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What Did We Learn from Astralis Winning FACEIT Major London?

By Elias Wagner
Published on September 28, 2018
Astralis Winning FACEIT Major London

Well, well! Who would’ve thought that we would be here talking about a shift in balance in the CS:GO community? Astralis wiped out their competition at , and it looks like the tide is turning.

Not that I take this to mean that other more established teams are past their prime. It just seems like the new kids on the block have upped the ante.

It might have something to do with the fact that these young players are more motivated. Some of them have started their careers with CS:GO without the burden of past releases and have this natural enthusiasm to be competing in major tournaments.

The old boys are guilty of being a bit lethargic with their preparations. Although they are more experienced, they have allowed the new generation to swoop in and catch them off-guard.

What does that all mean for the more established teams? Is there a way to reclaim the old glory days? For insight on these questions and more, keep reading as I take a deeper look at how the FACEIT tournament unfolded.

The London Job

There’s no question that Astralis was one of the teams to watch out for. After winning the DreamHack Masters Marseille 2018, they have since won three titles, a second place, and one 3-4th finish in 5 major events.

They were one of the favorites to take the crown. Most bookies, such as Betway, had them priced at decimal odds of 2.00 despite them not winning the CORSAIR DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018.

Although they were a short price to win FACEIT London, Astralis were up against some though competition.

One of the other favored teams was FaZe. It’s true that they have had their struggles with the absence of olofmeister, who is arguably the best player on the roster. However, he did confirm his return prior to the tournament, so the team had everything in place to mount a challenge for the top spot.

NaVi was another team on the up. While Astralis’ name was doing the rounds, the Ukrainians had racked up some small-tier titles in events such as the CS:GO Asia Championships and StarSeriesi-League Season 5.

They were not viewed as a clear favorite, but the players were syncing better than ever and were raring to go.

Another team standing in Astralis’ path was BIG. They are not considered as one of the top teams, but individually, their players have always been in amongst the best pros. With time to prepare for the tournament, the Germans were regarded as one of the teams who could surprise us.

Last but not least, and quite possibly the biggest dark horse in London – MIBR. The team wasn’t having their best year, but the acquisitions of Tarik and Stewie2k from Cloud9 had fans in the community very excited.

The Brazilian organization now boasted two of the most coveted players in recent years and was ready to show the gaming community they can shift to a higher gear.

If there’s one thing we learned from the CORSAIR DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 tournament, it is that anything can happen.

As it happens, things in London unfolded pretty much according to expectations. Astralis, NaVi, MIBR, FaZe, and BIG all made the playoffs. Joining them there were also the minor challengers HellRaisers and compLexity. Although both teams did perform admirably, they went out in the first round.

Without a doubt, the main event at the quarter-finals was FaZe against Astralis. It was a case of out with the old and in with the new. The match was a close encounter throughout, but the Danish team ultimately prevailed and made a significant statement to the other contenders.

Liquid, who is currently ranked as the number-3 team in the world,was next. They were quickly brushed aside with a 2-0 win, and the Danes were now waiting to see who would challenge them in the final.

It was ultimately the Ukrainians from Natus Vincere who prevailed. The team showed great discipline and resilience and completely outclassed two of the tournament’s top favorites in MIBR and BIG.

Both losing teams will undoubtedly be disappointed in the manner with which they went out but will probably agree that NaVi deserved to go through.

The stage was set for a grand finale!

This year has very much belonged to those two organizations. Astralis was ranked at number 1, and NaVi was sitting in the number 2 spot. These two teams had everything to play for!

It didn’t go down well for the Ukrainians in the end. Right from the start, Astralis was the better team and thumped their opponents 16 – 6 on the first map.

It seemed then that the NaVi players got discouraged, and their opponent took full advantage.

The match ended in a convincing 2 – 0 win after a 16 – 9 scoreline on map 2, and Astralis had won the first-ever major to be hosted by FACEIT.

No one can say it was a big surprise that Astralis did it. However, there was a sense that they had done it in a very convincing manner. On top of that, there were some disappointing performances from the more established organizations.

These two things have brought everyone in the community to believe that the tide is now turning fast. Astralis won’t mind that for one second as they pocket the $500,000 in prize money and prepare for their next challenge.

But exactly who are the new CS:GO rock stars, and how did their team come to be? I take a deeper look at the background, players, and future goals of the new number-1 roster.

The Rise of Astralis

The Danish organization was founded in 2016 and obtained the rights to use the name by paying the original Finnish CS 1.6 team.

Astralis’ first steps were made at DreamHack Leipzig 2016. The team topped their group.However, they lost in the semi-final to Luminosity Gaming.

Their next LAN was the Global eSports Cup where they topped their group once again. They would go on to lose the semi-final but managed to claim the third place in the tournament.

ESL Expo Barcelona was next on the agenda, and the boys had to prepare for a different format. Each team was to have three lives, and a map loss would mean a life lost.

The team managed to win five maps,including triumphs over G2 Esports, x6tence, Team EnVyUs, and Dignitas. They lost a life to G2 and then had to play two games against Fnatic in the faux-final as the only two teams left.

The next stops were IEM Katowice and the eighth CS:GO major, MLG Columbus. Astralis was expected to do well in both tournaments and managed to get to the semi-finals. They lost to Fnatic and NaVi respectively, but there was a feeling the team was getting better.

Over the next few months, Astralis did not live up to the expectations at all.

