The top two teams in the world faced off against each other in the BLAST Premier upper bracket final.
Better team play from Astralis reigned supreme as they beat Vitality 2-1 to secure the first spot in the grand final despite Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut’s individual brilliance on the side of Vitality.
Astralis Was Unbreakable on Dust2
The first map of the series was Vitality’s pick on Dust2. The Frenchmen were on fire at the beginning of the map winning six rounds in a row. The Danes wouldn’t go down easily, eventually going on a seven-round winning spree of their own. The final two rounds of the half were won by Vitality, giving them an 8-7 lead before the second half.
Vitality secured the second pistol round of the map as well, giving them momentum to push through to a comfortable 13-7 scoreline. However, Astralis showed their unbreakable spirit once again going on a 9-1 run to close out the map with a narrow victory, 16-14.
1v3 and 1v2 clutches from Emil “Magisk” Reif and Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth were the highlights of the map for Astralis.
The highest performer on the map was on the losing side. Vitality’s ZywOo finished the map with a stunning number of 36 kills and 105 ADR.
Shox Came Online on Overpass
Things looked grim for Vitality heading into the second map on Astralis’ pick Overpass. However, the Frenchmen got off to a strong start again, winning the first four rounds. The Danes came back strong in their second gun round, making another comeback and winning five of their own. Vitality managed to shut down the Danish onslaught in the end, winning five more rounds and giving up only one to win the first half of map two 9-6.
Astralis finally managed to win a pistol round of their own in the series at the beginning of the second half. However, ZywOo’s brilliance was on display once again on the next round. The young superstar won a 1v3 clutch for his team, leaving the Danes unable to build any momentum.
Richard “Shox” Papillon was the top performer of the server as Vitality kept Astralis away from any consecutive round wins in the second half. This led the French side to a fairly comfortable scoreline of 16-10 to tie the series at 1-1.
Despite their loss, the highlight play of the map came from Nicolai “device” Reedtz of Astralis. Device won an unbelievable 1v4 Deagle clutch against four Vitality players with rifles. Incredibly two of the kills came from a single bullet hitting two players with a collateral double headshot. The said play is a definite early contender for the best play of the year.
NO SHOT @dev1ce JUST DID THIS!
— BLAST Premier (@BLASTPremier) January 23, 2021
Vitality Collapsed on the Third Map
The final map of the series was Inferno. Shox was replaced by the up-and-coming talent Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom as it has become commonplace for Vitality for this map.
The French side’s early momentum from the previous maps was nonexistent this time. Astralis dominated the map with their superior team play and utility usage throughout the map securing themselves a rather quick victory, 16-5. This also secured the series for Astralis 2-1.
The only player with any presence on the map from Vitality was the young phenom ZywOo with 21 kills and 100 ADR to his name. In the meantime, the rest of his team were all sitting below double digits in kills.
Based on this result, Vitality will go on to face Na’Vi in the consolidation final which will be played today at 10:30 AM EST and 4:30 PM CET time. The series will see the top two players in the world, ZywOo and Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, go against each other.
Astralis will be waiting for the consolidation final result to find out their grand final opponents. The final will be played shortly after the consolidation final at approximately 2:30 PM EST time and 8.30 PM CET time.
The winner of the tournament will win the lion’s share of the one million dollar prize pool along with the title of the BLAST World Champions of Counter-Strike.
Featured Image Courtesy of BLAST Premier
Follow Manedwolf on Twitter: @ManedwolfCy