The third BLAST Pro Series event finished with ENCE upsetting Astralis in the Grand Final. ENCE ended Astralis Nuke streak preventing them from tying a 32nd consecutive Nuke win record. Later on, ENCE secured Train to clinch BLAST Pro Series Madrid.
BLAST Pro Series Madrid – Day 1
ENCE beat NaVi again
The first round of BLAST Pro event in Spain kicked off with ENCE dismantling NaVi on Mirage. It wouldn’t be right to say ENCE upset NaVi as the Finnish squad already defeated NaVi at a Major, and they established themselves as a Top 5 team. Nevertheless, the result of this match was a little bit surprising.
ENCE opened the match in a good manner taking the first pistol round. NaVi bounced back in the second round only with pistol upgrade. In the following round, ENCE responded in the exact same fashion taking the round away from NaVi with pistols and armor. That was basically the last time we saw a competitive result as ENCE dominated Ukrainians in the rest of the match allowing them to win just four rounds in the first match.
Allu from ENCE had 29 frags and only 8 deaths, so he had the best rating when the match concluded.
In the two remaining matches, Astralis bested NiP expectedly on Dust 2 (16-8), and Cloud9 surprisingly played a tight match against Play-In team, Vodafone Giants. At one point, Giants had an advantage (14-13) and the match could easily end in their favor, but American squad stepped up to secure the win against the underdog team.
Astralis prolonged their Nuke streak
After the second round of BLAST Pro Series Madrid no one could predict that ENCE was going to end Astralis’ Nuke streak. First of all, NiP defeated ENCE on Nuke in a convincing manner, finishing the match with score 16-5. After a good opening and taking an early advantage (3-2), ENCE failed to continue their good game and NiP easily maintained momentum on their side.
On the other side, Astralis managed to prolong their Nuke streak versus Vodafone Giants. Unexpectedly, Vodafone Giants chose to face Astralis on the Danes best map. Although they won the initial four rounds, the Portuguese team couldn’t keep playing at the highest level. As a result, gla1ve and his team beat the Giants with final score 16-7. Therefore, Astralis won the 31st time on Nuke on LAN tournaments. They were just one round away from tying NiP’s 32 consecutive Nuke wins record.
BLAST Pro Series Madrid – Day 2
Giants shocked Ninjas in Pyjamas
The second day in Madrid started off with Giants upsetting NiP on Nuke. The underdogs from Portugal destroyed the Swedish team on Nuke conceding barely 4 rounds. Thus, NiP’s chances to proceed to Grand Final became significantly lower. MUTiRiS from Giants crushed the field with 30 frags and 136 damage per round.
In the match of the round, Astralis managed to defeat NaVi in a tight match on Dust 2. After the first half, it looked like NaVi was going to be the first team to beat the Danes at BLAST Pro Series Madrid. It definitely reminded all viewers of the last BLAST Pro event when Astralis had a terrible second day.
Natus Vincere secured the first half on CT side with a decent advantage 10-5. However, the Danish team started playing much better on the CT side, like they usually do on Dust 2. Hence, they accomplished a minimal advantage in the 23rd round. NaVi then won the following two round putting the pressure on the shoulders of Danish squad. Astralis tied the score in the next round and then, when it mattered the most, dupreeh stepped up with an incredible Ace.
In the last round of the match, we witnessed something unusual when electronic teamkilled s1mple through the smoke. It’s even questionable if it was just an accident.
ENCE upset Astralis for the first time
Although Astralis managed to pull out that win against Natus Vincere in the Round 3, the second day didn’t go so well for three-time Major winners. They faced ENCE on Dust 2 in Round 4. In the first half, everything was going well for the Danish side. They kicked off as CTs and won 7 out of 8 opening rounds. However, Fiennes started playing better and they allowed the Danes to win just one more round up to the half time.
So, it was already an uncomfortable situation for Astralis on half-time as they usually play worse on T side on Dust 2. Already in the second round, ENCE surprised Astralis with unexpected mid-rush. That was just one of many uncharacteristic strats that ENCE performed against Astralis.
In other matches, NiP made an incredible comeback versus Cloud9, after being 12-5 down, and NaVi crushed Giants on Dust 2 (16-4).
Giants almost eliminated ENCE
If Astralis should blame anyone for ENCE ending their Nuke streak and beating them, Giants are to be blamed for not finishing off the Finnish squad on Overpass in the last round. Despite losing the first half in a convincing manner (10-5), Giants didn’t throw the towel in. On the contrary, they kept fighting on CT side in the second half, and eventually set the score on 14-10 in their favor.
The Portuguese team was just two rounds from beating ENCE. If it happened, ENCE wouldn’t reach the Grand Final. However, ENCE stepped up and proved one more time that they don’t give up, regardless of the situation, whatsoever. Hence, they clinched six rounds in a row to secure the last win they needed to face Astralis in the Grand Final once again.
- Also Read: What is Esports? [2019 Edition]
On the other side, while ENCE was struggling against Giants, NiP was playing versus NaVi on Dust 2. The Swedes desperately needed a victory to stay in the fight for the Grand Final. They successfully accomplished that task without any problems, ending the match with a scoreline of 16-9. However, their effort was in vain as ENCE advanced further.
In the remaining match, Astralis were making sure they were going to play Grand Finals. They defeated Cloud9 on Inferno being in driver seat throughout the whole game.
Ninjas in Pyjamas enjoy playing Standoff Showmatches
As NiP finished in third place, they had a chance to earn some additional money in BLAST Pro Series Madrid Pro Standoff Showmatch. The domestic crowd wanted to see Vodafone Giants once again, so the organizers put them in Showmatch against NiP.
There, we saw some brilliant stuff from both teams, but NiP was particularly good. They were using all the possibilities that map offering to them. Therefore, f0rest decided to have fun and he started surfing on the side of the map. Unlike other players, he didn’t surf to get behind an opponent, but he did it for fun. The legendary Counter-Strike player went around the whole map at least once. Unfortunately for him, Giant played took him down in the end.
Everything was set and done, and the Grand Final kicked off on Nuke. Interestingly, it proved that Vertigo favors Astralis as ENCE banned a new CS:GO map instead of Nuke or Inferno. So, Astralis could play Nuke already as the first map. However, it didn’t end so well for them.
Astralis also had some additional pressure on their shoulders as they were about to tie NiP’s Nuke streak. Additionally, allu mentioned this in the in-game chat. Astralis was afraid that allu was going to jinx it, and it really happened in the end.
ENCE started off on better, CT-side. They surprisingly dominated Astralis in the first half. Astralis couldn’t establish their economy, nor tame powerful AUGs on ENCE side. Even after the devastating first half (11-4), everyone believed Astralis could come back like they did many times in the past.
The crowd was trolling dev1ce who tried to use them to check angles in the last round.
The second map was Train. It looked like Astralis wanted their revenge so badly on Train, so they improved their game and took an early advantage. Nonetheless, they couldn’t cope with ENCE’s quick and unpredictable attacks, so ENCE eventually ended the first half with the satisfactory result (7-8). Astralis clinched opening two rounds on T side, but just wasn’t enough versus really good Finnish team. They were taking valuable entry frags and denying any Astralis’ attempt.
In the end, ENCE prevailed (16-13) to upset Astralis and lift their third trophy this season and take $125,000 home. On top of that, Aerial gained an MVP award. On the other side, this is the second lost final for the Danish squad, and they will earn $50,000.