The Grand Final for ESL Pro League Season 8 saw Team Liquid and Astralis compete against each other. Astralis has definitely seen a dip in their form, but it has not stopped them from winning LAN events. Coming into this match, they were up against a rival who has ample experience playing against them.
Team Liquid start off with a dominant Train
The first map was Astralis’ map choice and it was Train. But Team Liquid was very well-prepared for this map. Elige and NAF were exceptional in their performance on Train. They would constantly have aggressive performances throughout the map. Their performance only helped the team gain a lot of confidence. While Astralis were not particularly playing bad, they were unable to win key rounds to help their own economy. Team Liquid’s dominant T side half saw them end the half with a score of 11-4. While Astralis did manage a few rounds on their T side, it was only 5 rounds that Team Liquid won and sealed the map. Overall, it was a very dominant performance buoyed by Elige and NAF. For Astralis, Glaive had a particularly poor result on this map.
Map 2 is all about Glaive and his AWPing.
The second map was Mirage, a map that both teams are equally good on. However, Astralis did not have their star player in form. They were unable to provide any sort of good AWP positions for Device. As he failed repeatedly, his confidence was even lower. So it was not a big surprise to Astralis play the Double AWP without handing Device an AWP. The confidence of the team to adjust according to their current form is why this team is considered to be one of the best teams in the world.
With Glaive having some impeccable performances on the map including an ace on Mirage, Astralis seemed to have gained a lot of confidence. Device did not do well on this map, but between Glaive and Dupreeh, Astralis was able to find the right amount of firepower. Astralis were trailing for the better period on this map. However, they quickly recovered and managed a fantastic comeback on the map. Astralis won Mirage (16-11) and tied the series.
Inferno, yet another Astralis performance.
The third map seemed to go very similar to the second map. The halftime score was almost even at 10-5 but it was the second half that showed the Astralis dominance. Unsurprisingly it was Xyp9x with his excellent positioning and trade that was the top fragger. His ace on the B Bombsite definitely fired up the Danes who had all the momentum coming into this map. Astralis’ performance looked clinical on this map. It was not surprising since Astralis did choose the map themselves. Their efficiency on the map was quite high compared to that of Team Liquid.
Astralis won Inferno with the same score as Mirage [ 16-11].
Dust 2: Astralis seal the deal as Device starts getting key frags.
The iconic map of dust 2 started with Astralis continuing their momentum from the previous two maps. The Danish team was quickly able to rack up four rounds and were looking extremely dominant. Being an AWP heavy map, Device looked stronger on this map. This is always good news for the Danish team as Device is one of the world’s best AWP players. Team Liquid answered with their own Five rounds helped immensely by NAF and Elige, the two superstars on this team.
In the end, Astralis did manage to climb back within the half. A quick three round streak saw them end the half at 7 rounds. For Astralis, this was a very good result, especially with the mid-half momentum for Team Liquid.
The second half started with an indomitable T side by Astralis. The Danish team had the perfect synergy and coordination to repeatedly take advantage in the rounds. Nicolai ‘Device’ Reedtz was getting key frags and opening up the rounds for Astralis. Once they get the key frags, Astralis was dominant in the way they would keep their advantage for themselves. Eventually, Astralis won the map, the series and the championship with a 16-10 scoreline.
Astralis is the Intel Grand Slam Champions
Astralis is the Intel Grand Slam Champions with being the first team to reach for victories. This is the final culmination and a statement by AStralis putting their stamp on the past year. The team is one of the most dominant teams in the CS: GO scene for 2018 and it comes from smart plays and exceptional coaching. With this victory, Astralis secure a total prize of $1,250,000. This includes the $1 million from Intel Grand Slam as well as the $250,000 from ESL Pro League Season 8 LAN Finals.