Steven R. April 13, 2019
Astralis losing any game comes as something of a surprise, but Astralis losing three games in one day is a shocker.
That is exactly what happened in the second day of play at the BLAST Pro Series: Miami. Despite opening the event with victories over Cloud9 and Natus Vincere, Astralis went 0-3 on day two.
The Danes opened the day in ugly fashion opposite MiBR. After trading the first five rounds back and forth, Marcelo "coldzera" David swung the game’s economy and momentum with some exceptional Desert Eagle plays. Coldzera never let Astralis bring things back either, as he delivered multi-kill round after multi-kill round, pushing MiBR to a 16-2 win with his 24-4 K/D.
Astralis initially looked ready to shake that off in its second game. Playing a rival it has consistently gotten the better of in Team Liquid, Astralis ran off to a 6-1 lead and seemed poised for a runaway victory. Instead, Liquid rallied back to keep things close and broke off a lengthy winning streak to take the lead in the second half. Astralis caught up and tied the game 14-14, but Liquid settled down and sealed things up 16-14 by taking the last two rounds.
While those two losses were tough ones, Astralis still had a chance to make the grand finals with a win in its final game against FaZe Clan. That situation would ideally bring out the best in a team like Astralis but instead it sustained another lopsided loss with Nikola "NiKo" Kovač thrashing them en route to a 16-5 defeat.
What led to this rough day for Astralis is unknown. No single player on the team consistently sat at the bottom of the scoreboard and these struggles came just one day after posting a pair of convincing wins over solid opponents. Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander took to Twitter shortly thereafter and chalked it up as an “off day,” stating “this day just felt bad, we did what we could to get back up but it didn’t work.”
Fans of Astralis need not panic yet. Though this was a tough day for the team, their utter dominance over the last 18 months keeps them firmly entrenched as the best in the world. They will still be expected to defeat against any team they face in the near future and will be the favorites at any tournament they participate in.
Still, their upcoming games in the Esports Championship Series Season 7 and ESL Pro League Season 9 just became a lot more interesting.