SK Gaming win inaugural BLAST Pro Series over Astralis
BLAST Pro Series, the shortest Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament of the year, ended earlier today in Copenhagen, Denmark, and SK Gaming are reigning champions once again.
SK Gaming defeated Denmark's finest in the grand final on home soil, with thousands of fans roaring in the favor of their opponents. After a hectic day of best-of-one group matches, Astralis and SK Gaming emerged at the top of the groups, which also included of the world's top competitors—FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas, North, and G2 Esports. They later played in a best-of-three series consisting of Mirage, Inferno, and Cache in the grand finals in the one-day event.
In map one Mirage, both teams dictated the pace and economy of the game on their Terrorist sides, but Astralis had the upper hand with an 11-4 score in the opening half. Even with star AWPer Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz on medical leave, Astralis outperformed a passive lineup of Brazilians, with Peter "dupreeh" Rothmann amounting 14 AWP kills and attaining a huge one-vs-four AWP clutch. Mirage concluded in favor of the Danes at 16-11.
SK kept their tournament life alive with an explosive 10-5 Terrorist start and an even better Counter-Terrorist side on Inferno. Despite the deficit, Astralis tried creeping their way back into the game after winning the second pistol round, but the Brazilian defense was too strong for them to handle. A set of crossfire setups overwhelmed the Danish side, ending Inferno at a 16-8 scoreline with SK's Ricardo "boltz" Prass top fragging the server at 22 kills.
Cache, the final map of the tournament, began with an offensive 9-0 lead from Astralis. But SK came back after a monumental tactical timeout to close the half 9-6. The second pistol round went to SK, and the match intensified as both teams traded rounds in an economic battle. Although Astralis' A site executes put them ahead late in the game at 14-11, SK's fortified site holds and coordinated retakes helped them tie the game 14-14. Cache then went into overtime, where a clutch SK won 3-1 to conclude the series 2-1 with a 19-16 final map score.
With their $125,000 win, Astralis have established their spot at the top of CS:GO once again before the final month of the year. The final tournaments of 2017 will be the ESL Pro League season six finals from Dec. 5 to 10 and the ECS season four finals from Dec. 15 to 17.