After defeating ENCE 2-0, dominating the European team 16-6 on Overpass, and winning the series finale 16-14 on Mirage, Astralis has qualified for the Brazy Party playoffs. The other victory came against Cloud9 in the IEM Dallas closed qualification, making this victory Astralis’ second victory over a top ten team this year. This was the Danes’ second victory in 2023 over a top-ten team.
Nicolai “Device” Reedtz was back to his best in this series after a quiet showing against SAW, especially on Overpass, but Alexander “Altekz” Givskov’s performance will bring the most joy to the Danish team. The 19-year-old played a crucial role in Astralis’ triumph, and he excelled on both maps’ offensive sides.
The first map in the series, Overpass, was easily won by Astralis thanks to the Danes’ effective 12-round T side, which left ENCE with too much to overcome in the second half. With 15 and 14 kills each, Altekz and Device were essential in putting up such a potent offense.
Mirage was a far more intensely contested match, beginning with back-and-forth force-buys before an incredible Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia clutch propelled ENCE to a razor-thin 8-7 halftime lead on their T side.
By winning their offensive pistol and turning that into five victories from the first six rounds of the half, Astralis struck back and put ENCE firmly on the back foot. However, Device found two kills with the AWP on a poor buy to help his team close the map in regulation. The European team did manage to find their defensive footing to extend the map to all 30 rounds.
The BLAST Paris Major campaign, which will begin on May 8 with the Challengers Stage, will now be the focus of ENCE. Since the addition of Guy “NertZ” Iluz, the European combination has been on a roll.
They finished in the top four of the ESL Pro League and then miraculously overcame a 2-0 deficit in the Europe RMR B to secure a spot in Paris. Losses against SAW and Astralis in Brazy Party don’t seem like the finest warm-up for the Major, but it’s unlikely that ENCE gave this tournament their full attention given that the Major is right around the corner.
Since Astralis didn’t make the BLAST Paris Major and will therefore be idle for much of May, this event had a little more significance for them. In addition to boosting their world ranking before a period of idleness, winning this well-attended Brazy Party tournament would provide them with much-needed confidence going into IEM Dallas on May 29 and the rest of the year.
Altekz was influential in this win over ENCE, particularly on the T side of both maps, and very early signs are promising for Astralis with him on the roster.
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