ENCE beat Astralis 2-0 to win BLAST Pro Series Madrid
It was a rough evening for Astralis. The Danes were simply outfought and outwitted by an ENCE side that was one step ahead for most of the series, starting on Nuke, where the Finnish side put in a masterclass of a performance to deny their opponents from reaching a record-tying 32nd consecutive LAN victory. Train was a much closer affair, but ENCE came back from a 0-5 deficit to come out victorious with a great CT side.
Astralis are now two events in a row without a trophy, and while talk of crisis may be a bit premature, the top spot in the rankings seems to be very much up for the taking, with No.2 Liquid having two LAN events on the horizon - cs_summit 4 and DreamHack Masters Dallas - before the Danes return to action, at the ECS Season 7 Finals.
ENCE opened the game on Nuke with the intention of making an early statement, putting Astralis on the back foot with a string of six rounds. The Danish team responded on a shoddy buy and followed that up with another round, but any hopes that they had of wearing down the ENCE defense were quickly extinguished.
Now playing on the highly-favored CT side, Astralis took the pistol round following an intense 2v2 situation. After some questionable buy decisions from ENCE, the Finnish side responded in the fourth round of the half, and then Jere "sergej" Salo came up huge with a 1v2 clutch, putting his team in control of the game and destroying Astralis' economy.
ENCE rode that momentum all the way to map point at 15-7. Astralis still tried to respond, but after a couple of close rounds, the Finnish team finally sealed the deal, inflicting the Danes their first Nuke defeat on LAN since the ECS Season 4 Finals, in December 2017.
Having lost their precious Nuke pick, Astralis were out for blood and raced to a 5-0 start on Train with a solid defence, with Nicolai "device" Reedtz raising eyebrows in the third round with a 1v3 clutch. ENCE were forced to call a timeout in a bid to halt Astralis' momentum, getting on the board in the following round thanks to a quad kill by Aerial.
That round victory immediately put Astralis on the back foot in terms of the economy, which ENCE took to their advantage. Apart from a brief period in which Astralis bagged two rounds in a row, the Finnish team dictated the tempo of the game for the remainder of the half, which ended with only one round separating the two sides.
Astralis came out of the break with a bang, further adding to their lead with a near-flawless pistol. However, the complexion of the game immediately changed once ENCE had money in the bank. The Finnish team set up a water-tight defence and lost just one more round before reaching championship point at 15-11. With no margin for error, Astralis dug deep in search of an equalizer, but the sturdy ENCE defense prevailed in the end as the Finns hammered the final nail into their opponents' coffin on a very weak buy.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Emil 'Magisk' ReifMagisk||39 - 36||+3||79.8||1.12|
|Nicolai 'device' Reedtzdevice||39 - 33||+6||73.7||1.10|
|Lukas 'gla1ve' Rossandergla1ve||34 - 40||-6||72.3||0.96|
|Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussendupreeh||22 - 41||-19||64.0||0.70|
|Andreas 'Xyp9x' HøjslethXyp9x||22 - 37||-15||42.6||0.65|
|ENCE||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Jani 'Aerial' JussilaAerial||46 - 34||+12||91.3||1.41|
|Sami 'xseveN' LaasanenxseveN||42 - 29||+13||82.3||1.16|
|Jere 'sergej' Salosergej||31 - 27||+4||69.9||1.11|
|Aleksi 'Aleksib' VirolainenAleksib||38 - 35||+3||81.8||1.03|
|Aleksi 'allu' Jalliallu||30 - 31||-1||56.9||0.92|
BLAST Pro Series Madrid final standings:
BLAST Pro Series season leaderboard: