Astralis are the first guaranteed semifinalist at the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals after winning the Group A upper bracket final against Team Liquid.
Astralis continue to be Liquid’s nightmare in 2018 as yet another meeting between the two teams was dominated by the Danish squad. Phenomenally, this was Liquid’s twelfth successive defeat in a non-Bo1 format at the hands of Astralis, going back to last year’s ESL One New York. Eleven of those defeats came in 2018, four in event finals. Probably the most troubling statistic of all is that TL only gathered two map wins in those twelve matches.
So it should really come as no surprise that the Americans have once again failed to get a map victory in this matchup. It all started with a solid 9-6 CT half for Astralis on Inferno. As this is a generally CT sided map, that was not the end of the world for Liquid, but their own CT side betrayed them and they were facing at the barrel of a Nuke being one map down.
The only thing that could be said about this Nuke game is that Astralis were going for an extension of their 26-game LAN winning streak on this map. Liquid did not look like a team that could put an end to that run right from the start. Despite winning the pistol and going 4-1 up as CTs, the Americans surrendered the first half 9-6. Moving to the toughest side to play in competitive CS:GO did not boost their chances and there were no surprised faces when Astralis crossed the finish line at 16-8.
This result means Astralis will have a day for rest tomorrow and will enter the Sparekassen Fyn Arena on Saturday for the semifinal stage. Team Liquid will have no such luxury and will resume their participation in the quarterfinals.