FaZe Clan have taken home the $300,000 StarSeries Season 3 event, after defeating Astralis in an extremely close final.
The first map of the series, Mirage, went the full distance. Both sides were constantly trading rounds with one another, ending the map’s first half with an 8-7 score in favor of FaZe. The European team even proceeded to win the following pistol round—making it their 13th overall pistol round win at the event.
But despite the economic advantage of FaZe, Astralis began turning more and more rounds to their favor—largely due to an incredibly solid performance from Nicolai “device” Reedtz. FaZe’s lead was eventually erased. It took a full 30 rounds to do it, but Astralis stole Mirage away with a 16-14 victory.
The European squad didn’t seem to have taken the loss on Mirage lightly, however, and completely dominated Astralis in the second map of the series. Playing on Nuke, Astralis were only able to pick up six rounds in total, bringing the game to a third deciding map in rapid succession.
Inferno would be the final map of the series. Despite getting off to an early lead, Astralis quickly came back in the first half of the map, surpassing FaZe with a total of 10-5 in rounds by the end of the first half. One of the biggest heroes for Astralis on the CT-side was undoubtedly Markus “Kjaerbye” Kjærbye, who consistently shut down any play FaZe attempted to make on the A bombsite, shattering the European team’s attempts at planting the bomb.
FaZe roared back in the second half, and were able to catch up to the Danes’ lead and forcing the final map to an overtime scenario. Continuing to trade rounds, the game seemed to be balanced on a knife edge. Finally the dam burst for Astralis, and the European dream team took home their first ever tournament victory in CS:GO.
The win means that in-game leader Finn “karrigan” Andersen succeeded in defeating his former teammates in Astralis after being removed in October. FaZe’s victory also marks the very first international LAN title for the team’s Bosnian superstar Nikola “NiKo” Kovač. Despite his status as one of the best players in the game, NiKo struggled to achieve any kind of success on a middle of the pack Mousesports side.
Most of all, the victory puts the European squad firmly within the top tier of CS:GO—and sets the stage for a rivalry between FaZe and Astralis that could define the competitive year.