Steven R. March 3, 2019
Astralis are the 2019 Katowice Major champions.
Facing ENCE in the grand finals of the year’s first Counter-Strike: Global Offensive major, the consensus favorite lived up to the hype with a dominant 2-0 victory. The win gave the team its latest in a long string of victories and a third CS:GO major title.
ENCE was positioned for early success as it opened the series on the team’s best map, Train. Taking the opening rounds on T side, the Finns looked formidable until multi-kills from Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz and Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen got Astralis’ economic ball rolling. Astralis was then able to take advantage of Train’s defensive nature to rack up a hefty lead.
Though ENCE rallied and did look to have a shot at winning after halftime, the margin for error proved too narrow. More big rounds from Dev1ce and a clutch from Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth closed the door on a comeback with Astralis taking the opening game 16-11.
Losing the team’s own map pick was a tough blow for ENCE, and things would only get worse on second map Inferno.
Dupreeh kicked things off for Astralis by racking up eight kills in the first three rounds of play. The Danes kept the pressure on from there, getting out to a dominant 10-0 lead. ENCE settled down and put a few rounds on the board, but it was only a matter of time before Astralis closed the map 16-4 and the series 2-0.
With the win, Astralis was crowned the Katowice Major champions. It is the team’s second consecutive major title victory and the third in its history. The organization is now tied with Fnatic for most major championships in CS:GO history.
Though Astralis’ victory was predicted by many, the team’s dominance is still something to marvel at.
The depth of the professional Counter-Strike scene is greater than ever before, and no team in the tournament was an easy out. This was on full display as a relatively unheralded ENCE advanced to the grand finals at the expense of Team Liquid and Natus Vincere, widely regarded as the second and third best teams in the world behind Astralis.
Despite swimming with sharks throughout the major, Astralis posted a nearly flawless performance. The team didn’t drop a single map during the Champions Stage, and gave away just one series point all tournament.
The team can now truly make a case for being the greatest dynasty in the history of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.