Astralis capped off their dominant year with a huge win over Natus Vincere in the Grand Finals of BLAST Pro Series Lisbon. The first-ever two-time BLAST Pro Series winners took down the defending champions 2-1, going 16-4 in the final map, Dust2, to close out the series and walk out with the trophy in hand.
The lone new member of Astralis, Emil ‘Magisk‘ Reif, who joined earlier this year after the departure of Markus ‘Kjaerbye‘ Kjærbye, was named the tournament MVP. His first MVP ever, the 20-year-old rifler was absolutely phenomenal throughout the entire tournament. Among his standout performances was a 1.89 performance against FaZe Clan and a 1.72 performance against MIBR during the Group Stage of the tournament.
The 20-year-old finished BLAST Pro Series Lisbon 2018 finished the tournament tied with teammate, Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen, as the leading performers with a 1.39 rating across 8 maps.
With the win to end their dominant year, Astralis will enter 2019 with the hottest hand in the scene, and it’s not even close. In total, Astralis have won 4 straight LAN titles and 10 total for 2018 alone, including a huge win at the ELEAGUE Major in London and, of course, the Intel Grand Slam award. If they can keep their momentum up, Astralis will be poised to win their second straight Major at IEM Katowice 2019 in February of next year.
BLAST Pro Series Lisbon 2018 Recap
Hot on the heels of their win at ESL Pro League Season 8 in Odense, Astralis were absolutely dominant during the Group Stages. The Danes went 5-0 against the stacked lineup of teams. In fact, save for their 16-14 win against Cloud9 during Round 5 of the Group Stage matches, no team really came close to beating them. On the other hand, Natus Vincere, though still dominant, looked vulnerable at times.
In the Grand Finals, however, it seemed as if Natus Vincere finally found their footing. Playing on Overpass, the CIS juggernauts raced out to an 11-4 lead in the first half before taking the first game 16-7. Oleksandr ‘s1mple‘ Kostyliev and Denis ‘electronic‘ Sharipov, looked a lot more like their dominant selves in the win. But, outside of the two, it was the 30-year-old veteran, Ioann ‘Edward‘ Sukhariev, who provided Natus Vincere enough firepower to stave off the dominant Astralis squad as he posted a 1.41 rating.
Unfortunately for Natus Vincere, they were not able to sustain the momentum. As the map shifted to Cache, the Danes’ uncanny ability to reset in between maps showed itself. Even though they had lost quite convincingly earlier, they remained steadfast in their goal to win. Despite Egor ‘flamie”’ Vasilyev’s best efforts to keep Natus Vincere in the game, Astralis simply brushed their earlier loss off to tie the series in Cache, one of their “worst” maps as a team, with a 16-9 win.
With the momentum shifting entirely towards their favor, Astralis would close out the series with a 16-4 win in Dust2 to lift the trophy.
BLAST Pro Series Lisbon 2018 was the first BLAST Pro Series tournament outside of Copenhagen and Istanbul. To no one’s surprise, it was yet another successful turnout for the invite-only tournament. It was a spectacle through and through. Fans were treated to some of the best CS:GO teams in the world battling it out for two full days.
Now, BLAST Pro Series will be heading to São Paulo in March 2019 for the second leg of their international tour, which feature stops in Miami and Madrid, among others.
What do you think of Astralis’ win at BLAST Pro Series Lisbon 2018? Was their win ever really in doubt? Or was it exactly according to expectations? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.