Gambit Esports have produced the upset of the tournament after defeating defending major champions Astralis earlier today.
Many fans and pundits pegged Astralis to advance to the PGL Major final following their resounding quarterfinal win over SK Gaming, but Gambit had other ideas. The result was hard-earned, requiring a full three games and capped by a 16-12 victory on Train.
It was especially sweet for Gambit’s captain, Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko. As his former team Natus Vincere wilted in the group stage, Zeus posted a game-leading 24 frags on the deciding map to lead his team to its first major final appearance.
Astralis struggled back from a halftime deficit to nearly tie the decisive game in the second half, digging their heels into a potent defensive effort, something that has long been a trademark for the team’s core. But Gambit continued to move forward, reasserting themselves with repeated aggression towards the A bomb site and refusing to allow Astralis to comfortably settle into their defensive positionings.
The series ended appropriately with Astralis star Nicolai “device” Reedtz overwhelmed while attempting to anchor himself for a potential AWP play.
Rustem “Mou” Telepov got the series started off right for Gambit with a tremendous performance on Astralis’ opening map selection, Overpass. Mou’s game-leading 33 frags were punctuated by two AWP quad kills late in the first half.
Astralis’ sole map win came on Inferno in the second game. The Danes were in control throughout with Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth leading the charge. But the defending major champions were unable to find that form often enough in the series to prevent the upset.
A stunned Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev could barely speak during his post-game victory interview.
“I feel, I don’t know,” AdreN said. “No words.”
Gambit now move to the final in Krakow, where they will meet the winner of the second semifinal pitting Immortals against hometown favorites Virtus Pro.