Astralis send BIG on an early vacation
The German team's run on home soil was brought to an end in the Play-In.
Astralis took down BIG 2-1 in the deciding game of the IEM Cologne 2022 Play-in, securing advancement to the Group Stage of the tournament. Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke was the standout layer on the first two maps, with Benjamin "blameF" Bremer coming alive on Overpass to seal the deal for his team.
The result comes as massive disappointment for BIG, who were forced to play with substitute Nils "k1to" Gruhne in place of Josef "faveN" Baumann, but failed to put up a level anywhere near the one they showed with the same roster in their victory at last week's Roobet Cup. From triumphing online over Cloud9 and FaZe, BIG have been eliminated from their home tournament by Outsiders and Astralis before even reaching the top-16 stage.
Nuke kicked off with an Astralis blunder in the anti-eco that allowed BIG to take the reins on the CT side. Karim "Krimbo" Moussa was impeccable early, posting a 16-2 K-D as the Germans ran up a 9-1 lead. The struggles of Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander's men were epitomized by their captain's individual game, who was without a kill until the last round of the half but then pulled out a 1v3 to make the score 11-4.
The Danes pulled back after the switch, 11-7, but lost two low-buys that seemed enough for BIG to close out. However, Asger "Farlig" Jensen came online with seven kills in two key rounds to match k0nfig's effort and ultimately allow an impressive CT comeback, 16-14 on their map pick.
On their home ground of Dust2, BIG didn't get off to a hot start they surely hoped to, winning the second-round force but dropping the followup to allow Astralis to take a 4-1 lead. BIG replied with a run of their own, winning four out of five rounds, but losing to a mixed-buy and then a peak-k0nfig 4K round gave the Danes the control of the half again (9-6).
A crucial 3-0 start to the CT side gave BIG a lifeline, but Astralis swiftly responded with four of their own to edge towards a 2-0 victory in the series. Just as the series seemed wrapped up, Tizian "tiziaN" Feldbusch's double resolved a crucial 3v2, and then Florian "syrsoN" Rische came online with an ace, joining an already well-performing k1to in carrying his team to a 16-13 victory.
On Overpass, BIG moved ahead early on CT, and as Astralis clawed back, kept their economy going with consistent saves. The Danes finally broke the bank and moved ahead at 6-5, securing a "won half" after a pivotal 3v5 turnaround inspired by gla1ve and blameF. Astralis took the first half momentum and went from 9-6 to 11-8 in no time, put a stop to a burst of rounds from BIG with a k0nfig 1v2, and powered to an eventual series-deciding 16-11 victory.
|BIG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 53||+12||80.3||1.14|
|54 - 50||+4||74.3||1.13|
|59 - 62||-3||69.6||0.97|
|53 - 58||-5||64.6||0.92|
|35 - 58||-23||54.8||0.78|