Team Vitality might be among the best teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive today.
The French squad picked up the biggest victory in organization history at the Esports Championship Series Season 7 Finals. There, the team locked up a whopping $225,000 check with a convincing 2-0 win over Furia Esports in the grand finals.
The first game on Inferno was shaping up to be a competitive one with a back-and-forth first half, but things swung hard in the second with Vitality taking the first five rounds. That put Furia onto a tightrope and while the team managed to hang around for a bit, Vitality drew first blood with a 16-9 win.
It was a strong opening from Vitality and the team didn’t take its foot off the gas from there. A massive 25-kill game from new star Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut saw Vitality close out game two early, sealing up a 16-4 win to end the series 2-0.
It was a stunning performance by Vitality. The team won its way through the group stages with a pair of wins over CompLexity Gaming and looked strong in the playoffs against NRG Esports. Though Furia isn’t widely regarded as a top-level squad, the Brazilian team looks the part of a real contender and Vitality still managed to run over them without issue.
18-year-old ZywOo has looked stellar in recent months and his raw skill is accentuated well by veterans in Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt and Cédric “RpK” Guipouy. The team has transformed from a solid European team to a bona fide elite. This is the team’s third win in a live CS:GO tournament since the 2019 IEM Katowice Major, with the trophy from ECS going alongside those from Charleroi Esports 2019 and CS_Summit 4.
The team will now set its sights on ESL One Cologne 2019, which will see Vitality take on a large field of top teams.
Though Vitality’s strong work was huge news, arguably the biggest story was which teams washed out of the group stages. Ninjas in Pyjamas and MiBR were the first teams sent home, but the next round shockingly saw Astralis given the boot as well.
For whatever reason, Astralis just hasn’t looked the same over the last few weeks. Since the start of April, the Danes have seemingly lost the swagger that carried them to a major title and 11 first-place finishes in 2018. The squad has now fallen short of first in three consecutive offline events.
In a vacuum, the losses are forgivable individually. At BLAST Pro Series: Miami, it was chalked up to an off day for the team exacerbated by intense competition. At BLAST Pro Series: Madrid, they still managed to take second place and only came up short against a white hot ENCE Esports. At the ECS Season 7 finals however, the team just didn’t play great Counter-Strike as it dropped two series to Furia to get eliminated from the event.
Though Astralis continues to find wins against high end competition, it’s certainly starting to feel like the team’s days at the top are done. They have a chance to rebound at the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals but if they flounder there too, it might be time to start hitting the panic button