Astralis are champions once again, and this time around, they’ve won the $660,000 ECS Season Five Finals in London.
The Danish juggernauts defeated Team Liquid 2-0 in the best-of-three grand finals earlier today, ending their run at FACEIT’s event without dropping a single map. Liquid chose Mirage as their map pick, while Astralis selected Dust II. Nuke was the leftover map from the veto process.
Astralis dominated map one Mirage all the way through and into the second half at 15-4, but Liquid somehow came back and strung defensive rounds together to put Astralis on the ropes. Of the 10 rounds won while Astralis were on game point, five of them were strong retakes won the North Americans in clutch situations—mainly by Epitacio “TACO” de Melo and Russel “twistzz” VanDulken. In round 30, Nicholas “nitr0” Canellas almost forced overtime with a one-vs-three clutch, yet he was denied on the retake by Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, who finished with 27 kills.
Liquid took advantage of Dust II’s T-side favored tactics and commanded the second map with a 10-2 lead to start. Astralis then found their way back into the game, winning 12 rounds in a row. The Danish explosive offense revealed Liquid’s CT-side vulnerabilities, and they finally closed out the series with a 16-11 scoreline. Site anchor Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth led Astralis in the kill column at 26 kills, while Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski dropped a 30 bomb in his team’s loss.
This championship win in London is Astralis’ second straight title in events that they’ve attended. They previously dominated Liquid at the EPL Season Seven Finals last month, and the Danes have continued their dominance halfway through the year. Overall, Astralis have already won three championships this year—at DreamHack Masters Marseille, the EPL Finals, and the ECS Finals—and they’re on track to make 2018 the “Astralis Era.”