Astralis have assured themselves of a spot in the ESL Pro League 13 playoffs with a 2-0 victory over Endpoint, who, like fnatic, are out of the running for a spot in the next stage following this match. It was a clean victory for the Danish side, who were in control for the entirety of the series, apart from a brief period at the start of Inferno when it looked like the international team could put up a fight.
“I think we are kind of dissatisfied with where we are, but I think our practice results lately have been really great,” Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth said after the match. “We’ve been working on a lot of new stuff, especially pistol rounds, because we tend to lose those, but I don’t think we do anymore. I’d say we are at like 60 or 70 percent, but usually we tend to excel in the latter stages of tournaments.”
With Sunday’s victory, all that Astralis need to do to finish at the top of the group and qualify for the Play-In stage is to beat an already-eliminated fnatic side on Monday, but Xyp9x is wary of the threat posed by the Swedish team. “That’s kind of not good because they have nothing at stake, so they might play a bit randomly or without that much fear. It might be a disadvantage.”
Endpoint started out brightly and took the game to their opponents, winning the opening five rounds on Inferno, the last of which with a 1v3 clutch by Joey “CRUC1AL” Steusel. But their flame quickly burned out: Astralis tightened up and immediately took the upper hand, ending the half ahead by one round. The early stages of the second half were a thrilling and open affair as both teams looked to grab the ascendency, but then Astralis picked up the pace and ran away with the game.
The international team once again took an early lead on Dust2, but just like on Inferno, the landscape of the game changed dramatically once Astralis found their stride. The Danish team dominated the rest of the half, limiting their opponents to just four rounds, and quickly hit map point after a bright start to their CT side. Kia “Surreal” Man still unlocked the Astralis defence in back-to-back rounds to keep Endpoint in the game, but their resistance was finally broken in the 24th round, when Robin “robiin” Sjögren was denied a heroic 1v3 clutch.