The Danes bounced back from their poor start to the tournament with a convincing victory to stay in the race for a spot in the best-of-three final. In a match between the two best teams in recent history, Astralis were clearly the better side as they took control of proceedings practically from the offset and never let go against a Liquid side who were outfought and outsmarted.
The North Americans quickly realised that they were facing a hostile environment at the Royal Arena as Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski‘s 1v2 clutch in the pistol was met by jeers from the vociferous home crowd, who then roared aloud as Astralis answered back in the next round.
Liquid went through a dry patch as they lost five rounds in a row without planting the bomb even once, forcing Nick “nitr0” Cannella to call a tactical pause in an effort to halt Astralis‘ momentum. But the pattern of the game would not change for them: any round that Liquid round was quickly countered with a round by the Danes, who set up great crossfires and won the vast majority of the duels as they strolled to a 12-3 lead.
Now playing on the CT side, Liquid took the pistol round with a great ramp hold to find some much-needed breathing room. But just like in the first half there would be no follow-up as Astralis hit back immediately off the back of two entry kills from Emil “Magisk” Reif on the upper site.
Astralis kept the momentum going and reached match point at 15-5 as Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen came up huge with a trio of kills to turn a 2v4 situation around. With their backs against the wall, Liquid dug deep in search of overtime, but their resistance collapsed in the 26th round as the Danes laid the game to rest to keep their qualification hopes alive.