Liquid beat Astralis to win iBUYPOWER Masters
The first Big Event grand final of 2019 kicked off on Inferno, where these two teams had played out two competitive games the last two times they had faced each other, at the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals. However, this time around Liquid's pick backfired horribly as the North Americans never seemed to be up to the task at hand.
Astralis got off to a dream start on Inferno and won the first six rounds on the CT side in convincing fashion to put Liquid in danger of getting blown out. The home side then finally got on the board as Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken clutched a 1v2 situation after he and Keith "NAF" Markovic had been left alone against the entire Astralis squad, but that round as immediately traded back by the CTs.
The Danish team kept things very tight on both sites and hit double digits without losing any more rounds. Liquid then managed to string two rounds together, the second of which off the back of a 1v2 clutch by Jake "Stewie2K" Yip, but the half still came to an end with a one-sided 12-3 scoreline in favour of Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander's troops.
Astralis piled even more misery on their opponents as they won the opening three rounds of the second half to reach map point. Liquid still tried to salvage something out of the game, but their sole round in the half win was immediately countered by the red-hot Danes.
Dust2 began with Liquid taking the pistol round after a great B retake, but things quickly soured for the North Americans, forcing Nick "nitr0" Cannella to call a tactical pause when his team were down 1-5. The tone of the game changed entirely after that short break as Liquid ran all over the Astralis defence to go on an eight-round winning streak before the Danes walked away with the final round of the half.
Liquid picked up where they left off and set up a water-tight defence, hitting map point without dropping a single round. With no room for error Astralis picked up the pace and put together a string of rounds, piling the pressure on the home side. However, the Danes' resistance came to an end in the 27th round following a failed mid-B execution, taking the series to an all-deciding Overpass.
Astralis came out with fire in their eyes as they dominated proceedings early on, hopping out to a 7-0 lead. However, the rest of the half was all about Liquid's great executes, with the North Americans eventually cutting the gap to just three rounds.
Carrying the momentum into the second half, the North Americans won six rounds without response, bringing the scoreline to 12-9. Astralis then had a glimmer of hope as they won their first round of the half on a very shoddy buy, only to be instantly reset as Liquid responded immediately following a trio of kills by NAF.
The North Americans kept pressing on and quickly hit championship point. Nicolai "device" Reedtz still rescued his side with three stunning Desert Eagle shots, but it was all for naught as Stewie2K and NAF hammered the final nail into the Danes' coffin with a great hold on the B site.
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Keith 'NAF' MarkovicNAF||58 - 44||+14||79.1||1.23|
|Jake 'Stewie2K' YipStewie2K||53 - 50||+3||85.7||1.17|
|Russel 'Twistzz' Van DulkenTwistzz||50 - 50||0||72.0||1.07|
|Nick 'nitr0' Cannellanitr0||47 - 48||-1||70.2||0.99|
|Jonathan 'EliGE' JablonowskiEliGE||43 - 54||-11||65.6||0.92|
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Andreas 'Xyp9x' HøjslethXyp9x||61 - 50||+11||96.0||1.26|
|Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossandergla1ve||54 - 50||+4||73.2||1.08|
|Emil 'Magisk' ReifMagisk||42 - 44||-2||77.5||1.06|
|Nicolai 'device' Reedtzdevice||48 - 57||-9||72.9||0.95|
|Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussendupreeh||38 - 50||-12||51.8||0.77|
iBUYPOWER Masters 2019 final standings: