North overcome Astralis to win DreamHack Masters Stockholm

"Danish Counter-Strike is one hell of a drug." - Anders Blume

North are the champions of this year’s DreamHack Masters Stockholm.

Led by Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen, North defeated Astralis in the grand finals of the $250,000 event with a 2-1 series scoreline, winning Dust II and Overpass in the most surprising way possible. Astralis made the mistake of choosing Dust II, while North picked Train for map two. Overpass was then left as the decider map.

Related: Astralis move on to the DreamHack Masters Stockholm grand final

North somehow destroyed Astralis on Dust II 16-1, even after they lost that same map to Mouz in the semifinals 16-0. MSL wielded the AWP—despite not typically being a primary AWPer—and outplayed Astralis’ Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz on all fronts. A phenomenal T side paved the way to North taking map one.

Train was a much more one-sided affair in favor of Astralis, who commanded the pace throughout the first half at 10-5, giving up only two buys to North’s CT side. Astralis cleanly finished Train on top 16-6, with dev1ce top fragging the server with a 22-8 kill-death ratio and a 1.67 HLTV 2.0 rating.

Astralis and North traded three rounds each to start the third map, before Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander and crew pulled ahead toward the end of their T side at halftime. North then won the second pistol round, stumped the Astralis defense for a few buy rounds, and reset the Astralis eco late in the game. After rushing B three times in a row against weak Astralis buys, North completed the upset on Overpass 16-11. MSL top fragged the server at 26 kills to end the series.

North surpassed all expectations in the Danish Derby vs. Astralis, since toppling the “best team in the world” is a seemingly impossible feat to pull off twice in the same event. Unfortunately for Astralis, they’re looking like a weakened beast going into the New Challenger stage of the FACEIT London Major, which starts later this week.