After an up and down season, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's Astralis finally found their form against mousesports. During the last game before the ESL Pro League’s season 11 playoffs, Astralis delivered a dominant 2-0 win against mouz, who only managed four rounds total over two maps against the number one team in the world.
When all was said and done, it was the less mentioned players on Astralis, such as Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander and Emil "Magisk" Reif, that carried the team in the series. Both put up massive numbers, but Magisk was the star of the show. Astralis' youngest player tallied 42 kills and just 17 deaths alongside a 107.4 average damage per round statistic and a rare 2.0 HLTV rating.
The performance was marred by the lack of a dedicated observer for a match between two of the top-five teams in CSGO.
All too often, viewers were left watching players rotate as all the action happened offscreen or on different bombsites. All in all, Valve's subpar autodirector feature and ESL's lack of an observer ruined what was a fantastic match that showcased why many consider Astralis to be the best team in the world.
The best-of-three was over before it really got started. Astralis started out the series with a 16-3 win on Inferno, including a second-round force buy steal after losing the map's first pistol round. They allowed mouz just two more rounds before halftime. The Danes didn't give mouz any chance at a comeback after the switch, taking the map with four straight rounds on the defense.
Finn "karrigan" Andersen played poorly in the loss, taking mouz's bottom slot on both maps. On Inferno, the former Astralis in-game leader only had six kills total on the map and an poor 37.7 average damage per round. After the match, mouz’s in-game leader described the loss as an “ass beating” while Astrails’ Twitter account rubbed it in.
Dust 2 didn't go any better for mouz. Astralis missed out on the 16-0 shutout by giving up a round late in the first half, but it was the only one the Danes would give up on Dust 2. Astralis won the map 16-1.
The match gave viewers a preview of what could happen during the ESL Pro League semifinals, as Astralis and mousesports are set to meet again on Saturday. April 11, at 11:25 p.m. EDT. The match awards a spot in the EPL Season 11 grand finals where a solid Fnatic roster awaits the winner.
Fans should expect to see a similar game in terms of maps. Astralis is particularly well suited to matchups against mouz; the team’s permaban, Mirage, happens to be mousesports’ best map. Mouz second home is Dust 2, and Astralis has clearly made improvements to their play on the classic map since their brutal loss to Natus Vincere at IEM Katowice judging by their 16-1 win.
There isn’t much mousesports can do as far as Saturday’s veto goes. They weren’t targeting Astralis with their Overpass ban, they simply don’t play the map. Not only has the team banned it in nine out of ten EPL matchups, but also in 17 out of 18 matches they've played in 2020.
mousesports floated Overpass only once at in Katowice against a slumping TYLOO, while several other times the opposing team banned it for them. It is also Astralis’ best map. It also happens to be Astralis' best map.
It won't matter what Astralis' best map is if the Danish roster can replicate even half of that Counter-Strike prowess during Saturday’s matchup, it will signal that in addition to being the undisputed number one team on LAN, online Counter-Strike is now also the domain of the Danes.
After league’s began to favor the more competitive LAN formats, ESL Pro League Season 11 was one of the many esports tournaments affected by the global COVID-19 outbreak. The pandemic forced several global LAN leagues to go completely online. Due to latency and scheduling concerns, EPL S11 broke into North American and European groups. For the first time in its history, ESL Pro League will crown two separate champions in a single season.
While not a match that will pay out for outright bets due to Astralis’ 1.35 odds, there are opportunities for wagers in the deeper markets. Betway has mouz’s odds of winning zero maps set at 1.80. That’s generous given how mouz’s map vetoes have gone in 2020. The team effectively has one ban due to Overpass, and Astralis is simply too good on any combination of maps that could be drawn.
That said, if mouz miraculously gets Mirage through, Betway’s 2.80 odds for mouz to win a single map becomes very enticing.
Fans will get to see what, if anything, karrigan has had time to improve when mousesports faces Astralis again during EPL’s penultimate game of the European region on Saturday, April 11, at 12:25 p.m. EDT.