K23 upset Astralis in Funspark ULTI opener
The Russian squad needed two overtime maps to do it, but continued what is now a 11 game winning streak by taking down the Danes.
Astralis find themselves unexpectedly dumped into the lower bracket of the Funspark ULTI 2021 Finals after losing 1-2 to underdogs K23, winning the second map of Inferno but losing two close overtime battles on Mirage and Overpass.
Despite Benjamin "blameF" Bremer's 1.48 rated sever-leading efforts Astralis simply couldn't do enough to secure victory, most egregiously losing from a 15-13 score line on the decider of Overpass. For K23 it was Bogdan "xsepower" Chernikov who led the way, particularly shining on Mirage with 35 kills.
This result is a poor start to the year for a new-look Astralis squad that ended 2021 in underwhelming fashion, after a strong first event together at BLAST Premier Fall Final. As for K23 this match builds on the strong form that they ended 2021 with, during which time they picked up two trophies at Funspark ULTI events.
Astralis will now face a lower bracket elimination match against the loser of fnatic vs BIG, with that match taking place on Thursday at 15:00 . K23 have an upper bracket semi-final against the winner out of the aforementioned series to look forward to, with that game taking place on Friday at 15:00 .
The series opened with the K23 pick of Mirage, and the Russians set about justifying their pick early on, racking up a 4-0 lead on their T side before the Danes could answer. Answer they did, picking up five rounds of their own on the bounce before they started to struggle to hold the bombsites, K23 picking up five of the remaining six rounds on offer, four with bomb explosions.
With a 9-6 lead things looked in excellent shape for K23 after they picked up their CT pistol and a second round, getting out to an 11-6 score, but Astralis immediately answered back in the gun rounds and a back-and-forth half ensued, with both teams struggling to assert dominance, taking us to overtime. The first OT continued in a balanced fashion before K23 managed to produce a confident Terrorist half in the second overtime, getting over the line 22-19.
Inferno, the pick of Astralis, was a fairly straightforward affair for the Danes, as they seemed far more comfortable on the map than their counterparts. After an 11-4 T side in which they dragged K23 around the map and abused rotations, the CT side was a mere formality, and they brought the map home with a 16-8 score.
The decider was Overpass, and a game that was largely about the CT sides of both teams ensued. K23 kicked things off on the defence and racked up a 10-5 half, with Astralis struggling to deal with the Russian's mid aggression and completely failing to achieve any impact with several B rushes throughout the half. As the sides were swapped, a very similar story developed, as Astralis found plenty of success through early mid aggression, whilst K23 also struggled to get anything done on the B bombsite.
The game reached the end of regulation at a stalemate, although Astralis will be kicking themselves for not converting a 15-13 lead they sported right at the end of the map. The Danes appeared to simply run out of steam come OT, as they picked up a single round to K23's four, the map ending 19-16 and sending Astralis down to the lower bracket.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|88 - 49||+39||94.3||1.48|
|74 - 70||+4||79.3||1.13|
|67 - 55||+12||64.7||1.10|
|57 - 63||-6||62.2||0.99|
|53 - 66||-13||64.0||0.90|