30 July 2018
Denmark’s Astralis again showed why they are widely regarded the best team in the world by comprehensively winning Eleague Premier without dropping a map. This was as dominant a tournament run and Grand Final as we’ve ever seen in CS:GO history – and largely one-way traffic, with the only minor difficulty a closer-than-expected second map against Team Liquid in the final.
Third time’s the charm
Astralis, on their third attempt at an Eleague competition outside of the Majors, managed to secure their first regular season Eleague title. After failing at Eleague Season Two against Optic and Eleague Premier 2017 against FaZe, they finally secured a title in the Eleague Atlanta Studios.
They also have the distinction of being the first team to simultaneously hold the unofficial triple crown of league titles in Eleague Premier 2018, ECS Season 5 and ESL Pro League Season 7. That’s a cool $1,000,000 in the bank thanks to that trio of wins. Interestingly all three of them were against Team Liquid. In Atlanta, Liquid had the extra emotional impetus that came with them dedicating the game to Epitácio “TACO” de Melo’s father who tragically passed away on Saturday. It would have been a magnificent tribute had Liquid succeeded, but Astralis were stubbornly sublime and unyielding on the server.
The Danish stars have also only lost at three offline events this year after acquiring Emil “Magisk” Reif. Those were Starladder i-League Season 4, IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne. Five wins out of eight LANs attended is an astonishing record.
This is the first team in CS:GO history that seems to have the ability to play all seven maps in the map pool with such proficiency. They are also one of the very few teams where all five players have the ability to take a starring role. However, I’d like to focus on a particular triple threat that I feel defines their current success.
The aforementioned Magisk has been an absolute terror to opposition teams on CT sides and has contributed massively to what must surely now be acknowledged as the most formidable defensive outfit in the game. His supreme command of spray control and ability to stay alive on A site defences has become the bedrock of their holds. Astralis’ victories are built on impressive Counterterrorist halves and Magisk has a lot to do with it. That’s been true of many of the best teams in recent memory.
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