G2 didn't stand a chance

Astralis deal with G2 in ESL One: Road to Rio final

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Astralis win ESL One: Road to Rio EU

Astralis taught G2 a lesson in the ESL One: Road to Rio Europe final. (Image credit: Astralis via Twitter)

Astralis reminded everyone who’s the CS:GO boss at ESL One: Road to Rio. The Danish machine rammed through G2, FaZe Clan and G2 again in the playoffs, not even coming close to losing a map to secure their first tournament win of the decade.

The Astralis mechanism is clicking again

And everyone should be scared, because we all know what happens when these particular Danish boys are on their A game. What happens is – you can’t get a damn map off of them! G2 and FaZe Clan found that out the painful way.

The French got it worse as they had to face Astralis not once, but twice in the span of three days. Their first encounter in the upper semi-finals was one-sided but once the French made it back for the Grand Final, we expected a little more from them. Keep your expectations low and you won’t be disappointed is what some say, and they were right on the money in this case.

Ah, but we’re not ready to go through the final yet! Let’s talk about what happened beforehand. What happened is that FaZe – the only undefeated squad going into the playoffs… lost twice in a row. The upper bracket final vs. Astralis was as straightforward as you’d expect by now. Still, the 16-12; 16-7 result feels like a decent effort on FaZe’s part all things considered.

The good news for the Clan – they weren’t out of the competition. The bad news – they were out of the competition after their next match. A loss to Astralis is never a shame – that’s the first paragraph in the CS:GO Constitution, but losing to G2 must have stung. Not that the French are a weak side, not in the slightest. It’s just that, when you go undefeated in your group, which includes a win over G2 by the way, you expect more, damn it!

Yet FaZe faltered at the final steps and let G2 go through to the final for the most unmemorable last match of any event not named Starladder Major Berlin in the past gazillion years.

As for the final, it was trash at worst and a bore fest at best. G2 didn’t have anything to offer this game. The veto itself screamed “surrender” as Astralis were gifted their arguably two best maps to begin the match. So it shouldn’t shock anyone when I say they mopped the floor with the opposition on Nuke and Vertigo – 16-6; 16-2. This is the Danes’ debut tournament win of the calendar year and it’s going to be interesting to see if they can replicate 2018 and 2019 when they followed a similarly slow start with the most dominant stretches the CS:GO professional scene has ever had the honor of beholding.

Team Spirit show FaZe how it’s done

Where FaZe failed, Spirit succeeded. The ESL One: Road to Rio CIS champions entered the playoffs with a 100% win record and kept the percentages intact with two mor victories. Virtus.pro snapped a map in the semi-final, but the 2-1 final result is a bit deceiving as Spirit took the deciding map 16-4 and were never ever close to defeat.

The Grand Final versus Winstrike Team had a bit more potential. Spirit’s defense was stuff of legend, though, and made sure the match was going to end in two maps. Winstrike held their own on D, which gave them solid 10-5 and 11-7 leads on Dust2 and Nuke, respectively, but the plays they run on offence did not cut it. Spirit lost three rounds on the CT side on each map – including a nine-round run to end the game on Nuke, to complete a flawless tournament run and gain some much needed Regional Major Ranking points.

Astralis’ intense schedule continues with DreamHack Masters Spring where they play in the opening game tomorrow versus Heroic. Expect extensive coverage of the event on our site as usual.

Kiril Stoilov

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