Astralis has proven that the team is still an absolute force.
Team Liquid learned that the hard way as they once again came up short against the Danish squad, losing to them in the semifinals at ESL One New York. While Liquid had the opportunity to undo some of the damage Astralis did to Liquid’s reputation at the major, they instead wound up taking another loss in front of a hometown crowd.
The series started on the same map as did the StarLadder Berlin Major showdown, Vertigo. Astralis surprised fans and Liquid alike by picking the map and playing it confidently in Germany, something Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski recently discussed on social media. Liquid has had several weeks now to study the film and drill the map, but it wasn’t nearly enough to bridge the gap between the two teams.
Liquid started off well with a 9-6 half on the CT side, but had nothing to threaten Astralis with after halftime. Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander was a force throughout and anchored Astralis’ defense on the CT side, denying Liquid a single round. He racked up an absurd 30-14 K/D as Astralis won 10 straight rounds to close the first map.
The momentum swung back hard on Dust 2. Astralis started things off well by taking the first four rounds, but Liquid answered by winning 15 in a row thanks to strong teamwork and a few big plays from Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken. Astralis needed a miracle to deny a game three, but they weren’t able to get it. Liquid forced the series to a decisive map with a 16-9 win.
The deciding showdown came on Overpass, a map that Astralis has looked fearsome on in recent months. The team has overwhelmed opponents with strong utility usage on the B bombsite, with Liquid specifically being victimized on the map at the Berlin Major.
Liquid looked prepared for Astralis in the early goings. The North American side went with various formations on the map that kept Astralis off-balance and unable to consistently overwhelm bombsites. That allowed Liquid to burst out of the gate, but Astralis managed to make the adjustments to take an 8-7 lead by halftime.
Astralis threatened to seal things up quickly after winning the pistol round, converting, and racking up a win streak off some big rounds from Emil “Magisk” Reif. Liquid recovered and themselves threatened to take the game over, but strong eco rounds from Astralis cut into Liquid’s economy. That allowed Astralis to stay just ahead of Liquid for the remainder of the game, which led to a 16-13 win that locked up the series 2-1 in the Danes’ favor.