The Danish squad displayed a level of skill we haven’t seen from them in a while as they decimated their opposition in China, winning the event without dropping a single map, only giving up 52 rounds in total throughout the entire event.

The stage was set for a mouth-watering rematch between the Danes and the Aussies, with every portend suggesting a victory for gla1ve and co. in the buildup. Not only have they already managed to win against 100 Thieves in the group stage of the event (16-10 Inferno, 16-9 Nuke), they followed it up with a mauling for the ages as they beat a resurgent FaZe Clan 16-0 and 16-2 in the semifinals. Though jks and co. were also fairly impressive against Vitality on the other side of the bracket, it wasn’t the same kind of historic prelude. The difference showed in the server as well, with Astralis sweeping the grand finals 3-0.

First it was a close win on Vertigo, a map which both teams displayed impressive skill on in recent months. In the end, the Danes were on the better end of both halves by the narrowest of margins, winning 8-7 on both the CT and T sides to snatch 100 Thieves’ map pick from them. As usual, device showed up at the business end of the tournament, posting a 107.4 ADR on the map., topping the charts by far.

Nuke was a much more straightforward showing, and it was Astralis’ dominant T side which caught the eye, netting them eleven rounds in the first half of the match. Their win seemed inevitable once they’ve mounted a successful defense in the pistol round and managed to convert the follow-up as well – and though jks and co. managed to fight back one of the eleven map points, a comeback never materialized.

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As it turned out, the quick 16-5 win on Nuke would not be the biggest of win of the series: Train was even more of a one-sided affair. 100 Thieves failed to convert the follow-up off the back of a pistol round win, and Astralis put up an almost flawless defense for the rest of the half. The Aussies only got the bomb down three times and didn’t manage to win any after-plant situations, only picking up two further rounds before the interval. In fact, that’d be all the resistance they could put up: it all ended 16-3 as gla1ve continued his rampage which began on Nuke, leading by example as his team clinched their first title since the Berlin Major in September.

Though it was an impressive debut showing for 100 Thieves overall, the main storyline of the event has to be Astralis’ monstrous resurgence, losing less than six rounds on average per maps played – and, of course, not winning a single one. There’s a good argument to be made that no team managed to reach the peak levels of play they’ve showcased during their dominant era, and if they’re returning to that kind of form, the tail end of the year is going to be incredible to witness.

Photo credit: HLTV