Vitality secure Fall Final berth with 2-0 victory over Astralis
The French side became the first team to seal their spot at the BLAST Fall Final but were made to work for it by the Danes on the second map.
It was not all plain sailing for Vitality, particularly on Nuke, where they fell 4-11 on their CT half. In the winner's interview, Dan "apEX" Madesclaire was pressed on what exactly is the cause of the problems they are facing on the CT side of Nuke, with apEX admitting that the A site is an issue for the team.
"The most problematic thing we have is Kyojin on A site — he is not performing at all, he is bad. It's fine, we can say it, he knows it, I have nothing to hide. shox is getting better though, so many rounds he did one or two kills but Kyojin didn't, which is tough."
He also conceded that there is no obvious solution: "We are going to try and work again on that site. It's tough because putting misutaaa there won't help, he is pretty comfortable on ramp."
The first map of the series was Vitality's pick of Overpass, and it went exactly to plan for the French squad. They kicked off on T side by winning the pistol and converting, and although Astralis immediately got a foothold in the map with a couple of rounds, Vitality began to comfortably control the half.
Of particular concern for the Danes were the struggles that Philip "Lucky" Ewald and Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen had holding mid together, with most of the gun rounds Vitality won starting out with a successful entry kill on one or the other. Despite Lucky in particular recovering as the map went on, Astralis still went into the second half 6-9 down.
Vitality switched over to the CT side and once again got off to a quick start, racking up six rounds with only one in reply to put them on map point. Astralis responded well, scraping a few consecutive rounds together to crush the French squad's economy and make the map competitive, but they simply left themselves with too much to do, Vitality eventually securing the map win 16-12.
The second map of the series was Astralis' pick of Nuke. Vitality started on CT, winning their pistol and converting to set themselves up for a strong half. Astralis picked up the first gun round, but it looked like they would be immediately pegged back in the following, finding themselves in a 4v2 with little time on the clock. Somehow the French side contrived to lose this round, and with it their economic control they never recovered and Astralis never looked back, combining strong yard lurks with some excellent top site rushes to put up a huge 11-4 T half.
It seemed like the second half would be a formality for Astralis, particularly after they won the pistol, but Vitality had very different ideas. They immediately put three rounds on the board, and even though the Danes pegged them back with two more of their own to make it 14-7, the French squad were not to be stopped.
Nine consecutive Terrorist rounds without reply followed as Vitality systematically picked Astralis apart, in particular abusing Lucky at ramp towards the end of the half, to run the map all the way back to 16-14 and take the series.
Vitality have now secured their spot at the BLAST Premier Fall Final, whilst Astralis will take on the winner of Liquid vs. Evil Geniuses on Saturday to decide the second team from Group A that will make it straight to Fall Final. The other two teams will have a second chance to qualify through the Fall Showdown taking place October 12-17.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|50 - 41||+9||77.2||1.11|
|34 - 34||0||65.8||0.99|
|36 - 39||-3||71.7||0.99|
|32 - 40||-8||68.6||0.88|
|30 - 41||-11||67.1||0.88|