Astralis add another title in Chicago

Steven Rondina • November 19, 17:07

Astralis are the champions of Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII.

The Danish squad added another trophy to its mantel in Chicago by taking first place at the event with a 3-0 win over Team Liquid in the grand finals. Though it managed to knot up the top spot with a sweep, Astralis didn’t skate through the tournament by any means.

The team started its run with a pair of solid wins over MVP.PK and North in Group A. That set Astralis up in the upper bracket finals for a best-of-three with Faze Clan. After taking a tough 16-7 loss on Mirage in game one, Astralis battled back in a highly competitive game two that went to overtime. FaZe got the better of Astralis once again to seal the set with a 19-16 win.

The loss forced Astralis to start its playoff journey in the quarterfinals opposite Mousesports, where the Danes took a dominant 2-0 series win. That victory allowed the team to advance to the semi-finals for a showdown with European rival Fnatic.

This series would prove to be the highlight of the entire event.

Game one on Dust2 saw Astralis dominate the first half in racking up a 12-3 lead, but nearly throw away the win in the second. The team managed to hold it together but needed all 30 rounds to manage a 16-14 win. The momentum had firmly shifted by this point, and Fnatic capitalized by taking a solid 16-12 win on Mirage in game two.

The deciding game on Inferno initially had the look of a runaway win for Fnatic, who went 11-4 in the first half. But Astralis matched that mark in the second thanks to late-game heroics by Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth. That pushed the match to a deciding overtime, where Astralis found a 19-17 victory.

Whether it had shaken off the rust from a light October schedule or simply gotten fed up with the intensity, Astralis had minimal trouble in the grand final opposite Liquid. After a back-and-forth game one that went the full 30 rounds, Astralis broke away with lopsided 16-7 and 16-4 wins to take first place and the $100,000 prize.

This latest championship continues what has been a banner year for Astralis, who also claimed wins at ESL Pro League Season 7, the ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier, and at FACEIT Major: London. They won’t get much of a chance to revel in their victory however, as they immediately have to shift their focus to the ECS Season 6 finals on November 22.

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