After defeating #Astralis 2-0, #Fnatic has secured a spot in the #ElisaMastersEspoo championship match. The European team maintained control for the most of the series. They got off to a fast start with a 16-9 victory on Mirage before putting the contest to rest with a last-second 19-16 triumph on Overpass.
After making it through the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals in 2019, fnatic has advanced to the Finnish competition’s grand final. This is their first appearance at the competition’s pinnacle. To compete for the $100,000 cash prize and a place in the IEM Katowice 2023 Play-In, the worldwide roster will take on BIG. The two teams most recently squared off in a game in the IEM Rio Major Legends Stage, which fnatic narrowly won 2-0 to earn a desired spot in the Jeunesse Arena.
Astralis, on the other hand, finished third or fourth and head home. The Danish team’s performance in their final major appearance of the year was uneven; they beat pre-tournament favorites ENCE as underdogs in the quarterfinals, but they also lost to 500 and fnatic handily earlier in the group stage. Without blameF, whose high-impact clutches and massive fragging production helped Astralis to push fnatic to its limit, the Danes would have struggled to maintain a close game.
The Match Recap
The two teams faced off on Mirage, and fnatic quickly punished the Danes for their choice of map by advancing quickly and taking an early 5-0 lead on the CT-side. From this point on, fnatic’s control over the match only grew stronger as a flourishing economy and great fragging from Fredrik #roeJ Jrgensen propelled the team to a 9-2 victory as the half came to an end.
Near the end of their T-side effort, the Danes eventually awoke from their slumber and doubled the amount of rounds they had on the board to enter the side switch with a more manageable 4-11 disadvantage.
The dependable blameF started Astralis’ comeback with a 1vs1 pistol-round clutch, and the Danish fivesome made the most of this perfect start to go within three, 9-12. Astralis’ recent run of success was short-lived, though, as fnatic quickly snapped them out of it with a devastating four-round streak of their own to secure a comfortable 16-9 victory and take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Mister Mikkel Thomsen struggled mightily on Mirage, adding just five kills to the scoreboard by the end of the map, which significantly aided fnatic’s dominant performance.
The Second Map – Overpass
The second map in the series was presented at Overpass. The two teams swiftly got into a back-and-forth fight that narrowly swung in Astralis’ favor. They leveraged this to seize economic advantage and coast to a 7-4 victory. Nico #nicoodoz Tamjidi’s 1v1 clutch allowed fnatic to win a vital round in the 12th and put them back in the game. The squad then used this newfound momentum to move ahead and take an 8-7 advantage into halftime.
To begin their time on the defensive, fnatic won their second pistol of the best-of-three match. They then increased their lead by winning the next two rounds. As soon as they had guns in their hands, Astralis started to make progress against the deficit, winning four rounds in a row with the help of superb multi-kill rounds by blameF to bring the match all the way to an 11-round tie.
Astralis clung on by a thread, burrowing deep into their strategy book to eke out the final two rounds and force a trip to overtime, but fnatic stabilized and got their hands on match point first, 15-13.
All of the effort put forth by Astralis’ highest-rated player would ultimately be for nothing as fnatic won the game 19-16 and advanced to the championship game in Espoo. They did this by winning three rounds in overtime on the CT side and trading rounds with the Danes during their offensive phase.