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Astralis Wins ELeague Major 2017

Danish team Astralis has culminated its hot streak into a victory, charging through ELeague's Major at Atlanta this weekend to claim itself first place at the tournament and the majority share of the $1 million in prize money. We predicted a number of the key players in ELeague's Major, with Astralis among them, but there was plenty to tune in for over the weekend, making this event one of the most tense CS:GO tournaments for a long while. After the five round qualifying matches had played out, the teams going into the quarterfinals were Na'Vi and Astralis, Fnatic and Gambit Esports, Virtus.Pro and North and finally FaZe Clan and SK Gaming. Astralis hadn't shown a considerable dominance up until this point, having only won three of its five qualifying games earlier. Na'Vi, on the other hand, was looking the stronger team, having won three of its games to place it in the knockout. And it won its games with a considerable round win/loss ratio. Astralis took the first game, however, a strong showing from the Danes who took an early lead and finished with a 16/7 victory. Na'Vi didn't let up, however, and took the second game, though it was by no means an easy victory for the team. At 16/10, the third and final was a little more tense, though Astralis looked in control for the majority of the early rounds that gave them a stronger position. Fnatic won the second game of the quarterfinals, taking the first map with confidence, suffering a crushing defeat at 3/16 in the second before claiming the third and moving onto the semis. Virtus.Pro had a tougher time of it. Despite a strong start in the first game, North managed to hold them back long enough to stall VP's progression, taking the second game 16/12 but losing the third - and therefore the series - 13/16. It was a different story for FaZe Clan, however, who also started well in its first game, but failed to get any foothold in the following two games, with SK Gaming taking control and not letting up in the two games that followed with two easy victories. The two semifinal games were far more tense, offering some great CS:GO to properly kick of the year with. The Astralis versus Fnatic series was perhaps the most confident of the two, with Astralis leading the second game of the series as a squad that looked like a winning side, Fnatic wasn't about to give away the match so easily, however, following Astralis almost like for like in each half, trailing behind in the first half before making a comeback to tie off the game - pushing into overtime where Astralis ultimately went on to win 19.16. It was the Virtus.Pro against SK Gaming match that truly heated things up, however, with both teams taking turns to control the match. The first game of the series went into overtime, a close 19/17 victory finally going to Virtus.Pro. With the advantage, VP went on to look like the stronger side in the second game, though SK Gaming initially took a slight lead before finally losing the game 14/16. After the two fantastic semis it seemed the grand final wasn't about to let up. Astralis and Virtus.Pro both looked eager for the victory, and with VP's choice of map to begin with it was the Polish side that took an early lead with 9/6 in rounds. It struggled to control the map in the second half, but its early advantage ultimately push VP out in front with the first game going 16/12. It was almost exactly the same story in the second map, where Astralis lead the first half with 9/6 and only just going on to win 16/14 thanks to that early lead. Astralis was up against it in the third and final game, then, where VP managed to once again take the first half with another 9/6 lead. The Danes still struggled, but after losing the first three rounds of the second half they began to find their feet, coming together for a five- and four-round streak that, in the end, put them ahead in the final game to give them a hard-fought, but well-earned, victory at ELeague Major 2017.