The Danes delivered a statement of intent as they took down the ex-Renegades squad in convincing fashion to confirm their status as a title contender in Beijing. Astralis even got off to a slow start to the series, but their dominance after that was absolute and they finished the match on a high, capitalising on some mistakes made by the Australians in key moments of both maps.
100 Thieves, riding the wave after posting a convincing victory over ENCE earlier in the day, came out with all guns blazing on Inferno as they raced to a 5-0 lead on the Terrorist side of Inferno. By then, Astralis had a combined five frags as things were looking dire for the Danes as they struggled to sustain the pressure, forcing coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen to call an early timeout.
Astralis battled back after that short break, but it was a successful eco round that really turned the tide of that first half. The Danes put the Kriegs to great use and set up a water-tight defense to secure a 9-6 advantage.
Sean “Gratisfaction” Kaiwai brought Astralis‘ streak to an end with a quad-kill with a CZ in the second half pistol, with 100 Thieves winning the next round to bring the deficit to a minimum. However, that was as far as they went: Astralis took control of proceedings after that and ran away with the lead after keeping their opponents from stringing rounds together, eventually running out 16-10 victors.
The Danish team kicked things off on Nuke with a 4-0 lead after overturning a 2v4 situation in the pistol round and a 3v5 situation in the first full gun round following a Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth ace. After a highly-contested period in which rounds went back and forth, Astralis threatened to run away with the lead, but 100 Thieves rallied back to keep the deficit to three rounds by the end of the half.
Now playing on the Terrorist side, 100 Thieves took the pistol round without losing a single player, but then they were handed a heavy blow as they fell apart in the ensuing round, bringing a smirk on zonic‘s face. The Danes rode that momentum to a 14-7 lead and fended off a late comeback attempt from the Australians to lock down the map in the 25th round and assure themselves of a spot in the single-elimination bracket.