10.
The Danish heavyweights made it look easy on the CT side, picking up the pistol round to go on a six-round streak for the 16-5 victory, claiming a place in the grand final. There, they will attempt to grab not only the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals trophy and $250,000 that goes with it, but also the $1,000,000 Intel Grand Slam prize, which is awarded to the team that wins four out of the last 10 large-scale events hosted by ESL and DreamHack.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Nicolai 'device' Reedtzdevice||53 - 27||+26||111.4||1.75|
|Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossandergla1ve||38 - 28||+10||79.2||1.37|
|Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussendupreeh||39 - 25||+14||76.6||1.32|
|Andreas 'Xyp9x' HøjslethXyp9x||24 - 25||-1||62.7||0.99|
|Emil 'Magisk' ReifMagisk||17 - 23||-6||52.0||0.87|