Astralis and Gambit have only met once before. In the quarterfinals of DreamHack Masters Europe 2020, Astralis secured a comfortable 2-0 victory over the young CIS squad. Since that loss, Gambit has experienced a meteoric rise in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene. The Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov-led squad won IEM Katowice and remained undefeated in group C of the ESL Pro League group stage.
While Gambit is the rising star in CSGO, Astralis is a staggering giant. The Danes have peaked for the past few years, dominating multiple majors in a row. But Astralis are experiencing a bit of a slump now, as the results since the start of this year have been disappointing for a team of this stature. The Danes were eliminated in the quarterfinals at IEM Katowice and didn’t make it out of their Blast Premier group.
At ESL Pro League, Astralis has shown that it’s still a force to be reckoned with. Spurred forward by an excellent performance from Nikolai “device” Reedtz, the team topped a stacked group D. Victories against Team Liquid and Virtus.pro have shown that you can’t count them out just yet.
Gambit on the other hand has garnered momentum since the start of the year. The young, inexperienced squad had its breakthrough tournament at IEM Katowice, surprising everyone by winning the event. The core of the roster previously played as Gambit’s academy team, but they were promoted in October 2020.
In the match, Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth will face off against Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov. Young Russian AWPer sh1ro is rapidly making a name for himself in the CSGO scene. Since breaking through in the highest tier of CSGO over the past few months, sh1ro has established himself as one of the best clutch players out there. He tied the record for most clutch wins in a single tournament at IEM Katowice, where he was named the MVP.
On the other side of the server sits the original clutch master. Xyp9x has always been considered a real clutch expert. He earned the nickname of “clutchminister” by outclassing his opponents over several years when the odds were stacked against him. Now, a young player is challenging his title.
Experience will be the decider according to the bookmakers. While Gambit is on the rise, Astralis is still favored this time. A surprise victory for Gambit is not unlikely, and taking a gamble on them might reap great rewards.