BIG have joined NIP in qualifying for the BLAST Premier Spring Finals from Group A following a 2-0 victory over Astralis in the consolidation final. The German team scraped a 16-14 win on Vertigo after punishing the Danes with weak buys late in the game and then ran riot on Inferno, where they managed to overcome a 1-6 deficit with some stellar AWPing by Florian “syrsoN” Rische, who went 9-0 in opening kills and had 21 frags with the ‘Big Green’.
After the match, Astralis coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen admitted to being disappointed with the result and rued the team’s mistakes. The current world No.1 will have now less than two weeks to fix their shortcomings and consistency issues before the main stage of IEM Katowice, in which $1 million will be on the line.
Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen opened the game with a quad-kill in the pistol round, firing Astralis into an early lead on Vertigo, BIG‘s map pick. But the complexion of the game changed once both teams had money to work with: The rounds that Astralis edged out from that point were few and far between as BIG took control of proceedings, with Nils “k1to” Gruhne and Ismailcan “XANTARES” Dörtkardeş playing a central role as the German team picked up a 9-6 lead.
The second half began with a 1v2 clutch from Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz, but there was no follow-up as Astralis hit back immediately on a force-buy. The Danish team enjoyed a spell of dominance and eventually reduced the deficit to a solitary round, but then the game turned into a scrappy affair as neither side managed to assume control of the contest. In the end, two unlikely wins on shoddy buys saw BIG come out on top.
Astralis enjoyed a flying start on Inferno, strolling to a 6-1 lead on the T side off the back of an ace by dupreeh in a hectic pistol round. But then they met a brick wall in the form of syrsoN. The German AWPer, who had endured a quiet game on Vertigo, racked up 17 frags in the rest of the half to inspire BIG to a fantastic comeback, with Tizian “tiziaN” Feldbusch also proving key with two great individual plays, including a 1v3 clutch in the final round to give his team an 8-7 lead.
More misery was to come for Astralis, who lost the opening five rounds of the second half. The Danes then managed to put their foot down and bring BIG‘s streak to an end, but the German side responded immediately with nothing but pistols and simply ran away with the game.