A subsequent drop in form led to some embarrassing group exits and bad performances from Astralis. It was looking like the hype around them was dying down.

The team did somewhat return to what was expected from them towards the end of 2016. They finally managed to get to a final after beating SK 2-1. Astralis was expected to triumph against OpTic Gaming and started the match very well with a 16-9 win on Train.

Unfortunately for them, they lost the next two maps and had to settle for the silver.

Astralis would get their revenge sooner than expected. Just a week later, they reached the Esports Championship Series Season 2 final and had to go against OpTic again.

They had been impressive in the tournament so far, but people expected that OpTic would be able to beat them again.

However, the Danes proved too hot this time around and finally won their first major trophy. They have since won 7 tournaments, pocketing just over $4,000,000 in the process.

So, let’s see who are the guys making all the CS:GO headlines right now.

Current CS:GO Movers and Shakers

Here are details on some of the players having the biggest on CS:GO at the moment.

Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth

Although Andreas is just 23 years old, he is one of the experienced players on the roster. He is from the original Astralis lineup and has played both CS 1.6 and CS:GO professionally. He is currently playing as a support rifler for his team.

He has won 2 majors with Astralis and has racked up just over $900,000 in prize money. The FACEIT London Major was one of his best individual performances.

The rifler managed to get a rating of 1.16 with a +29 kill-death ratio.

Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen

Another one from the original roster, dupreeh is also the oldest at 25. He is a professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player and former Counter-Strike: Source player. His current role in Astralis is an entry fragger, which he returns to after being the team’s lurker for 2017.

Peter also had a very good performance at the FACEIT Major with a rating of 1.24 over the 10 maps.

Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz

Nicolai is the third and final player from the original Astralis roster. At just 23, he has been playing both Counter-Strike: Source and CS:GO professionally.

He has been absolutely killing it this year at clutch moments and is probably the best-performing Astralis player.

He did an interview at the start of the year saying he expected a rough road ahead. He had some health issues, and the individual skills on the roster weren’t giving him much hope.

Just nine months later, he has won the London Major and . It is always good to see a player who putsin the hard work to be rewarded, and dev1ce is definitely one of them.

Lukas “gla1ve”Rossander

Although not being a part of the original cast, Lukas is the current captain of the team. He is very disciplined and measured and personifies the intelligence and skill which characterize the current roster.

His preferred weapons are the AK47 and M4A1. Lukas poses a sick headshot rate of 47% and is generally viewed as the best aim in the team.

He played a huge role in Astralis’ 2 Major wins so far,and his ability to rally the troops has surely rubbed onto the rest of the squad in clutch moments.

A leader you can rely on, gla1ve will be instrumental in Astralis’ ambitions to dominate the CS:GO world.

Emil “Magisk” Reif

The new recruit in the Astralis ranks is just 20 years old. He has been described by the other members as an exciting and talented player with very good aim. His addition to the team paid off as Emil was one of the standout performers at the FACEIT London Major.

It was his first Major win, and his teammates let him lift the trophy, which was a very nice touch. Magisk looks to be the real deal, and he has certainly not peaked yet.He has time on his side to improve and the potential to develop into one of the top pros in the world.

He could well be the piece Astralis needed to start their own CS:GO dynasty.

The Takeaway

Although it wasn’t a big surprise, Astralis’ win in the London Major shook the CS:GO world in a way. The team’s hard work and talent have the fans and commentators talking about an Astralis era in the making.

The organization looks to have the right balance, and they are still very young and eager to improve. The boys on the roster are humble and intelligent and are not showing any signs of lowering their standards.

In a time where the old boys seem to be wobbling, and the other Danish teams like North are lagging behind, it may be Astralis whos take full advantage.

It’s true that other teams like NaVi are not far off skill-wise, and organizations such as s. However, they need to step it up, as mighty teams like mousesports, Fnatic, Virtus.pro, and G2 have completely fallen off the map.

What do all these shifts in balance mean for the CS:GO betting community? Here’s what you need to know if you want to bet on tournaments.

How Does This All Affect CS:GO Betting?

First of all, if you’re new to esports betting, I suggest you visit our expert guide to esports betting. You will find great advice and betting strategies, plus a lot of content on the latest news and upcoming events.

If you want to focus on Counter-Strike, the page to visit is the one where we recommend the best CS:GO betting sites. CS:GO has a massive role in esports betting, and here you will find the top places to bet. There’s also lot of helpful tips to prepare yourself for making the best wagers possible.

In terms of actual betting opportunities for CS:GO, next up is the event in Istanbul. Astralis will be the clear favorites for winning it since many of the other in-form teams will not be around.

The only significant hurdle for the Danes will be MIBR. Despite failing to impress in London, the Brazilian team still has a lot of quality and can surprise anyone.

Another tournament just around the corner is the ESL One New York 2018. NaVi is in the lineup and will be looking for revenge. They are the clear favorite for me with the way they performed in the London Major and the fact that Astralis will not be competing there.

All in all, it is an exciting time in the CS:GO world, and if I have to give a final prediction, it will be that Astralis and NaVi look to be way ahead of the pack.

Unless things change dramatically, those two teams will likely represent the best betting value for the rest of this year’s tournaments.

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What Did We Learn from Astralis Winning FACEIT Major London?
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What Did We Learn from Astralis Winning FACEIT Major London?
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A look into the mechanics behind Astalis’ victory in London, and the threat this team now poses to the current CS:GO order.
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