They did it again, the best Danish squad Astralis made a name for themselves for the second time this year winning ESL Pro League Season 7 and the lion share of its $750,000 prize money
The European stars managed to outdo their NA opponents at the finals Team Liquid, who also gave their all in the decisive Best of Five match. However, it was Astralis to be the last standing in the end of the night.
The maps played included Dust II, Mirage, Nuke and Inferno. Cache was the leftover decider map from the veto phase. Astralis dominated Liquid on map one, Dust II, without even breaking a sweat. Liquid then put up a much better fight on Nuke, but Astralis still came through late in the game on their CT-side to gain a 2-0 series lead.
Despite the crushing losses, Liquid persevered and overcame fan expectations by winning Mirage in round 30. Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth gave some momentum to Astralis during Mirage because of a one-vs-three clutch in the second pistol round. But at the same time, Keith “NAF” Markovic led the charge in impact frags on Mirage, especially in round 30, while the rest of his teammates won smaller clutches earlier in the game. This resulted in Astralis suffering their first map loss of the tournament.
The North Americans simply delayed Astralis’ victory, however, before the Danes found their stride again halfway through Inferno. Gla1ve and Emil “Magisk” Reif held the line on their CT-side as Liquid struggled strategically on offense—and Astralis eventually earned the title. Danish star AWPer Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz was easily the MVP of the finale, since he averaged 24 kills per map and attained a number of crucial multi-kills throughout the series.
Astralis are bringing back their prime as they’ve secured another championship in 2018—they won DreamHack Masters Marseille in April. Even though they were swept at IEM Sydney by FaZe Clan in the most demoralizing way, they still showed resilience this week by dominating the entire EPL Finals bracket, losing only one map in the process. The Danes’ clinical consistency will be tested in their next event, which is the ECS Season Five Finals in June.