We have the first finalists of ESL One Cologne. Against all odds, the French organization, Vitality beat one of the best teams, Astralis. Vitality will now play the winner of the match between Team Liquid and Natus Vincere.
The first map of the series was picked up by Vitality and it was Dust II. Alex McMeekin’s tactics completely countered the strategy of the Danes from the start. In the first half Astralis failed to win back to back rounds and going into the break, Vitality was impressively leading 11-4.
After the break, the Danes failed to get control of the game. The side did manage to win three rounds back to back yet they couldn’t find their way back to the game. Dan “apEX” Madesclaire was simply phenomenal. He managed to take down four Astralis players in a single round to end the game for Vitality, 16-8.
The second map of the series was Inferno and it was picked by Astralis. Yet, things didn’t start to well for the side. Since apeX outplayed the opponents in a 1v3 clutch situation to get the French side the first point of the map. He was exceptional in the following round as he took down to players single handedly to get a 0-2 lead. Both teams exchanged rounds in the first half but Astralis just nailed it to get a 8-7 advantage at the break.
The Danes showed why they picked Inferno, as they sailed off to a 12-7 lead. The eight point of the Frecnh side came after RpK’s impressive 1v3 clutch in the 20th round. This motivated the team to push the game to overtime. This just showed that Astralis has lost its touch and is not the best team in the world anymore.
In the first half of overtime, Vitality managed to win two consecutive rounds. They tried to win the third one by executing a fast play on the bombsite A. Yet their plans were spoiled by Nicolai “device” Reedtz who managed to get an Ace on his AWP.
In the second half of overtime, the Danes managed to pull the game back in their favor. All the credits of the victory on the map goes to Xyp9x and Device. Since the duo time after time won impressive clutch victories. Astralis won 22-19 and tied the series 1-1.
The last map of the series was Overpass. It seemed like Astralis had a good start to the game, since it managed to get an early 2-0 lead. But the French were having none of it and the in-game leader of the side, Alex continued to wreak havoc on the map. At the break, Vitality was leading by the slightest margins, 8-7.
After the break, Vitality started well by winning the pistol round. The side executed its plays to perfection. Since Astralis was unable to cope with the grenades plays of the French. Meanwhile, Zywoo was god-like on the AWP and managed to slow down the progression of Astralis. Vitality had little to no problems in closing out the series as the won 16-9.