The second BLAST Pro event brought many unexpected results. Astralis finished below 4th place for the first time at a LAN tournament since StarLadder Season 4 in February last year. Does the recent bad run mean that the end of Astralis era is near? Let’s try to figure it out.
The curse of “easy” schedule
There are so many ways to describe Astralis these days. Few simple words such as champions, team play, utility, Nuke, Inferno, and others, tell us a lot about their domination. We can also add their “easy” schedule within this group. Namely, Astralis picks tournaments they are going to attend very carefully. Zeus from NaVi talked particularly about how good Astralis’ schedule was last year.
Unlike many other teams, Astralis tries to avoid traveling back and forth week after week. One of the reasons for that is dev1ce’s health issues. So, Astralis chose to attend only the most valuable events. This year, there are even fewer tournaments in their schedule as they are not going to play IEM Sydney nor DreamHack Masters events.
“If Astralis keep skipping events, they are not going to be the best team in our minds anymore”
However, that has downsides as well. SPUNJ talked about it and said that it’s not a very good way to defend the crown. According to his words, if you allow other teams to win many events, you are going to slowly lose the aura of champion.
Also, skipping so many events gives much more weight to tournaments they play. For example, if they keep winning those events, they will keep the ambiance of invincibility around them. On the other side, if they blunder badly, as they did at BLAST Pro Miami, it’s going to make the CS:GO community ask questions about whether the end of Astralis era is near.
What happened in Miami? Why did Astralis fail?
If we ask a question about whether the end of Astralis era is near right after they blunder at BLAST Pro Miami, we first need to figure out what exactly happened in Miami. And is Astralis going to repeat those bad results over and over again in future. Let’s see why is that not likely to happen.
Astralis lost all three games on the same day
The highlights of BLAST Pro Miami was definitely Astralis losing three games in a row. They actually haven’t lost three maps at the whole event since IEM XIII in Chicago. Also, they lost more maps on one day of BLAST Pro Miami than at last two events (BLAST Pro Sao Paulo, IEM Katowice Major) together. So, it was really a shocking result from Astralis.
Sadly, that’s it for us this time around.
— Astralis (@astralisgg) April 13, 2019
Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that Astralis lost all maps on the same day. It hardly can mean that the end of Astralis era is near. Everyone has a bad day in office when everything is going against us. So, it’s possible that Astralis just had one really bad day. We all know them as a great team, but Astralis players also have great individual skills.
- Also Check: Astralis Dominance Explained [CS:GO]
On the second day of BLAST Pro Miami, they were losing so many aim duels. They definitely didn’t forget to play CS:GO overnight. Hence, they perhaps just didn’t feel very comfortable with their aim. Maybe they didn’t like the weather in Miami.
Wrong map selection
Astralis was kind of lucky that NaVi and Cloud9 decided to face Astralis on Nuke. It was definitely the wrong decision of these two opponents of Astralis. Accordingly, the Danish team punished them for their wrong decisions. However, Astralis’ map selection also turned out to be bad. It’s not like they didn’t have a choice on the second day.
For example, they could choose Mirage instead of Overpass against MiBR who almost defeated Astralis on Overpass in Katowice. They could play on the same map against Team Liquid as well, even though their decision to face Liquid on Overpass was completely reasonable as they dismantled them on Overpass in the final of the last BLAST Pro event.
On top of that, Astralis decided to ban Train against FaZe for some reason, although NiKo and co. didn’t have good results on that map. Of course, Astralis’ picks make sense when it comes to statistics.
Also, we witnessed downsides of having a broad map pool. Simply, the Danes feel comfortable on so many maps and they feel confident to play the majority of them. Most of the time, it’s a good thing as your opponent cannot exploit your weaknesses. But sometimes, it means that you are ready to play on maps that are not your best maps, which can result in losing games. However, gla1ve and his teammates are definitely going to learn something from what happened in Miami. They are not going to allow the Astralis era to come to the end just because of bad map selection.
They played only Bo1 matches
The CS:GO community considers Bo1 matches to be a lottery to some degree. Of course, better teams will win most of the time. Nevertheless, there is a much bigger chance to lose against the underdog in Bo1 than in Bo3 match. Hence, Bo1 matches are not as relevant as Bo3. In addition to that, Astralis haven’t lost a Bo3 match since DH Masters in Stockholm last year at the beginning of September.
Therefore, we need much stronger proof that the end of Astralis era is near than a few lost Best of 1 matches on the same day.
Astralis didn’t dominate the field in the last 12 months for nothing. Truly, they don’t have good individuals as FaZe Clan or a super talented player like s1mple. But there are a bunch of reasons why they are the best team at the moment. As Astralis members say, they are trying to play perfectly and they spend a lot of energy to make every detail perfect.
As a result, their era is going to end either when they want it to end or when other teams figure out how to beat Astralis at big events constantly. It doesn’t look like Danes are tired of winning trophies. Moreover, no one seems to be close to finding a way to deal with Astralis except Team Liquid who now has a score 4-4 in meetings with Astralis this year. So, if anyone can challenge Astralis and put the end to Astralis era it’s Team Liquid. However, it’s likely to happen soon.
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