The second Counter-Strike team in history to win back-to-back Majors now join an exclusive lineup of three-time Major Champions. Astralis have been unstoppable and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Intel Extreme Masters Katowice has just wrapped up over the weekend with Astralis taking home the trophy. For anyone who watched or kept up with the matches, you will know how much of a rollercoaster this Major was. Pick ’ems were sent to their graves with underdogs creating huge upsets throughout the tournament.
Our Aussie Renegades made it to the Champions Stage, which was a first for any Australian Counter-Strike team. Unfortunately, they did not get too much further, losing to mibr in the Quarterfinals. However, it was certainly a tremendous achievement and we hope to see more of that level of play from them in the future.
Another surprise that no one predicted was ENCE. A team that Renegades actually beat in both the Challengers and Legends Stages. The Finnish team had a hell of a run through the Champions Stage though, making it to the Grand Final. They beat Team Liquid in the Quarterfinals and NaVi in the Semis with God allu at the helm.
Unfortunately, they were no match for the powerhouse that is Astralis.
The Grand Final Bo3 saw an incredible use of utility from Astralis that would often turn the round in their favour. The battle of the AWPs in the hands of allu and device saw collateral kills and precision clutches all just in the first map. This Major has also really shown how much of a meta weapon the AUG has become in recent months, with it often being the weapon of choice on ct side.
Map one took place on ENCE’s pick of Train where Astralis took it from them 16-11. Map two was Inferno where with the help of a sneaky double grenade kill from gla1ve saw Astralis take 10 rounds before ENCE got any. Astralis went onto comfortably win the map 16-4 and therefore the Grand Final 2-0. Four of the five Astralis members now join JW, Flusha and pronax, who hold three Major csgo titles. As they also won the previous Major at FACEIT London, this makes them the second team, after mibr, to win back to back Majors.
What made this Major that much more emotional is that two players lost a family member at the beginning of the tournament. Flusha, from Cloud9, lost his mother and has since stepped away from the game, for the time being, to spend time with his family. The now champion Dupreeh, from Astralis, lost his father to cancer and dedicated the win to him as his last wish was that his son compete. The clip below is his emotional post-match interview with OJ.
Teams will now possibly look at roster changes among other strategies to make sure they perform better at future tournaments. However, it doesn’t look likely that anyone can catch Astralis at this stage.