On the cusp of greatness…Astralis has fallen short. Well, sort of.
Astralis is still considered to be the top dog in Counter-Strike (although look a bit more mortal today than yesterday), however, at 31 LAN wins in a row on Nuke going into yesterdays final they were poised to tie for the best ever map streak.
Ninjas in Pyjamas had gone on a 32-0 run on the oldest demolition map in the current pool and been able to hold the record since. Astralis had climbed within one of a tie at 31-0 and had managed to get it as the opening map of their BLAST Madrid finals match.
In a rematch of the IEM Katowice 2019 Major final, ENCE would not give Astralis an easy path to glory. The Finnish side would storm off to a 6-0 lead before dropping two in a row. They would regain control with five of the remaining seven rounds in the half for an 11-4 lead.
At this point, things looked dire for the Danes in their attempt to not only get their record but also win their map pick. Moving to the CT side of Nuke, a pistol round victory certainly opened up the door for opportunity and they grabbed it.
Unfortunately for them, however, the Fins were prepared on their T side and would win the first following four rounds to reach match point. Astralis would get one more attempt to push for overtime and grab two more rounds before ENCE finally closed it out and reset the record.
After so much success, the Danes may have needed such a wake-up call. If they don’t come out stronger in the coming weeks and events, the end of the Astralis era may be upon us. I wouldn’t count them out quite yet though.