The group stage in New York came to a close with a rather uneventful encounter despite Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen‘s best attempts to hype it up. Unfortunately for him, his team could not walk the walk, not even on their map pick – where the scoreline could have been even worse had Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke not pulled off two great clutches. The 22-year-old was nowhere to be seen on the second map as OpTic continued to lack solutions to stop an in-form Astralis side, who will proceed to the playoffs to take on Liquid in yet another non-final series.
The all-Danish clash began on Nuke, OpTic‘s map pick. The gamble from MSL, who had banned the map in the previous encounter with Astralis, quickly backfired as his team were outplayed and outsmarted during the opening stages, resulting in an 0-8 deficit following a disastrous start to the game.
OpTic made the most of that short break and finally got on the board with little more than Desert Eagles. There would be no follow-up, though, as Astralis kept their defense very tight for the remainder of the half, with OpTic‘s round wins coming off the back of great individual plays – a 1v3 clutch from k0nfig and a quad kill with the AWP from MSL.
k0nfig single-handedly kept OpTic in the game with another 1v3 clutch in the pistol round, but the team’s resistance would not last long. Astralis kicked into a higher gear once they had money in the bank and won four rounds straight to take the map and the lead in the series.
And then came Dust2, the map that everyone wanted to watch after MSL had dared Astralis to pick it. The game started at a frantic pace as rounds went back and forth and the teams kept trading ridiculous Desert Eagle shots, but then Astralis ran away with the lead and took ten rounds into the second half despite a brief reaction from OpTic following a superb quad-kill from René “cajunb” Borg with the AWP inside B.
OpTic responded by winning the pistol round, but their hopes took a huge dent as Astralis hit back with Desert Eagles and a Scout. Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander‘s troops refused to take their foot off the gas and kept their defense very compact as they dished out another beating.
With the group stage now behind us, the semi-final pairings have been determined. Liquid will take on Astralis in a mouth-watering clash to open the action at the Barclays Center, with Evil Geniuses facing G2 afterward.
Below you can find the schedule for the playoffs:
Sunday, September 29
19:00 – ESL One NY Grand Final | BO5