Vitality brush Astralis aside to win BLAST Premier Fall Finals
The French team picked up their second consecutive title with another convincing victory.
Vitality won the BLAST Premier Fall Finals on Sunday following a 2-1 victory against Astralis. The French team put in dominant performances on Vertigo and Inferno either side of a close Dust2 game to add the BLAST title to the IEM Beijing-Haidian Europe crown that they won just two weeks ago.
It was a forgetful night for Astralis, who endured an unconvincing display. They looked off the pace and short of ideas as they were put under pressure from the offset by a red-hot Vitality side firing on all cylinders and with a clear game plan with their six-man roster. The entire Vitality team ended the series with above-average ratings, but one player clearly stood out: Kévin "misutaaa" Rabier, who featured in both of his team's map wins, was an unlikely hero on Vertigo as he put in a career-high 2.12 rating to set his team up for a bright start to the match.
Long gone are the days when the French team struggled in finals: they have hit a purple patch and could make it three titles in a row next week as they will compete in the IEM Global Challenge, the final event of the year.
The series kicked off on Vertigo, an obvious pick on Astralis' part after Vitality had been outclassed on this map by BIG on Saturday in a series they ended up winning convincingly. But the French side came out today looking a completely different side, racing to an 8-0 lead with a tight and compact defense, with misutaaa leading the charge with a 13-2 score.
Astralis, who by that point had already called two timeouts, then finally got a round on the board, but they continued to find space very limited on the map. It took the Danes two big individual plays — an ace from Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen and a quad kill from Emil "Magisk" Reif — to build on that initial round, but there were hardly any improvements to their offense as they went into the break chasing a 3-12 deficit.
More misery was poured on Astralis, who were overrun in the following pistol round. The Danes still responded — courtesy of a trio of kills by Nicolai "device" Reedtz —, but there was nothing they could do to stop the onslaught as Vitality cruised to another commanding victory.
The first half of Dust2 was the polar opposite of Vertigo's, with Astralis storming to an 8-0 lead on the CT side after a flying start. Vitality then began to chip away at the deficit — winning a couple of scrappy exchanges —, but the pattern of the game remained the same as the Danes stayed in charge and took 11 rounds into the second half.
Vitality came out of the break a revitalised side and kept Astralis' players at bay with a tight and compact defense, staying composed even after losing a crucial anti-eco round with a two-man advantage. They eventually took the lead at 14-13 but were unable to deliver the finishing blow: Astralis capitalised on some uncharacteristic missed shots by Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut and created holes in Vitality's defense in a chaotic and nervy end to the game to restore parity in the series.
The Frenchmen were unfazed by that setback, however, and bulldozed their way to another demolition job on Inferno. Vitality rallied after losing the pistol round and shut out the Danes for a 12-3 half, with Cédric "RpK" Guipouy sitting at the top of the scoreboard with 18 frags to his name.
The second half began with Dan "apEX" Madesclaire outplaying Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander in a 1v1 situation to send Vitality further into the lead. The Danish tactician would get his revenge a few rounds later with an ace — at a time when Astralis were already against the ropes and facing series point —, but the team's comeback hopes were crushed in the following round as Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom and ZywOo clutched a 2v4 situation.
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|41 - 19||+22||100.7||1.64|
|57 - 43||+14||91.5||1.33|
|58 - 42||+16||83.9||1.25|
|36 - 28||+8||74.0||1.23|
|53 - 38||+15||73.9||1.19|
|30 - 29||+1||69.3||1.07|
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|49 - 55||-6||78.7||1.01|
|48 - 56||-8||75.8||0.88|
|44 - 56||-12||73.3||0.86|
|32 - 52||-20||55.5||0.73|
|26 - 58||-32||45.3||0.57|
BLAST Premier Fall Finals standings: