More than a year and a half after winning ELEAGUE Major, Astralis come out on top of another Valve-sponsored event. But tonight, unlike in Atlanta, they did not even have to go the full distance to have the trophy in their possession. There was almost no Aleksandr “s1mple”Kostyliev tonight, putting all of Na`Vi’s hopes on the young shoulders of Denis “electronic”Sharipov, who did his best to keep the team afloat. But it was simply not enough to hold off the Danes, who were in control from the get-go and wrapped things up after just two maps, never letting their opponents even hit double digits.
It all started on Nuke, Astralis’ map pick, where the Danes had been on an impressive 18-0 run on LAN. Egor “flamie” Vasilyev opened up the action in the pistol round with a trio of kills on the lower site to help his team stave off the Danish offense. Na`Vi followed that up with both anti-ecos, but Astralis hit back after buying up.
The Ukrainian team came close to responding immediately, but the lack of a defuse kit cost them the round. That was the start of a dominant run from the Danish team, who dictated the pace for the remainder of the half and lost just one round before switching sides – in a massive 1v3 clutch by electronic.
Down 4-11, Natus Vincere kept themselves in the game with a team ace in the pistol round. After losing to a force buy, the Ukrainians responded in the same style, but a questionable mid-round call saw them lose the next round, in which Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander’s timely smoke outside delayed the Terrorists’ push towards secret and ultimately left them without time to plant.
With the momentum in their favour once again, Astralis set up a very strong defence and closed out the map at 16-6 – a heavy loss for Na`Vi, who could not capitalise on their pistol round wins.
Next up was Overpass, where Astralis had lost their last game against Natus Vincere on this map, back at ESL One Cologne. The Ukrainians were shut down in the pistol round, losing all players without even getting near a bombsite. A third-round gamble simply did not pay off, putting Na`Vi down 0-4 and with nothing to show for it.
After getting their economy back on track, Na`Vi took control of proceedings without even needing AWPs and equalised the score at 5-5. Two big mistakes from Na`Vi then swung the tide back in Astralis‘ favour, with the Ukrainians losing to a near full side before leaving it too late to plant the bomb in the following round. A timely flank from Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev put Na`Vi back on the map and punished Astralis for giving up A control, but the Danes refused to ease off the gas and closed out the half with a 9-6 lead.
Now playing on the Terrorist side, Astralis picked up where they had left off and stormed the B site to win the pistol round without losing a single man. The Danes followed that up with both anti-ecos, and the first full gun round also went their way following some scrappy duels on the B site.
With no margin for error, Na`Vi dug deep and fended off Astralis‘ executions for a while, but their resistance came to an end in the 24th round. Up against a team with six match points and with little more than a couple of CZs, Danylo “Zeus”Teslenko‘s men simply could not prevent the Danes from running away with the match.
FACEIT Major 2018 final standings:
1. Astralis – $500,000 + Legend status
2. Natus Vincere – $150,000 + Legend status
3-4. Liquid – $70,000 + Legend status
3-4. MIBR – $70,000 + Legend status
5-8. FaZe – $35,000 + Legend status
5-8. compLexity – $35,000 + Legend status
5-8. BIG – $35,000 + Legend status
5-8. HellRaisers – $35,000 + Legend status
9-11. NiP – $8,750 + New Challenger status
9-11. G2 – $8,750 + New Challenger status
9-11. fnatic – $8,750 + New Challenger status
12-14. Vega Squadron – $8,750 + New Challenger status
12-14. TYLOO – $8,750 + New Challenger status
12-14. Cloud9 – $8,750 + New Challenger status
15-16. mousesports – $8,750
15-16. Winstrike – $8,750