Astralis pass Vitality en route to BLAST Premier final
The Danes locked the first grand final spot in the $1,000,000 competition with three other teams still in play for the other.
Vitality will have another chance to make it through to the grand final as they will play in the consolidation final on Sunday, in which they will face the winner of the lower bracket final between Liquid and Natus Vincere.
Vitality chose to start the series with a Dust2 pick, as has been their custom against the Danish powerhouse in the three previous encounters, but just like the last two times the Frenchmen ended up faltering at the last hurdle despite great starts in both halves.
Consecutive clutches from Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom and Dan "apEX" Madesclaire gave Vitality the first six rounds on the Terrorist side, before Astralis found their footing on the back of Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth's and Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen's solid output with the AUGs and struck back with seven in a row.
Switching over with just a one-round lead in the end, Vitality extended their advantage to 13-7 thanks to Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut's 1v2 in the second pistol round but then hit a wall again. A 3v5 turnaround with just Deagles saw Astralis kick off a massive comeback, and 1v3 and 1v2 clutches from Emil "Magisk" Reif and Xyp9x helped complete it 16-14 with a 9-1 run in the end.
Overpass was the second map as the Danes' pick, but it was once again the Frenchmen who got off to a better start. A triple from Cédric "RpK" Guipouy in the pistol gave way for a 4-0 lead, and even though Astralis looked like the better team in the gunrounds at first with five consecutive rounds on the Terrorist side, Vitality secured a solid 9-6 half.
A forcebuy win and a 1v3 clutch from ZywOo saw the series start heading towards a third map when sides switched. The second map soon seemed to be over when Vitality were up 15-9 in a 4v1 scenario until Nicolai "device" Reedtz came out on top of the seemingly unwinnable situation with an unbelievable clutch, though the French side did not let the blunder get into their heads as they closed Overpass one round later.
The Frenchmen struggled against Astralis' relentless defense on the deciding Inferno then, with the Danes putting together a near-flawless CT side despite losing the opening pistol. Only clutches from ZywOo and Nivera went the other way while Astralis locked down an 11-4 half and went on to cruise to a comfortable victory on the T side.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|67 - 53||+14||87.3||1.25|
|56 - 51||+5||79.0||1.13|
|52 - 45||+7||76.1||1.09|
|54 - 53||+1||73.9||1.07|
|44 - 55||-11||65.1||0.90|
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|81 - 49||+32||98.3||1.47|
|41 - 38||+3||88.2||1.14|
|43 - 54||-11||65.5||0.92|
|43 - 54||-11||69.3||0.88|
|24 - 42||-18||59.6||0.76|
|25 - 37||-12||47.8||0.75|