Astralis get to add another title to their stacked trophy case as they successfully defend their title from a surging MIBR squad to win ECS Season 6 at the Esports Stadium in Arlington and take home $250,000.
Heading into the LAN finals of ECS Season 6, all eyes were on Team Liquid and Astralis to meet up in the Grand Finals once again. The fact that they played in separate groups helped fuel the anticipation. But, after a winless performance during then Group Stages, any hopes of seeing Team Liquid try and finally vanquish the Danes were quickly dropped. Instead, what we saw was an MIBR squad that topped their group, beating Astralis to do so while Ninjas in Pyjamas surged ahead of everybody in Group B.
After surviving tightly contested semifinals, however, MIBR and Astralis would face off once again in the Grand Finals. Only this time, it was the trophy and a lion’s share of the $660,000 prize pool on the line.
ECS Season 6 Grand Finals Recap
As has always been the case when these two teams have met in the past, the Grand Finals of ECS Season 6 was quite the tense affair.
Kicking things off with Astralis’ map pick, Inferno, the two teams battled round per round as neither would surrender an inch. Although Astralis would take the lead into the half, it was still anyone’s game as the rounds were essentially tied at 8-7. Eventually, however, Astralis would race out to take the lead. Even though MIBR threatened to come back into the game later on, Astralis played things out calmly and with their signature composure to take the map 16-14.
In the second map, Overpass, things looked pretty good for MIBR. At one point, they had led 15-11. But, as Astralis have done so many times in the past, they dug deep and clawed their way back to force overtime, to which MIBR countered back to force out another double-OT game.
With both teams tied with a map score of 18-18, Nicolai ‘dev1ce‘ Reedtz would come away with three kills to give Astralis the first win of the double-OT. Andreas ‘Xyp9x‘ Højsleth would follow this up with three kills of his own to extend their lead 20-18. MIBR would then strike back to make it 20-19. Afterwards, Tarik ‘tarik‘ Celik would come up with his best sequence of the tournament as he successfully went 1-on-4 to tie the map 20-20.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. Astralis would take the next round while dev1ce finally sealed the deal with the final kill of the tournament to secure the championship for Astralis.
While Astralis did end up winning ECS Season 6, they were not the only big story of the tournament. The rise of North and Ninjas in Pyjamas are both noteworthy as well. Not only that, but MIBR looking their best in quite a while should make the competition a lot tighter as the year comes to a close, which is especially necessary with Team Liquid looking off and closer to going through a roster shuffle by the day.
All in all, this is Astralis’ eighth LAN title of the year, their fourth in six tries and second in a row. They’ll look to try and extend their streak to a third straight LAN win at the ESL Pro League Season 8 finals next week.