Astralis has emerged victorious of the ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe after beating Natus Vincere in the Grand Final. This is the third time Astralis has earned an ESL Pro League trophy in their team’s history, and they did so after coming through the Lower Bracket.
The Path to Redemption
The main story of Astralis in the EPL this season has mainly been about bedding in a new team. Astralis has opted in for a seven-man roster after their players have repeatedly taken time off for burnout. Throughout the event, Astralis has played with Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen, Patrick “es3tag” Hansen, and their returning IGL, Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander.
Astralis found mixed results early on in the EPL after having a slow start. Nevertheless, by Week Two of the regular season, the team got glaive back and began to play with es3tag more for the regular season. Then by the end of the Regular Season, Astralis had managed to push themselves at the top of their group.
Although, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Astralis in the Playoffs. The Danish side lost their first match against Danish rivals Heroic and then made their way into the Lower Bracket for the ESL Pro League Season 12 European Playoffs. From there, the side began the next stage of their redemption story as they looked to advance through the Playoff bracket.
The redemption story started off strong. Astralis drew Team Spirit in the Lower Bracket First Round, and they beat them 2-0. Moving on, they then matched up against a weakened Complexity as the team is playing with a substitute since the departure of Owen “oBo” Schlatter. Astralis too won the Complexity series 2-0, but things started to get a bit difficult with their next event against mousesports.
The series went 2-1 to Astralis, but the score doesn’t tell the full story. The opening match on Dust II was a heavy stomp for Astralis with a 16-3 victory. It appeared the Danes were about to get another stomp of a series, but mouz returned the favour with a 16-6 on Inferno. The final map on Nuke was super close, where Astralis ended up taking the map 19-17 in a hotly contested series.
The final hurdle for Astralis was Heroic, which set off a rematch between both of these teams. Heroic’s 2-0 victory had set Astralis on a warpath of redemption in the Playoffs, so this series meant everything to the team. Once again, Astralis secured another 2-0 for themselves taking down Heroic 16-13 on Vertigo and 16-12 on Overpass. With that storyline conquered, there was only one trophy left, the final.
The Grand Final
Natus Vincere was the team they met in the Grand Final after they had a successful Upper Bracket Playoff run. The team earned themselves a free win because of the success, so the pressure was on Astralis to make a comeback. The challenge of coming back only became harder as Na’Vi won Dust II 16-12. With the scoreline 2-0 to Na’Vi, Astralis needed to win three maps to win the series.
Lo and behold that is exactly what Astralis did. With their back against the wall, they then reverse swept the series with a 16-14 win on Nuke, 22-19 win on Train, and finally a 16-11 win on Overpass. Astralis overcame so many obstacles through the entirety of the ESL Pro League Season 12 Europe event. Above all, this Grand Final victory shows how much work they have put in to embed a new seven-man roster. Not only this, but they showed great adaptation and remained strong even when it looked like they were on the verge of elimination multiple times.
Astralis now has some time to prepare for the next few events they have to compete in. In addition, Astralis’ next big event is DreamHack Open Fall 2020 on 15th October- 25th October, followed by the BLAST Premier Fall starting on 29th October.
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