Astralis defeats Virtus Pro to advance to 2021 IEM Cologne semifinals

You can never doubt Astralis on LAN.

Photo via ESL

Astralis have booked a spot in the 2021 IEM Cologne semifinals following a nail-biting 2-1 victory (19-16 on Overpass, 20-22 on Dust II, and 16-8 on Inferno) over Virtus Pro today in the first quarterfinal match of the day.

This was the first time that Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen, who had been a sub for most of his stint with Astralis, seemed to feel confident playing with the core of the legendary Danish CS:GO lineup. The 23-year-old is playing in his first big stage playoffs with Lukas “gla1ve” Andersen and crew and showed signs of the player he once was on MAD Lions. He led the leaderboards in rating (1.23) and ADR (83.8), even though he was second in terms of his number of frags (77) to Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth (84).

This is quite a result for the Danish team, who beat another top-10 squad in the world—the other being Heroic—at the first CS:GO LAN in more than a year. They kept their cool today during crunch time and won most of the crucial rounds against VP. Xyp9x said in the post-match interview that the energy is different on LAN.

“I feel like we can just feel the energy in the team much more and just being away from your own home or the office. I feel that we just have a mojo when we get to LAN and we showed it today,” Xyp9x said. “I feel she should have closed the game on Dust II but we went to Inferno and we kind of stomped them there.”

There were significant doubts regarding Astralis’ form for IEM Cologne, especially because the team has been rotating the AWP between gla1ve, Bubzkji, Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, and Emil “Magisk” Reif. They were punished for that much more in online tournaments than they have been on LAN so far. Reaching the semifinals is already a good achievement, but it seems like they’re feeling confident enough to win the whole tournament.

Astralis will face G2 in the first semifinal match on Saturday, July 17 at 9am CT.