Astralis has added yet another trophy to its mantel.
The Danish team won the BLAST Pro Series Global Finals and captured the $350,000 top prize. This ends the 2019 season for the RFRSH-run tournament circuit and sets the stage for what should be a much larger 2020 season.
Astralis took the title by defeating longtime rival Team Liquid in the best-of-three grand final.
The series opened on Inferno with Astralis exploding out of the gate and winning the first eight rounds. Team Liquid found a few opportunities on offense and a disastrous 2-13 opening half for Jake “Stewie2K” Yip saw Astralis take an 11-4 lead by halftime.
Liquid dragged things out by winning the pistol round and converting, but Astralis’ rifle rounds were just too good for them to handle as Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen was almost perfect with an AWP in his hands. The map ended with a score of 16-11 in favor of Astralis.
From there, Liquid was put into the precarious position of being in a must-win situation on Nuke. Stewie2K started to redeem himself by kicking things off with a triple kill in the pistol round. That did little to hold back Astralis, however.
Astralis’ half on the offensive side was intensely competitive despite some heroics from Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski. Once again, the Danes were fearsome when properly equipped. Liquid was still able to maintain a narrow lead heading into halftime, but once Astralis was on the favored CT side, things spiraled out of control.
Despite winning the pistol round, Liquid was denied the conversion by a huge Desert Eagle triple kill by Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander. That set the tone for the second half as every time Liquid took a round, Astralis was there to deny any sort of momentum. That pattern continued en route to Astralis taking a 16-12 win to seal out the series 2-0.
Astralis has maintained elite status throughout 2019, but the team hasn’t been as untouchably good as they were in 2018. That changed at the BLAST Pro Series Global Final, as they didn’t drop a single map. Astralis bested Liquid 2-0 in its opening matchup and doing the same to Ninjas in Pyjamas in the upper bracket finals.
In that way, the BLAST Pro Series Global Finals was a bit of a return to form and continues what has been an excellent winter for the team. Since winning the StarLadder Berlin Major, Astralis has taken first at IEM XIV Beijing and the ECS Season 8 Finals. This also serves to refresh the team after a rough loss in the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals.
The team has been quite active in December and seems ready to take an extended holiday break. The team isn’t currently scheduled to compete at any event until the IEM XIV World Championship in Katowice in February.