By Pavo Jurkic
May 16, 2019
Astralis’ downfall seems to be a hot topic these days. Thorin, one of CS:GO’s most prominent community members had a lot to say on the subject. His YT video is available below, however, I won’t be basing my opinion on what he had to say. Even though I agree with the majority of Thorin’s statements, I’ll try to give you a different perspective on the whole fuss surrounding the world’s greatest CS:GO team.
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. Yes, Astralis is in a slump. Their biggest slump in over a year. And let’s be realistic here, it was bound to happen sooner or later. We can’t expect these guys to win every single tournament they attend. But, in addition to poor performances in the last month or so, there has been an additional factor that could contribute to the rumors of Astralis’ downfall.
However, let’s take things one step at a time and dig deeper into their poor spell of performances!
When you’re the most dominant team in the world, you win pretty much all tournaments you compete on, your win/loss ratio is well over 80%, you have a map on which you haven’t been defeated for 31 matches, and it’s generally agreed that you’re the #1 ranked team for over a year… it’s only logical for people to expect your downfall as soon as you string together two or three consecutive flops.
And that’s exactly what happened to Astralis. Poor performances at two BLAST Pro Series events and an insanely tough match against BIG (on ESL PL S9 EU) were enough for the community to start ringing the alarms.
Astralis is in a crisis.
Astralis is going down.
Astralis’ downfall is inevitable.
We were all battered with similar titles ever since their Miami flop. Even more so after they lost against ENCE in Madrid…
Let’s start off with BPS Miami. What was supposed to be another walk in the park for The Great Danes turned out to be the start of all these Astralis downfall rumors. The first day of the tournament went down in a reasonable fashion. Astralis defeated Cloud9, although it went to 26 rounds in total. The second match was fine too, Astralis stomped S1mple’s NaVi with 16-7 on the scoreboard.
However, that’s where things took a twisted turn. A twisted turn for the worse, mind you. First, Astralis lost to MIBR in what was probably the best performance from this MIBR roster ever since TACO and zews joined. Astralis didn’t just lose, they got stomped 16-2. Dupreeh and the boys wanted to redeem themselves against Team Liquid, their archnemesis, but failed to do so. 16-14 was the end result. And finally, as icing on the cake, the Danish side was on the receiving end of another stomping. This time by FaZe. They finished the tournament in fifth place, right above the last-placed Cloud9.
You can read the full BLAST Pro Series Miami Recap here. It covers a lot of the same Astralis-related topics so you might want to check it out.
Before I start talking about BPS Madrid, I’d just like to inform you it wasn’t as brutal as Miami. Nowhere near as brutal as BPS Miami, mind you. Four wins and one loss (against ENCE) meant Astralis gets to play in the grand finals.
The stage was nicely set. Both teams shared optimism coming into the grand finals. However, obviously, The Great Danes were outright fuming with confidence. They were smiling, laughing, making jokes at each other. Almost as if they underestimated their opponents. It’s as if they thought:
“Well yeah, they surprised us in a Bo1 match but there’s no way they can repeat the same in a Bo3. We’ll just pick Nuke and that’s it, GG.”.
To everyone’s surprise, Nuke was the beginning of Astralis downfall in Madrid. Their first defeat on Nuke after 31 matches. Talk about consistency, right? Train, the second map, marked another poor performance which eventually resulted in a quick 2-0 win by the Finns. Finns, who are now starting to look like serious contenders for the upcoming Major. From laughing stock to serious contenders in just a couple of months. That’s the charm of CS:GO!
As some of you already know, Astralis did not compete at the IEM XIV Sydney nor StarSeries Season 7. Many people believe it’s because they’re obliged to put BLAST Pro Series events in front of others because they’re hosted by Astralis’ parent company, RFRSH Entertainment. Even though zonic, Astralis’ coach, pointed out they missed IEM and SS due to a tight schedule, fatigue, and the fact that they last much longer than BPS events, the majority of CS:GO esports community didn’t believe him.
Yep, there was a huge drama regarding an alleged conflict of interest that struck right on Astralis’ one-year anniversary as the world’s best CS:GO team. Just another factor that could contribute to the eventual downfall of the biggest and most dominant team in the history of the game.
At the end of it all, there are a few questions left to be answered. Is Astralis’ downfall truly inevitable? Will it happen at all, and if yes, which team will take their place at the top?
Well, for starters, Astralis downfall is inevitable, that’s for sure! Every team has to come down from the spotlight sooner or later. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen right away. At the moment, Astralis is indeed in a bit of a slump. Poor performances at two BLAST Pro Series events and barely qualifying for the ESL Pro League S9 (Round 1) say a lot.
Despite that, it’s still way too early to jump to any conclusions here. Astralis was, and still is, the best team in the world. More than a year has passed since they took their place on the throne and I really don’t think they’ll step down anytime soon.
As far as their biggest competitors are concerned, I reckon Team Liquid is as close as they get. Sure, the likes of ENCE, NaVi and FaZe are all solid candidates, but their consistency is stopping them from reaching the levels of Team Liquid, let alone Astralis.
To wrap it up, Astralis’ downfall will happen eventually, but we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions. Sure, they skipped a few tournaments. Sure, they had a few bad spells… However, we’re talking about the most dominant team in the history of CS:GO, and it will take a lot more than a few bad tournaments to take them off the throne.
The Great Danes’ era lives on!