Astralis were crowned champions of the DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018 after defeating Natus Vincere 2-0 in the event’s grand final on Sunday. The Danish team won the trophy after an impeccable run through the whole tournament in which they dropped only a single map and demonstrated their top form.
The Bo3 grand final kicked off on Nuke, picked by Astralis, where the Danish side took the first pistol round as CTs and got the next four while applying constant pressure on the CIS side. At 5-0, Na'Vi finally got their first round and managed to disrupt the Danes’ momentum, bringing the score to 6-2. Astralis’ response came in the next round when the Danes bet on a full cz75a buy which complicated things for Na’Vi.
The Danish side resumed their run through the first half finishing at 13-2 in their favour at halftime, and without giving Na'Vi much of a chance to take a point.
After the switch, Astralis continued to expand their advantage by taking the pistol round. The teams traded a few rounds and it all came down to a 1v3 clutch by Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth for Astralis to end the map 16-4.
Judging from their drive on Nuke, it already looked as though Astralis could win the series 2-0, but it was time for Na’Vi’s pick, Inferno.
On map two, Na’Vi, starting off as the CTs, took the pistol round with a triple kill by Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov. Astralis went for an eco buy in the next round which ended up in a clean sweep for Na’Vi with a quad kill for Ioann 'Edward' Sukhariev. The Danes bought all AKs against Navi’s three SMGs and after a successful plant on B the score was 1-2 in Na'Vi’s favour.
The CIS side responded swiftly and took the next two rounds, expanding their lead to 1-4. The opening rounds on Inferno looked well, but that was until Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander' 3v1 clutch ended in a showdown of the in-game leaders in which Danylo ‘Zeus’ Teslenko killed ‘gla1ve’ but could not the defuse the planted bomb.
A tactical pause called by Astralis was followed by a technical one, as Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev showed good sportsmanship by alerting the organisers that he could see a reflection of the radar which could have given him an unfair advantage.
After the timeout, Astralis took the next six rounds. Na’Vi managed to get only two points before the halftime, when the result was 9-6 in favour of Astralis.
The Ukrainians started the second half on the T side taking the pistol round with a quad from s1mple, who was scoring a kill virtually on every shot. Na'Vi got the next two rounds, equalising the score at 9-9, but Astralis did not wait to respond and took the following four points, denying the CIS side a chance to climb back. The championship point for Astralis came from a great 1v1 kill by gla1ve through the smoke at ruins.
Astralis’ Dreamhack Masters Marseille 2018 title is a long-awaited one, as is the first since their win at IEM Katowice in February 2017. Their stellar performance throughout the tournament in Marseille reflects their continued top form since the team signed Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif to replace Markus ‘Kjaerbye’ Kjærbye.
The Danish team looks eager to win more titles and they surely will be seen as favourites in the upcoming IEM Sydney and the ESL Pro League Finals in May.