Astralis scrape past OG to make BLAST Spring Final
All three maps in the series went the distance, and it was the Danes who came out on top after an overtime on Ancient.
Astralis secured a spot at the BLAST Premier Spring Final after emerging victorious from a back-and-forth series against OG in the final match of the Spring Groups. The teams went the distance on all three maps in the series, trading blows on each others picks of Inferno and Vertigo before requiring overtime on Ancient to find a victor.
Astralis can walk away satisfied from their debut event with Christian "Buzz" Andersen, one where the youngster struggled individually, but showed signs of improvement by the end of their run. Nicolai "device" Reedtz was as consistent as ever upon his return as well, and was key in helping the Danish team secure victory on Vertigo as well as in taking Ancient over the line.
OG head to the Showdown following the defeat, and will need to fight through the single-elimination bracket if they hope to make the Spring Final. Individual mistakes and poor decision-making in crucial moments came back to bite the European side, issues which they have limited time to correct as they will take on Sprout in the IEM Katowice Play-In on Wednesday at 13:30 .
A near-ace from device wasn't enough to grant Astralis a pistol round victory to kick off their pick of Inferno, but the Danes weren't dissuaded by the loss. A force-buy and 3vs5 recovery followed in the round that came immediately after and from there, Astralis established a firm foothold on the T side and raced ahead to an 8-3 lead, powered by a handful of multi-kill rounds from Benjamin "blameF" Bremer and device. It took a quad kill shutdown from Adam "NEOFRAG" Zouhar to put a halt to the Danish reign of dominance, which allowed OG to get back in the game and go on a streak of four rounds to close out the half trailing by a single round.
Abdul "degster" Gasanov, Shahar "flameZ" Shushan, and Maciej "F1KU" Miklas combined to put OG into the lead at the start of the second half, six rounds in a row giving them a substantial 13-8 edge. A late resurgence from Astralis helped to close that gap somewhat, 13-12, but OG still claimed match point first and stalled out Astralis just long enough toward the end portion of the map to narrowly secure victory in round 30.
Vertigo was just as contentious, with Astralis establishing a three-round lead following a pistol victory. An inspired performance from flameZ was the catalyst for OG to mount a strong attacking effort of their own, running up a 7-4 lead, only for Astralis to stabilize toward the end of the half and keep the score near-even heading into the side swap.
Another pistol win helped Astralis to regain their upper hand and briefly push up to a 10-8 lead, but OG quickly got back to their winning ways and seemed set to run away with the map, winning six of the next eight rounds. A triple kill and 1vs2 clutch from Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander breathed new life into Astralis and was what they used as a springboard to mount their comeback, winning four rounds in a row on the T side to just barely scrape together a 16-14 win and force an Ancient decider.
There, Astralis maintained their momentum and established a firm lead on the T side, a dominant performance leading to a 10-1 start. A quad kill and 1vs2 clutch from Buzz proved key in that run of rounds, with blameF contributing with multi-kills of his own, but the Danes weren't able to run away with the map.
Their lead began to dwindle as degster came alive at the end of the half, and OG were spurred on by his performance heading into the side swap. They dropped just one round out of thirteen between the end of the first half and opening portion of the second, sneaking ahead of Astralis at a 13-12 scoreline to put a victory in the series just in reach. Astralis tightened up their defenses, however, and clinched match point first before eventually closing things out in overtime, capitalizing on mistakes from OG and only narrowly netting a victory in what ended as an extremely scrappy game.
|OG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|78 - 58||+20||77.9||1.24|
|74 - 65||+9||86.6||1.23|
|63 - 69||-6||71.9||0.97|
|52 - 67||-15||70.5||0.91|
|57 - 69||-12||64.3||0.86|
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|76 - 65||+11||93.8||1.31|
|73 - 59||+14||75.8||1.17|
|63 - 70||-7||74.4||1.04|
|56 - 69||-13||65.0||0.95|
|58 - 64||-6||69.8||0.92|