In Group D of the ELEAGUE Premier Astralis has been playing astonishingly well, powering up through the rankings, ‘liquidating’ Team Liquid to go on to match 3. In a surprise twist, Heroic burned through SK Gaming to face Astralis in that match. There have been some brilliant plays, lethal duels, and close-fought finishes in Group D this week. Let’s tell you all about it!
ELEAGUE Match 1 – Astralis vs Team Liquid (16:11)
Astralis chose not to pick a map, instead leaving the map randomizer to pick one. This worked very well for them. Astralis started as Counter Terrorists in Overpass. Team Liquid decided to go for Bombsite A. But “dupreeh” and “gla1ve” from Astralis effectively defended the site and won round 1. Astralis made good use of their lead and took a string of rounds.
In round 5, Astralis defeated Team Liquid with some very innovative use of flash – Astralis is really the master of CSGO strategy.
Astralis kept up their lead until round 10. In round 11 “Twistzz” from Team Liquid took multiple kills while entering Bombsite B. Team Liquid somehow managed to win 2 more rounds and the first half ended in Astralis’ favor 12:3.
The meta changed slightly in the second half
This happened with the first round being won by Team Liquid; thanks to “stanislaw” killing two of Astralis players with ‘Dual Elites’. By the way, it’s interesting that he did this, since this is just what the newly-boosted low-cost Dual Elites were designed to do. Check out the details of how the meta changed with the recent patch.
This gave Team Liquid some hope of a comeback
In round 2 both teams traded kills and in the end everything came down to “nitr0” vs “device” in Bombsite A. Team Liquid’s “nitr0” won the 1v1 encounter. “Kjaerbye” of Astralis reversed Liquid’s winning streak in the 4th round, burning a path to Bombsite A with a triple kill. Astralis managed to win the next round as well.
Team Liquid then went for a force-buy
This was a bad situation for Team Liquid, since Astralis only needed 2 more rounds to win the match. “Twistzz” and “nitr0” showed some very good game-play and somehow kept their team in the game.
Team Liquid won a few more rounds in sequence and built up their cash reserves. Things looked good for Liquid until round 10, when Astralis started to hit back. By this point Astralis only needed to win a single round to win the match. But “Twistzz” and “stanislaw” snatched the round from Astralis; now the score was 15:11. Finally, after a hard-fought battle that truly showed Team Liquid’s unmatched fighting spirit, Astralis won the last round they needed to take the match 16:11. Astralis moved to Match 3 and Team Liquid to Match 4.
ELEAGUE Match 2 – Heroic vs SK Gaming (16:5)
Heroic started as Counter Terrorists in Train. The first round was won by Heroic; “niko” showed some serious pistol skills and took three kills. “Snappi” took another triple kill in the next round and won Heroic the round. This was a shock to SK Gaming. In the first gun round “felps” from SK Gaming took 4 kills on his own.
But “Snappi” then showed just why he captains Heroic
With some perfect fragging he managed to time-out the map, and won the round. SK Gaming decided to charge Bombsite A in round 7, but “niko” managed to kill two of SK Gaming’s players from the Z connector. This helped Heroic win the round. “TACO” showed some serious game-play and took multiple kills, but “JUGi” took out key players with his AWP. Another effort by SK Gaming to win a round was crushed by “niko”, who managed to get four kills in a 2v4 situation. The first half ended with Heroic winning 11 rounds.
The second half started in favor of Heroic as well
This made SK Gaming play rather defensively. SK Gaming managed to win the first buy round. But Heroic adapted quickly and won the second half 5:1. Heroic won the match by an astounding 16:5 and moved to Match 3 to fight Astralis. Not a bad set of plays by a team usually thought of as an underdog.
ELEAGUE Match 3 – Astralis vs Heroic (16:2)
Heroic fought brilliantly against SK Gaming, but were no match for Astralis. Astralis won their match with Heroic match very swiftly, and didn’t give Heroic the chance to mount a comeback. Astralis became the first team to qualify for the Quarter Finals from Group D.
The map was Train and Astralis got off to a strong start as Counter Terrorists, winning the first five rounds defending Bombsites. Heroic tried very hard to break through their defenses, but just couldn’t do so. Finally “JUGi” won a round alone by facing down two opponents. But Astralis came back even stronger in the next round and kept winning round after round, ending the first half with 14 rounds to their name.
Astralis only needed two more rounds to win the match
They got their first win in the very first round of the second half. Heroic were forced to force-buy, and did win the second round, but they failed to stop “gla1ve” who took quadruple kills in round 3 and won the match for Astralis. Heroic was still in the League and was moved to Match 5, where they would get a last chance to enter the Quarter Finals.
