#Astralis defeated #ENCE 2-1 to advance to the #ElisaMastersEspoo semifinals, eliminating the international lineup after a spirited reverse sweep (11-16 on Mirage, 16-14 on Ancient, 22-20 Overpass.)
Astralis will now face a #Fnatic team in the semi-finals in Espoo. fnatic earned their spot in the semi-finals by taking top place in Group B. With a 1.29 rating and 96 ADR, Benjamin #blameF Bremer maintained his tournament-leading performance in this match, carrying his team and securing a top-four finish.
Xyp9x, whose statistics have sharply declined since Astralis’ heyday, displayed an unexpected resurgence in play and delivered his greatest map performance in more than a year with a 1.84 rating at the perfect time to help his team over the finish line in a close 16-14 victory on Ancient.
The Match Recap
On Mirage, Astralis’ choice, ENCE got out to the better start as they countered the Danes’ opening two-round spree with a six-round streak of their own to take a substantial lead. As the first half went on, ENCE increased their advantage to 10-2, further demonstrating their dominance of the game.
Astralis was greeted by a disciplined defensive wall that moved slowly and methodically. Mikkel #MistR Thomsen’s heroics in the 13th and 14th rounds helped his team get back on the board, but crucial round victories allowed Astralis to keep themselves just above water, 4-11, by the side switch.
Astralis began their CT-side assault by winning the second pistol round of the map. They then utilised this newfound economic advantage to chip away at ENCE’s lead as they fought their way back to only being down by two rounds, 9-11. ENCE remained unfazed by their opponents’ comeback in form, adding four of the following five rounds to reach match point thanks to Alvaro #SunPayus Garcia’s accurate shooting.
Astralis’ one round victory left the Danes in contention, but ENCE’s easy execution onto the A site was enough for the European team to win the crucial last round and end the match, 16-11.
For the second map in the series, the two teams switched to Ancient, and Astralis jumped out to an early lead thanks to the CT-sided nature of the map, leading 6-1 at the halfway point. As the rounds went on, Astralis’ dominance of the map didn’t loosen; ENCE was forced to utilize their fourth timeout before the conclusion of their T-side attempt as the Danes advanced to a 10-1 lead.
With outstanding back-to-back clutches by dycha, the team was able to salvage what was left of the half and enter halftime with four rounds won. This tactical halt by ENCE quickly paid off for the squad.
After having a bad start in the second half, ENCE suddenly found their mojo and stringed together a six-round streak to tie Astralis for the lead in double digits. The team sprinted away with the game to force the series into its second overtime in as many maps, buoyed by a boisterous audience that was jubilantly cheering on their home team. ENCE’s recovery effort was now firmly in fifth gear.
In the first set of overtime, the two teams traded three rounds apiece, but Astralis won the second. The Danish team prevailed with a difficult 22-20 score after winning two close rounds on their CT-side attempt and then going on an additional two-round offensive rampage.
Astralis will play fnatic in the semi-finals on Saturday at 19:00, who are the highest-rated team in Espoo. The two teams previously faced off in a best-of-one match at Elisa Masters Espoo, where fnatic prevailed 16-7 in a somewhat one-sided contest.