Astralis edge out Liquid in Major rematch, advance to ESL One New York grand final
Astralis have defeated Liquid in a rematch of the StarLadder Major quarter-final, edging out their North American rivals 2-1 (Vertigo 16-9, Dust2 9-16, Overpass 16-13) to secure a grand final spot at ESL One New York.
The rematch of the StarLadder Major quarter-finals began on the same map, Vertigo, which Astralis picked for the second time in a row as they looked to once again establish dominance over the North American side. It was Liquid who asserted control early on, however, with a stifling defence spearheaded by a red-hot Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski giving them the opening six rounds of the series, as the 22-year-old superstar put up six multikills.
Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander then started finding weaknesses in middle with some key openers, leading the charge as the Danes were recovering from the poor start, finding a way to six rounds before the half came to a close on the back of the in-game leader's impact.
Just like in Berlin, Liquid looked lost when Astralis got to the CT side. An A cross setup gave the Danish powerhouse the pistol round, and from there on there seemed to be no contest. The closest Nick "nitr0" Cannella's team got was a 1v1 clutch attempt from Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken, which was won by Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth on the other side, and Astralis rallied to a perfect defense and a 16-9 victory, gaining a 1-0 lead in the series.
The streaky nature of the match continued as Astralis went up 4-0 at the beginning of Dust2 on the CT side, while Liquid took over once a full long commitment put them on the board. Equalizing the scoreline with EliGE pulling off a 1v3, the local side started winning rounds in big disadvantages, including another 1v2 from the aforementioned star and two 2v4 situations.
That led to an 11-round streak to end the half firmly in their favor, and things continued along similar lines as Liquid switched over, quickly reaching map point while nitr0 added another 1v2 clutch on the board. Astralis didn't let their opponents finish off the second map with a 16-round run with a valiant effort up against the odds, but they were too far behind in the end and the series went to its decider at 16-9, 1-1.
Liquid were the first to get off the line on Overpass, conceding only the first gunround out of the first six rounds as EliGE and nitr0 each put in big multikills. Astralis then began closing the gap, eventually only letting go of two more before the half ended in a one-round advantage for them thanks to a couple of clutches from Xyp9x and gla1ve.
A dominant pistol round win later, the Danes built their lead to 10-7 and continued to mount the pressure on the North American side after Emil "Magisk" Reif added a triple and a 1v1 clutch to his name. Down by six, Liquid stepped up with Jake "Stewie2K" Yip securing a 1v2 to reduce the deficit to just two despite heroics from Nicolai "device" Reedtz, but a 1v1 from Xyp9x and a B defense swung the match back in the Danes' favor, who went on to win 16-13, 2-1.
|Liquid||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Jonathan 'EliGE' JablonowskiEliGE||61 - 54||+7||87.0||1.13|
|Russel 'Twistzz' Van DulkenTwistzz||60 - 53||+7||86.6||1.12|
|Keith 'NAF' MarkovicNAF||56 - 55||+1||77.8||1.07|
|Nick 'nitr0' Cannellanitr0||42 - 50||-8||59.2||0.93|
|Jake 'Stewie2K' YipStewie2K||41 - 58||-17||56.2||0.74|