Steven R. August 31, 2019
Astralis are heading to the StarLadder Berlin Major playoffs, but they had to take an incredibly long road to get there.
Though the team advances out of the Legends Stage with a 3-1 record, they will likely end up having played more rounds of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive than any of the teams that head to round five. That’s because Astralis competed in its second quintuple overtime game of the event, this time in its series against CR4ZY.
The first game on Inferno started off as a close one. Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač and Nemanja "nexa" Isaković posted big rounds for CR4ZY, while Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth and Emil "Magisk" Reif did the same for Astralis en route to an 8-7 score at halftime. But once Astralis took over the CT side, CR4ZY struggled to get anything done.
Xyp9x continued to wreak havoc on CR4ZY, with Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz stepping up late to close the game out. Astralis was the first on the board with a 16-11 win.
Astralis looked ready to close things out early as they took the first five rounds on Dust 2, but Nestor "LETN1" Tanić grabbed his AWP and stepped up for CR4ZY. The team stopped the bleeding but continued to struggle with Astralis’ pace and precision, taking unnecessary kills that cost them rounds and drained their economy.
CR4ZY flipped a switch in the second half. Despite dropping the pistol round, the team roared back on the heels of a huge surge from huNter- and some massive rounds from Nemanja "nexa" Isaković and managed to force overtime. This went on to become Astralis’s second marathon game in as many days.
Much like yesterday’s game between Astralis and NRG Esports, the game featured early leads undone by wild heroics by both teams time and again. Killing sprees were answered by critical clutches, which dragged the game out for 60 rounds.
In quintuple overtime, CR4ZY jumped out to an early lead which Astralis couldn’t quite bounce back from. CR4ZY took the map 31-29, which broke the previous record for the longest game in CSGO major history.
It’s a big achievement for CR4ZY, but it was ultimately a consolation prize for the team. Astralis showed no signs of mental exhaustion in the deciding game on Vertigo, answering a failed pistol round and conversion with a 10-1 stretch that let them close out the first half 11-4.
A few months ago that might have been a manageable deficit on Vertigo, but the changes to the map implemented following the Berlin Minor Championships have made the map significantly less T-side friendly. Astralis won the pistol round, converted, and closed out the game 16-5 to take the series 2-1.
Longest games in CSGO major history
Going a full 60 rounds, Astralis vs. CR4ZY goes down as the longest game in CSGO major history. Astralis tied the record a day earlier, going 59 rounds with NRG Esports. While they do advance now, Astralis lost both of these games.
The record was previously held by Flipside Tactics and Mousesports for their series at the MLG Columbus Major in 2016.
With the series win, Astralis advances forward to the Champions Stage playoffs, joining ENCE Esports, Team Vitality, NRG Esports, and Avangar.
Though CR4ZY lost the series, they still have one more shot to get into the playoffs. They face Natus Vincere tomorrow with the winner moving on and the loser heading home.