ELEAGUE Match 4 – SK Gaming vs Team Liquid (2-1)
Team Liquid’s “EliGE” took two kills in Inferno with his ‘Glock’ in round 1 as Counter Terrorists. Liquid won all the initial pistol rounds. SK Gaming hit back – hard – by winning the first two buy rounds. But SK failed against Liquid in the next round. Team Liquid then dominated SK Gaming completely and won 8 out 10 rounds. In round 11, “coldzera” won four 1v1 encounters which also included one 1v2 encounter after planting the Bomb and won the round for SK. Team Liquid then won all the remaining rounds except the last one and ended first half 11:4.
There was very little chance now that SK Gaming would prevail
Team Liquid started by winning the opening round of the second half and “nitr0” took a double kill in a 1v2 situation in the next round after planting the Bomb. SK Gaming went all-out in an effort to stage a comeback but Team Liquid shut them down and won the match 16:8.
Overpass went in favor of SK Gaming. SK Gaming took the first three rounds and also dominated the second gun round. These victories made sure that SK Gaming’s finances were in a much better state than Team Liquid’s. SK Gaming kept grinding Liquid down, keeping their finances so low that they didn’t have either the opportunity or capability to hit back. Team Liquid managed to win 5 rounds in the first half against 10 rounds won by SK Gaming.
Team Liquid tried for a comeback in the second half
They won the pistol round. But then they were shut down by SK Gaming in an anti-eco buy in the next two rounds. The score was SK Gaming 12 and Team Liquid 8, when SK Gaming won another anti-eco round. SK Gaming then took the map, winning the next 3 rounds as well, 16:8.
This was the decider match, because the losing team would be eliminated from the League. Team Liquid took Mirage’s opening rounds by storm. “nitro” got a triple kill in the first round. Team Liquid pushed to a lead of 7:1. SK Gaming then hit back in the next two rounds, “TACO” did a superb job by getting four kills in round 9. With the team’s finances in a slightly better state, SK Gaming managed to win the next two rounds as well, and the score was 7:5 in favor of Liquid. From that point forward it was very close-fought, and the first half ended 8:7, still in favor of Liquid.
SK Gaming won the first round in the second half
But the second round was taken by Team Liquid. SK Gaming won the next two pistol rounds as well, thanks to “coldzera” and “fer” taking double kills with their ‘Desert eagles’. SK Gaming was in the lead by now at 10:9. Team Liquid won the next round and tied the score, through “Twistzz” taking a quad kill on Bombsite A.
Team Liquid managed to win two more rounds and thought that they had broken SK Gaming’s economy. Which was a miscalculation. SK Gaming – who were not short on cash – did a full buy against Team Liquid’s half buy strategy. They won the round by quickly eliminating all the Liquid players.
Team liquid and SK Gaming traded rounds after that, and the second half ended with SK Gaming winning 8 rounds. The final score for the third match was 15:15, this took the match into overtime.
SK Gaming won 2 out of 3 rounds in the first half of overtime as Counter Terrorists. Team Liquid won the first round of the second half and tied the score. SK Gaming won the next two rounds, barely winning the match 19:17. This was a victory for SK, but hardly a decisive one. SK would now face Heroic in the final match in Group D.
ELEAGUE Match 5 – Heroic vs SK Gaming (2-1)
SK Gaming won all their advances to Bombsite B as Terrorists and took a lead of 6 to 1. SK Gaming then made the mistake of trying to do the same in Bombsite A, but now Heroic were able to counter them, with “MODDII” from Heroic generally being instrumental in foiling SK. SK Gaming still managed to keep their lead – but only barely – in the first half, ending it 8:7.
Unfortunately for Heroic, the second half went against them. They were able to win just a single round in second half. SK gaming then went on to dominate the match 16:8. It seems SK Gaming is lethally proficient at Overpass.
Heroic won the pistol round, where “es3tag” and “JUGi” ‘heroically’ eliminated SK Gaming at Bombsite B. SK Gaming decided to force-buy and this helped them to win the next three rounds as Counter Terrorists. Heroic decided to move on Bombsite A. They now began to batter SK Gaming, winning 6 sounds in series. Heroic dominated the first half, winning 10:5.
Double and triple kills by Heroic members in the second half gave the team a big economic advantage. They used this advantage wisely and won the second half without losing a single round. They won the match 16:5, making the third match the decider.
Heroic started out as Counter Terrorists and successfully defended the Bombsites in the first seven rounds in the first half. SK Gaming managed to claim round 8 for themselves, but that hardly sufficed to truly begin a counter to Heroic’s winning streak. Heroic won the next three rounds after that. SK Gaming put up a good fight and won two more rounds in the first half, thanks to “FalleN” who won a 1v2 firefight. The first half ended with Heroic winning 11 rounds out of 15.
Heroic won first three rounds in the second half by a fast split push to Bombsite A. SK then took control of the map by winning 4 rounds in series. It was “niko” who turned the tide of the game by taking triple kills in an eco round. This gave Heroic the chance to hit back and they managed to win the next round as well, winning Mirage 16:8. Heroic is now in the Quarter Finals.