Team Vitality have taken down Astralis, knocking the four-time major winners and returning champions out of the PGL Major Stockholm. The elimination match was a best-of-three that went the distance before the French side was able to bring it over the line with a 16-13 win on Dust II.
The first map of the best-of-three series was Nuke, Astralis’ map pick. It went the way of Vitality, 16-10. Astralis took Vertigo 16-14 after the French fought back to make the game close but couldn’t do enough to secure overtime. Dust II went 29 rounds before falling in Vitality’s favor.
Astralis found themselves on elimination point after three best-of-one’s. They beat FURIA Esports on the first day of the Legends stage before losing to Ninjas in Pyjamas and Heroic. Astralis almost missed out on the Legends stage after going down 0-2 in the Challengers stage. But the Danes managed to battle back to qualify for the next leg of the major, after winning three consecutive best-of-threes against GODSENT, paiN Gaming and Team Spirit.
Earlier in the Legends stage, Vitality lost to Virtus.pro and Heroic in their first two matches. They played and won a best-of-three against Evil Geniuses, knocking the North American team out of the tournament. With their win against Astralis, Vitality stay alive. Tomorrow, they play one more best-of-three to decide their PGL Major fate: win and advance to the playoffs or lose and exit the tournament early.
The winners of StarLadder Berlin 2019, Astralis are the returning major champions as well as three-time consecutive major winners. The organization has won four majors in total, the most of any Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team. Their elimination clears the way for a new major champion, with the overwhelming favorites being Natus Vincere.
While Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander and Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth have re-signed their contract with the Danish org — until 2024 and 2025, respectively — Astralis are still set for a roster shake-up. Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen, Emil “Magisk” Reif and Coach Danny “zonic” Sørensen all have contracts coming to an end in the new year. Astralis are also shopping Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen around for a transfer, according to a report from Jaxon. Another report from Jaxon indicated that Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke is nearing a move to Astralis.