fnatic eliminate Astralis to book first grand final slot in Malmö
The first semi-final commenced on Overpass, where fnatic accrued an immediate three-round lead off the back of a productive T-side pistol round. Jesper "JW" Wecksell did his utmost on the Danes' first full buy by landing a triple kill, but was unable to deny Astralis their first round in the end. This small victory subsequently turned into mounting momentum, as the offense struggled to put up a fight, allowing the opposition their first lead of the map. A Krieg triple kill from Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin ensured the opposition's advantage was short-lived and inspired his teammates to convert all but one of the remaining rounds for a 9-6 T-side conclusion.
A well-timed backstab from JW saw three Astralis members dispatched and ensured the second pistol round for fnatic. A bold force buy from the Astralis offense proved effective and saw the following three rounds fall their way, but long-term results were not achieved off the back of this momentum coup, as fnatic cruised to map point, ensured by yet another Krieg triple kill from Brollan. The home-crowd favourites kept things tight and their map pick was secured with a convincing 16-9 scoreline.
Map two, Nuke, saw another pistol round fall the way of fnatic, as Brollan was able to stick a 1v1 smoke defuse against Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen on the B site. A strong defensive campaign ensued for the Swedes, as an immediate six-round lead was accrued, witnessing two triple kills from JW on the Scout and AWP. Round seven was a pivotal moment in the initial half, as Astralis finally found their first conversion on the T side. Momentum was maintained by the offense, and with footing secured, the Danes managed to close the round discrepancy to a single round. Despite the gap-closer, fnatic maintained composure in the concluding rounds, finishing 9-6 with yet another Krieg triple kill from the young Brollan.
The Swedes maintained their flawless pistol round record on the T side of affairs, but contrary to their previous performance, the team was only able to accrue two consecutive rounds before retaliation came from Astralis. A force-buy victory in round 18 started a string of victories that meant another significant gap closer at 11-12, achieved in large thanks to outstanding AWPing from Nicolai "device" Reedtz.
While promising, the comeback effort proved to be but a stint, as fnatic found solutions that allowed the Swedes conversions in four of the five following rounds, thus producing map and series points. Astralis persevered against the odds, and off the back of a successful force buy were able to maintain the pressure, ensuring overtime.
Overtime #1 saw the teams exchange 2-1 CT-side performances, with Astralis narrowly dodging elimination, prevented thanks to a step-up from device. The second batch of additional rounds saw the exact same outcome, and only in the third overtime was the map settled, ultimately going the way of fnatic at 25-23, courtesy of crucial double kills from Maikil "Golden" Selim and JW.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|61 - 50||+11||86.0||1.16|
|46 - 53||-7||77.3||0.98|
|44 - 43||+1||66.9||0.94|
|39 - 55||-16||68.5||0.92|
|44 - 47||-3||63.6||0.91|