Steven R. October 1, 2018
Astralis are once again Counter-Strike major champions.
The Danish team took the top prize at FACEIT Major: London, sweeping Natus Vincere in the tournament’s grand finals. It was a great ending to what was a nearly flawless performance by the Danes.
Astralis’ major began with a strong run through the New Challengers Stage, as the team advanced with a 3-1 record that included wins over CompLexity Gamging, Rogue, and Team Spirit. From there, it qualified for the playoffs with a 3-1 record in the New Legends Stage, besting Na`Vi, Vega Squadron, and MIBR, only dropping a map in overtime to Team Liquid.
Though the side absorbed two losses in the group stages, Astralis was perfect once it reached the playoffs. After a close win over Faze Clan, Astralis avenged its previous defeat to Team Liquid with a 2-0 sweep. That led to the climactic showdown with Na`Vi, where Astralis came through with a dominant victory to earn first place and a $500,000 paycheck.
Astralis’ star player Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz was given MVP honors.
The win is the second major championship for Astralis, going on the mantel alongside the trophy from 2017's ELEAGUE Major in Atlanta. It also stands as the continuation of an extraordinary second half of 2018, which includes first-place finishes at the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier, the ESL Pro League Season 7 finals, and the Esports Championship Series Season 5 finals.
Astralis has the opportunity to keep that momentum rolling into October, which will see it compete at Epicenter. Given how strong captain Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and company have looked over recent months, Astralis are certainly the favorites.