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Published: March 16, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The match seemed quite unbalanced, despite both teams being near in rankings
  • Astralis’ star duo blameF and dev1ce seemed very quiet on the first map
  • Spirit now continues to the upper bracket semi-finals to face either NaVi or FORZE

Astralis’ start in the ESL Pro League Season 17 Group D was not great as the Danes suffered a loss to Team Spirit 16-4 and 16-11 on Ancient and Mirage respectively.

Spirit Defeat Astralis

Fans of competitive CS:GO were treated to a match between some of the best teams in the world yesterday when Astralis and Spirit clashed yesterday in the EPL Group D Opener. However, only one team could emerge victorious, and that was Spirit, who won by a landslide. 

It was expected that the game would be close, considering both teams are ranked 14th and 15th in the world with Astralis as the favorite over Spirit in the eyes of the bookies. However, fans were treated to something else entirely, as the Ukrainian-Russian combine of Spirit took the first map Ancient with a more than spectacular 16-4. Astralis woke up after this shock and put up more of a resistance on the second map, but that was not enough as Spirit once again proved to be better, winning the second map 16-11 to take the match 2-0.

How Did the Game Go?

It’s a tough start for Astralis in the Maltese event. The ESL Pro League Season 17 is the Danes’ first return to LAN events since January and it looks like the team might not be in great shape. The first map against Spirit was Ancient and Astralis did not perform nearly as expected. Even the team’s star duo of Benjamin “?blameF?” Bremer and Nicolai “?dev1ce?” Reedtz, had a particular absence on the map. This, alongside Spirit’s Robert “?Patsi?” Isyanov plays, resulted in the Ukrainian-Russian team taking Ancient with a devastating 16-4 difference, shocking fans of both teams.

Unfortunately for Astralis, although they had finally woken up, the Danes just did not have enough power on the second map, Mirage, to stretch the match to a third map and a potential victory. The Danes started trading rounds with Spirit, but this time it was Ukrainian Igor “?w0nderful?” Zhdanov who would prove to stop Astralis in their tracks. He saved his team from a few hairy moments, including executing an impressive 3vs5 clutch with the AWP.

This move from w0nderful pointed Spirit on a victorious trajectory, with the team quickly rising the score to 13-4. But Astralis was not in the mood for repeating the first map and mounted a comeback attempt, surprising Spirit with their sudden surge in strength and getting to double digits. 

However, the Danes’ efforts were in vain, as they did not manage to keep that momentum to the end of Mirage. Team Spirit crushed Astralis’ hopes of getting back by quickly wrapping up the map with a few rounds, ending it 16-11 to take the match 2-0.

Spirit now continue to the upper bracket semi-finals, where they will face the winner of Natus Vincere vs. FORZE for a spot in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Astralis will face the loser of the same match in the lower bracket.

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