Team Vitality defeated Astralis at the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive BLAST Spring Group A upper bracket semifinals fixture yesterday. The French esports franchise dealt a blow to their Danish counterpart on their home turf in Copenhagen in their first outing of the tournament.
The fixture between the CS:GO giants was the second game of the first day of the BLAST Premier Spring Groups. The first game saw Evil Geniuses secure a spot in the Group A upper bracket final after getting the best of Heroic.
Astralis were defeated by a clean sweep (2-0), as Vitality handed Christain “Buzz” Andersen and Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz a sour LAN debut. The French franchise led by Dan “apEX” Madesclaire recorded a 16-12 victory on the first map Overpass and made a comeback in the second map having gone behind by a 7-13 scoreline on Vertigo. The team forced overtime and rounded up the game with a 19-15 win.
The first map Overpass, which was picked by Astralis started with the franchise taking an early lead after an ace from their latest recruit Buzz. But further down in the game, vitality took control of the map owing to their aggressive defense.
Having disrupted Astralis’ game, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut pulled a clutch 1v1 to secure a tie in favor of Vitality. His Argentine teammate Lotan “Spinx” Giladi was formidable leading the team’s impenetrable defense, which kept Astralis at bay for the remainder of the first half.
The second half of the first map started out with a strong showing from Astralis, as they posted a strong resistance to every attack made by Vitality. Support rifler Andreas “Xyp9x Højsleth secured three kills which led to a run that saw the Astralis team go 11-9 ahead of their opponent.
Despite the heavy resistance faced, Vitality made some ground owing to their demonstrated resilience, which led to the team posting a four-round winning streak to take the lead. Vitality went on to close the game regardless of all attempts made by Astralis to hold the franchise down as the 32 kills recorded by Benjamin “blameF” Bremer were not enough to get the Danish team the win.
The second map which was chosen by Vitality started out with the team on the backfoot with Astralis dominating the map with a six-round streak. The team’s AWPer Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz effectively stopped Vitality’s attacks in their tracks, displaying why he is considered one of the best CS:GO players in the world. He particularly was an impenetrable wall for Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen to climb as he continually neutralized his every move on the T-side.
Unlike the first map, Astralis maintained their dominance throughout the beginning of the match. However, Vitality’s player Spinx sparked a comeback by winning a 1v2 clutch, allowing the team to gain momentum which led to a 10-5 scoreline as the game made a switch to the CT-side.
As the second half of Vertigo began, Astralis continued to show signs of instability that was visible towards the end of the first half. Their opponent had exploited it in the first half and were doing the same at the start of the second half but it was short-lived with Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander securing a clutch 1v2. The bravery of the in-game leader positioned Astralis in a clear lead with a 13-7 scoreline.
Dupreeh and ZywOo were responsible for Team Vitality’s comeback just when fans thought the map had been lost. Both players stepped up and gave the team a fighting chance as they solidified the team’s defense and tied the game at 13-13 after a six-round run. They disrupted Astralis’s economy on the B-site positioning Vitality as the possible winners of the map and eventually the game.
Astralis fought back and forced overtime after posting yet another dramatic comeback which had become a norm in the game. However, the Danish team eventually ran out of steam as Spinx recorded a standout performance in the mid-lane that saw him secure a three-kill hold. The game was sealed off at the hands of ZywOo who got two key opening kills in the final round to see Vitality finish off the map with a 19-15 statline.
Owing to their victory, Team Vitality will advance to the Group A Upper Bracket Final and will take on Evil Geniuses. The French franchise are heavy favorites to finish the game as victors on GG.BET with odds set at $1.16.
Astralis, on the other hand, will fall to the lower bracket after their loss to Vitality. The Danish team will go head to head with Heroic on January 21 for an opportunity to continue their quest to seal a spot at the Spring Final main event. Top Esport betting sites has Heroic as the preferred winner of the fixture with odds of $1.49 as opposed to Astralis pegged at $2.59.