Astralis defended their Major title successfully in the IEM Katowice 2019 grand final, becoming the third back-to-back Major champions and the second team with three Major titles.
The Danish squad defeated ENCE Esports 2-0 in the Grand Final of the 14th CS:GO Major, 16-11, 16-4 on Train and Inferno. Though there were some hopes of a competitive final, the separation in class was clear to see as Astralis were never confronted with a real challenge in the entire match.
ENCE’s only lead in this match came off when they won the opening two rounds on Train. The closest they came to disrupting the Danish comfort afterwards was a four-round run on the same map to bring the score to 11-14. An Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth 1v2 clutch two rounds later concluded the map with an Astralis victory anyway.
The Finns practically gave up after a few rounds on Inferno, all of which were going in the Astralis column, despite the favorites playing on the more difficult T side. ENCE made sure they would not get 16-0’d in the 11th round but still lost the half 14-1. From then on it was a question of when and the answer was round No. 20 – 16-4 the final score.
Emil “Magisk” Reif was chosen the tournament MVP. This is the second MVP of his career and the second straight in Astralis tournament wins as he also received the MVP medal in the Danes’ last title run in 2018 at BLAST Pro Series Lisbon.
This triumph placed Astralis next to the Luminosity/SK roster of 2016 and the old fnatic lineup of 2015 as the only teams to go back-to-back at Majors. In addition, they are now level with fnatic on three Major championships won. However, while fnatic lost one final to Ninjas in Pyjamas in 2014, Astralis hold a 100% success rate in Major finals.
Can the Danes’ spectacular winning streak continue uncontested? Only time will show, but, by the looks of it, they are still CS GO’s best team right now and in top form.