Astralis recovered from Thursday’s defeat to Evil Geniuses as they beat Liquid in back-to-back overtime games to pick up their first victory in ESL Pro League Season 13. The Danish team left it late to claim victory on Overpass after letting a 14-2 lead slip, and then wrapped things up on Dust2, where they fought back from a 1-7 deficit and a map point down.
Nicolai “device” Reedtz put in another brilliant display, topping the scoreboard on both maps and keeping Liquid from taking the series to a third map with some crucial rounds in the second half of Dust2. The much-needed victory has the added bonus of extending the Danes’ winning streak against Liquid to ten matches.
“I think both teams played really well, it was very close and could have gone either way. I’m happy that we managed to close out the game,” Emil “Magisk” Reif said after the match, adding that the team is still trying to shake off some rustiness. “I think we are going in the right direction. I think you could feel yesterday that it was our first official game in quite some time. I think we need a bit more official matches to get back into it, but I feel improvement from game to game.”
Astralis came out with fire in their bellies and took the game to their opponents during the first half of Overpass. device and Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen combined for 42 frags as the Danes’ defence shut down Liquid, who were limited to just two rounds in the half.
Astralis were unwilling to take pity on their opponents and added to their lead with a 1v2 clutch by Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth after the break, but there would no follow-up as Liquid hit back immediately on a force-buy to claw their way back into the game. The North Americans’ double AWP setup proved ruthlessly effective against Astralis as Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo‘s troops kept the Danish players at bay for the remainder of the half to force overtime.
Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski opened the action on Dust2 with a quad-kill in the pistol round to fire Liquid into an early lead, with Michael “Grim” Wince helping to keep the team ahead with key clutches, one of which in a 1v3 situation. Things were looking bright for the North Americans as they picked up a 7-1 lead, but Astralis came fighting back and reduced the gap to a solitary round before the side switch.
A stunning quad-kill by device in the pistol round set the tone for the early stages of the half as Astralis went on a 5-1 run with a tight defence. The Danish AWPer also came to the team’s rescue late in the half as Liquid threatened to run riot, first with a crucial 1v2 clutch and then with an ace in the final round of regulation, to help push the game to overtime – in which Astralis would win four rounds without response.