The world’s number one team reclaimed their crown at ECS while the #18 Russian side beat out Tricked in the grand final of DreamHack Open Winter 2019.
It was an eventful Sunday in the world of Counter-Strike with two high-profile tournaments both reaching their conclusion on the same day. The showpiece event was the grand final between Astralis and Liquid in Arlington for the ECS Season 8 title, but the playoff bracket of DreamHack Open Winter 2019 served as a decent appetizer for the main course.
In the end, it was forZe who ended up winning it all, triumphing over the newly-reformed GODSENT and Tricked on their way to the title. The grand final turned out to be a rematch of their Group A opening match, one which Tricked won 16-10 on Overpass. The Russians banned that map in the best-of-three grand final, leaving open Nuke and Train for the Danes to choose from. In retrospect, their decision to go with the latter doesn’t seem that great, considering how heavy their defeat was in the third map of the series. After a 16-11 win on Inferno and a narrow 16-14 loss on Vertigo, forZe closed out the matter with a 16-9 scoreline, taking seven rounds on the T side and only giving up a single on after the interval. With this, they got to take home $50 000 of the $100 000 prize pool and a seed for the next DreamHack Masters event.
Once again, gla1ve and co. turned out to be unstoppable at ECS, winning their fourth event of its kind with the same core after dispatching Team Liquid in a three-map series. It was the ninth meeting between the two titans this calendar year, and the third in the grand finals of an event. This time, it was Liquid who threw the Vertigo curveball – reminiscent of the series between the two sides at the Berlin Major – and they managed to edge out an overtime victory on the opening map despite a massive comeback by Astralis in the second half. Nuke, however, turned out to be a very different affair despite a monumental error on the Danes’ part in the pistol round, with the seven T rounds picked up a harbinger of things to come. A successfully converted second-half pistol round gave Liquid a strong numerical lead but they couldn’t find the answer to a fully-kitted Astralis defense, which meant that the map ended 16-11.
It meant that the series went to Dust 2 for all the marbles, and it wasn’t even close in the first half: a 12-3 T side by Astralis basically confirmed the result, and despite an impressive comeback attempt by the North Americans, the final scoreline read 16-8, an appropriate reflection of the Danes’ dominance on the final map.
This meant that Liquid’s four-month wait for a title continues as Astralis picked up their fifth trophy of the year. It was device once again who received the MVP award for the event, his fourth such personal accolade in the ECS finals.
Photo credit: HLTV