Astralis’ tribulations continue

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FUNSPARK Ulti 2022

Imagine ending a series with one of the best performances of your career and losing. That happened to BlameF this week when he and Astralis took on the mostly-Russian lineup of K23.

He ended the series with a 1.48 rating and a +39 k/d ratio, a truly awe-inspiring performance by every metric, and he lost.

K23 won 2-1 on the back of xsepower, who boasted the only positive k/d and rating on his team by the end of the series, a monumental upset for the CIS lineup currently ranked 22nd in the world. A back-and-forth Mirage that went to two overtimes and an overpass that went to one gave us the first big upset of the year.

xsepower did have highlights throughout the series, including an ace on Mirage in a one-vs-three, and an overtime play on the same map, in which he got three no scopes in a single round using his AWP like a shotgun by connector.

Astralis isn’t out yet, they beat Fnatic yesterday, in order to stay in the tournament and eliminate the UK and Swedish roster. Another team that got eliminated was Complexity, who lost badly with their new lineup to both ECSTATIC and Gambit.

Both of those teams relied heavily on a single player for their wins; ECSTATIC’s FASHR had a +31 k/d and 1.68 rating in their match while Gambit’s Sh1ro ended their matchup with a +38 k/d.

Gambit is still the favorite going into Friday when they’ll face off against Entropiq in the upper bracket. K23, meanwhile, will face off against BIG who claimed a win in their first-round matchup against Fnatic. In the other Friday matchup, also an upper-bracket contest, Entropiq will play against Gambit.

Phew, that was a lot. If you skimmed the above, here’s the real TLDR:

  • Despite losing to K23 and being pushed to three maps by Fnatic, Lucky and BlameF have both performed well, which is a good sign heading forward for Astralis.
  • Complexity definitely had situational issues, including JT having to play from Dallas, but starting their new team with just one win in five maps isn’t what they wanted. Besides that, floppy performed well and should be a sign of hope for the roster going forward.
  • Fnatic’s performance is the most concerning one here. This team hasn’t changed anything since Smooya started his trial run, which he’s done well on, and they still went out in a pair of 1-2 losses to BIG and Astralis. If they don’t step up in the Katowice play-ins, there might be changes on the horizon. Oh no, not again Smoo-Smoo.
January 20, 2022

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