Danish powerhouse Astralis has now sent their Polish counterpart Virtus.pro out of IEM Cologne 2021, beating them 2-1 in the best of three pre-semis.
The best-of-three series served the delicious dishes to the CS:GO fans as Virtus pro’s resistance in the second map stretched the game to multiple overtimes post regulations.
The four-time major champions defeat the Russians in a breathtaking 3 map series to set up a semi-final date with G2 esports on Saturday.
In the first LAN back after almost 500 days, the Danes rise through the turmoil that was 2021, to show the world they weren’t done just yet.
Despite losing star AWper Nicolai ‘device’ Reedtz, they did not look fazed against VP, managing a close win on Overpass, losing a nail-biter on Dust2 before finally annihilating the CIS team on Inferno.
- Virtus.pro removed Nuke
- Astralis removed Mirage
- Virtus.pro picked Overpass
- Astralis picked Dust2
- Virtus.pro removed Vertigo
- Astralis removed Ancient
- Inferno was leftover
The veto was a standard one with both teams going for their perma bans, Nuke and Mirage respectively. VP picked into overpass, not going for any shock picks in the form of Ancient or Vertigo.
Astralis chose to play on Dust2, a map that has been their favorite with the current iteration of the roster. The series was to be decided on a map that is home to arguably every great series ever played in Counter-Strike, Inferno.
MAP 1: Overpass
(Picked by: Virtus Pro, Won by: Astralis, Final Score: 19:16)
The Danish side got off to a great start, stringing together a flurry of rounds on the CT side of their opponent’s map pick as they led 6:0 at one point. The half ended with a score of 10:5. VP managing 5 at the end of the half was respectable for a map like Overpass, as Astralis moved to the t side. The newest addition Lucas ‘Bubzkji’ Andersen continued his tear into the second half, starting off with an ace in the pistol round.
MAP 2: Dust2
(Picked by: Astralis, Won by: Virtus Pro, Final Score: 22:20)
Astralis’ map pick was a rather closely-knit affair, as VP chose to start on the T side and traded rounds back and forth throughout the half as no team seemed the clear favorite just yet.
Astralis ended the half with 9 rounds to VP’s 6 as they moved to the T side. On a playground for AWPers, Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali really showed what the Danes lacked, a competent AWPer, as he wreaked havoc on the CT side, racking up 6 without reply to put his team in the lead.
It’s said Big players step up when they’re needed the most, and that is exactly what Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth did, putting the team on his back to power them to their own streak of 5 rounds.
But it wasn’t meant to be as Mareks ‘YEKINDAR’ Gaļinskis powered them into overtime and eventually into a third map as he shut down the B bombsite on the defence, to lock Astralis out of there. ‘Xyp9x’ stood out with an incredible 40 frags, but they still fell short as they moved to Inferno.
MAP 3: Inferno
(Decider, Won by: Astralis, Final Score: 16:8)
The mother of all deciding maps, Inferno, stood between the two teams and a semi-final spot at IEM Cologne and the pressure was mounting. And under pressure is where the best of the best really thrives.
Astralis put up a solid defense, always keeping the economy under control and dictating the play, allowing VP only an odd round here and there as they established a streak of their own to end the half in the driver’s seat at 9:6, this time thanks to Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif. A great pistol round resulted in ANOTHER string of rounds from the Danish side, coupled with the tactical genius of ‘gla1ve’, and the clutch minister’s solid fragging power, Astralis closed the map out, 16:8.
Astralis face G2 esports in the semi-final, to battle it out for a spot in the final and $400,000 of the prize pool. Virtus pro bows out in 5-6th place to take home $40,000 as they think over things during the player break.