Astralis wins wild, wacky BLAST Stand-Off against Natus Vincere

Nick J. November 3, 2019

Astralis may not have won BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen, but they did come out on top of the BLAST Stand-Off showmatch.

The showmatch is an honored tradition of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments, with most major organizers hosting an exhibition match featuring professional players, casters, and local favorites. These normally take the form of best-of-ones on standard maps, but BLAST Pro Series has found a different format.

Instead of patchwork teams facing off on Dust 2 or some other generic location, each BLAST Pro Series tournament has seen RFRSH bring teams to the “Pro Stand-Off,” a showmatch built around one-on-one duels on a treacherous, trap-laden map.

The custom Stand-Off map is intended to encourage players to use creative ways to eliminate their opponents, such as dropping items on their head or breaking glass floors out from under them. Each round is also played using a different weapon from CSGO’s armory.

The combination of the format, the teams, and the map consistently yield exciting or hilarious moments, like when Fernando "fer" Alvarenga and Jere "sergej" Salo “surfed” across the side of the special BLAST map towards one another, firing their weapons before plummeting to their deaths during BLAST Pro Series San Paulo.

The addition of a $20,000 prize adds some friendly competition to an already entertaining event.

Copenhagen’s BLAST Stand-Off saw more of the same as Natus Vincere and Astralis faced off. Some of the clips were impressive, while others were downright hilarious. All of them good-natured fun.

Here are three of the best moments from BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen 2019’s BLAST Stand-Off.

Astralis coach Zonic gives s1mple a run for his money

Many consider Na`Vi’s Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev to be one of the best CSGO players in the world. That’s for good reason too, because his aim, reaction time, and game sense are all off the charts.

S1mple is typically found at the top of the scoreboard for his team, so any duel involving him is bound to be a tense affair. Astralis tried to combat this by getting inside his head by pitting him against their coach, Danny "zonic" Sørensen.

S1mple was originally supposed to play against Astralis AWPer Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz, but zonic took dev1ce’s place at the last minute due to an illness. While zonic used to play CS professionally, he hasn’t played Counter-Strike at a pro level since retiring in 2012. Casters Henry "HenryG" Greer and Jason "moses" O'Toole couldn’t believe what they were seeing as zonic readied up to take on s1mple in a battle between Desert Eagles.

zonic s1mple BLAST Copenhagen S1mple Smile

Even though s1mple took the first kill, zonic came ready to play. The Astralis coach took the second elimination and wagged a finger at the Na`Vi superstar as the crowd roared in support.

At the start of round three, zonic almost fell off a side platform before surfing back onto even ground and deleting s1mple with a headshot to take a 2-1 lead. The crowd loved it, HenryG lost it, and even s1mple couldn’t hold back a smile. Moses was incredulous.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Moses said.

While S1mple reached seven eliminations first to win the matchup, zonic kept it close with five kills of his own.

Clutchmaster Xyp9x clutches even in showmatches

Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth is known in the CSGO community as one of the most clutch players in the game. Even if he is the only member of his team alive against four opponents, there’s always a chance that he can come out on top. Mix in his crafty utility usage and he’s a nightmare to take on in this showmatch setting.

Xyp9x faced off against Na`Vi’s in-game leader Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov, with both players using the CZ-75 automatic pistol. Moses seemed to predict the outcome of the match at one point as he likened the Stand-Off to “a clutch every round.”

To this point in the showmatch, no player had used the grenades placed on the boxes that lined the play area. That was about to change. With a 3-2 lead, Xyp9x procured a grenade to weaken Boombl4. Instead of weakening him, the grenade broke the overhead glass and dropped a box to give Xyp9x the elimination.

Dupreeh beats GuardiaN with his own signature AWP

Last but not least, Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen took on deadly sniper Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács in an AWP battle for the ages. In a normal game of Counter-Strike, an AWPer would make sure to have a sidearm in case of close quarters combat, but there’s no such luck on the BLAST Stand-Off map.

Though Dupreeh has a strong AWP, he has always primarily been a rifler. He had a short stint as Astralis’ primary AWPer in early 2018, but he hasn’t spent nearly as much time with the “Big, Green Gun” as GuardiaN has. That’s why the BLAST Stand-Off’s ending was so surprising to many.

Dupreeh didn’t just beat GuardiaN, he put on a clinic on how to use the sniper rifle aggressively, something that has to happen on a custom map like the one used in the BLAST Stand-Off. Movement, timing, and confidence all play key roles in duels, and Dupreeh had those traits in spades, ultimately winning 7-4.

His seventh and final kill that ended the BLAST Stand-Off was a “blink and you’ll miss it” affair, tossing GuardiaN off the map and officially ending the BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen Stand-Off with an Astralis win.

While it’s not a classic setup like Chad "SPUNJ" Burchill leading Team Australia against HenryG’s Team UK, the BLAST Stand-Off is the perfect showmatch for a short, structured tournament. As the BLAST Pro Series continues to evolve, the Stand-Off will as well. Fans can only hope it retains its homegrown charm.

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