Astralis couldn’t bounce back after their play-in loss at the hands of Gambit, and have been eliminated from the ESL Pro League Season 13 playoffs in their first match, the quarter-finals, by FURIA, who secured Vertigo (16-10) before closing the Danes out on their own map pick, Train (16-2).
“I don’t think we expected a Train pick. We imagined they could do it, but it was very unlikely in our opinion,” Andrei “arT” Piovezan said in the post-match interview, “it was kind of a surprise, yeah. But a good surprise, in a sense!” FURIA will now face Heroic on Saturday at 19:00 in their fourth match of the playoffs after digging the graves of FunPlus Phoenix, G2 and Astralis.
The Danes on the other hand will start preparations for the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, where they are the top seed and will be facing OG in the first round of the single-elimination bracket as the European combine’s last-minute addition of Shahar “flameZ” Shushan ended in them being given the bottom seed.
A quad-kill by Nicolai “device” Reedtz with the USP-S gave Astralis the first round of Vertigo, but FURIA struck back in the forcebuy and clutches by Yuri “yuurih” Santos and Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo kept the Brazilian squad ahead early on although the Danes regained the lead quickly, 5-3. FURIA then kicked into gear and linked five rounds in a row in a strong showing on the offensive to secure a lead at the half, 9-6.
arT came out on top in a 1vs1 in the second pistol round to increase his team’s lead on the CT side, and followed it up with another clutch in the first gun round, this time a 1vs2, with a perfectly tossed grenade against the bomb planter on the B site, after which FURIA were able to keep Astralis at bay to take the map 16-10.
Astralis stumbled on the attacking side of Train, getting three kills in the first five rounds and falling behind 0-9 before a fast B play put their first round on the board while also ending arT‘s 16-0 kill streak. FURIA didn’t slow down, however, and went right back to winning ways with a dominating defensive performance that ended in a 14-1 scoreline before switching sides.
Four USP-S kills by Emil “Magisk” Reif kept Astralis alive, but three opening kills by arT with a hero AK buy in the second round put the final nail in Astralis‘ coffin as the Brazilians went on to close the map and series out against an economically starved CT side, 16-2, to confirm their ESL Pro League semi-final appearance against Heroic.