Santino ‘try’ Rigal put up a massive 1.89 rating game, to take down Astralis

In a massive upset, 00Nation has taken down Astralis in their IEM Cologne Play-In opener. With try and latto combining for 47 kills, the team was on fire. After taking down Astralis, the team will face Spirit to qualify for the main event.

Coming from ESL Challenger Valencia, 00Nation looked like they needed some time to get things going with the new Epitácio "TACO" de Melo-led roster. Their win over Furia was solid, but they got smashed by Sprout and lost a close game to Outsiders. Most considered the team an also-ran at this event. But a victory over Astralis has immediately put the spotlight on the team.

Astralis doubting Ancient? Veto goes to Mirage

The map veto already had strange signs coming from Astralis. Usually, the team favors their pick of Ancient against most teams. While 00Nation has beat Furia on the map, it was a closely contested game. Maybe the recent changes to the map led Astralis away from it. Instead, the Danes banned it in the first rotation, allowing 00Nation to guide the veto onto Mirage.

Credits: Joao Ferreira & ESL
Credits: Joao Ferreira & ESL

Benjamin "blameF" Bremer got his frags as always, but the second alarm went off when Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth was the only one keeping up with him. Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander as an IGL is expected to be closer to the bottom of the leaderboard, but surprisingly Asger "farlig" Jensen and Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke were down there with him. For k0nfig in particular, the absence of Astralis' Entry-powerhouse meant that the team's T side fizzled out quickly.

Over on the Brazilian side, their star trio was all popping off. try and Bruno "latto" Rebelatto were the stand-out performances with 105 ADR each leading the way. And Eduardo "dumau" Wolkmer was right behind them with 19 kills to his name. Even Marcelo "coldzera" David and TACO were performing better than usual, which allowed for 00Nations to upset Astralis.

With such a massive firepower advantage, 00Nation was front-running for most of the game. Astralis needed at least one more piece to build on BlameF and Xyp9x's performances. For Xyp9x, this was a key game to show that he still has the skills to perform, we just need to see it in games that the rest of the team also plays.

00Nation's potential at Cologne

00Nation wasn't a guaranteed success coming into the event, but with this result, they are starting to gain steam. With all 3 stars performing, they should have a puncher's chance against Spirit. The tactical edge might go slightly to TACO over Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov, but Spirit definitely is the better team right now.

Will 00Nation make an impact at IEM Cologne's Main Stage? First, they must get past Spirit, in the second round of the play-ins, to qualify for the event. Meanwhile, for Astralis, they are down to 1 life as they face Complexity, followed by BIG-Outsider's loser to qualify themselves.