Astralis top Group D but see Inferno streak ended; HellRaisers, BIG through to next group stage
It was yet another victory for Astralis, but what everyone will remember is the one map that they lost. After winning 19 games in a row on Inferno (21 if you also consider the two that they played online), the Danes were finally bested on the map.
In the end, it was merely a bump in the road as Astralis not only won the match but also topped the group - which they would have anyway even if they lost the match in three maps -, but it was far from being a convincing performance. The match raises further questions about the Danes' current form, less than two weeks after that "off day" in Miami had cost them a place in the final at the BLAST tournament.
At first, it looked like business as usual for Astralis, who jumped out to a 10-2 lead on the CT side of Dust2. BIG then finally woke up and went on a massive run to bring the deficit to a solitary round, but the Danes picked up the pace and strung five rounds together en route to a 16-10 finish.
Next up was Inferno, where another dominant start by Astralis saw them grab a 7-2 lead. Just like on the first map, the German side improved as the game wore on, with Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş playing a key role in the team's comeback. The Turkish star, who seems to be finally settling into his new surroundings, delivered a masterclass of a performance in this series, helping BIG to grab map point at 15-13.
Astralis proved they still had some fight left in them and won the final two rounds with a broken economy to force overtime, but BIG pulled through in the end, shattering the Danes' record on this map and taking the series to Overpass.
BIG carried their momentum into the decider and cruised to a 10-5 lead on the CT side after a dominant run that saw them lose just one round in 11. Many believed that a reverse sweep was in the making, but Astralis had different plans and won six rounds right off the bat to grab a narrow lead.
Fatih "gob b" Dayik's troops responded by taking four rounds in a row, but all of a sudden they ran out of steam. With no margin for error, Astralis set up a watertight defense, picking up a 16-14 victory and a 2-1 series success.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussendupreeh||77 - 60||+17||91.3||1.32|
|Andreas 'Xyp9x' HøjslethXyp9x||61 - 55||+6||70.3||1.08|
|Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossandergla1ve||58 - 56||+2||72.8||1.05|
|Emil 'Magisk' ReifMagisk||60 - 57||+3||67.3||1.01|
|Nicolai 'device' Reedtzdevice||50 - 51||-1||64.2||0.96|
|BIG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Ismailcan 'XANTARES' DörtkardeşXANTARES||78 - 66||+12||95.4||1.27|
|Johannes 'tabseN' WodarztabseN||66 - 63||+3||75.3||1.11|
|Johannes 'nex' Magetnex||55 - 61||-6||67.1||0.91|
|Fatih 'gob b' Dayikgob b||42 - 54||-12||55.7||0.87|
|Tizian 'tiziaN' FeldbuschtiziaN||38 - 62||-24||46.8||0.68|
Before that exciting three-map series, HellRaisers and ex-3DMAX faced off for a spot in the next group stage, with the French side in a must-win situation after losing their first two matches. However, they struggled to make their presence felt on Nuke for large spells of the first half and found themselves trailing their opponents 5-10 before switching to the CT side.
Now playing on the Terrorist side. HellRaisers picked up where they left off and hit map point at 15-6 after a five-round streak. ex-3DMAX still tried to get back in the game, but their resistance would last only four rounds.
The second map, Train, was even more of a blowout, with the first half once again ending with a 10-5 scoreline in HellRaisers' favour. This time around, however, there would be no comeback attempt from the Frenchmen, who only managed to get one round on the board as Terrorists before losing the map.
|HellRaisers||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Žygimantas 'nukkye' Chmieliauskasnukkye||43 - 26||+17||100.1||1.54|
|Issa 'ISSAA' MuradISSAA||43 - 27||+16||88.1||1.47|
|Tomáš 'oskar' Šťastnýoskar||36 - 27||+9||85.3||1.33|
|Kirill 'ANGE1' KarasiowANGE1||33 - 26||+7||75.9||1.22|
|Christian 'loWel' Garcia AntoranloWel||35 - 29||+6||69.1||1.19|
|ex-3DMAX||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Ali 'hAdji' HaïnousshAdji||31 - 39||-8||78.1||0.94|
|Logan 'LOGAN' CortiLOGAN||28 - 34||-6||69.1||0.83|
|Bryan 'Maka' CandaMaka||25 - 37||-12||53.5||0.78|
|Gaëtan 'JiNKZ' JaminJiNKZ||27 - 40||-13||57.1||0.67|
|David 'Davidp' PrinsDavidp||24 - 40||-16||66.0||0.66|
Astralis are now the eighth team confirmed for ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals, which will be held in Montpellier, France, from June 18-23. The team list for the French event, where $750,000 will be on the line, currently looks as follows:
The teams who finished second and third in all groups will advance to a second group stage, running from May 14-23, to compete for the last four Europe qualifying spots at the season finals. Those teams are:
As for ex-3DMAX, the French side will join three other fourth-placed teams in the pre-relegation stage. The winner of that double-elimination group will keep their Pro League spot, while the teams who are ranked second and third will fight for survival against the second and third-placed teams from MDL Season 31.
The four teams who will compete in the pre-relegation stage are: