Astralis dismantle FURIA esports in Group B opening match.

Astralis are one of the teams that has not fared well in the months coming into IEM Cologne. The once-dominant roster is a shadow of its former prowess, but it is also with a very different roster. There are new faces on the team, two players from Complexity that are slowly trying to improve the team’s performance and map pool. 

Astralis faced off against one of the best Brazilian teams at IEM Cologne in Group B. The team’s performance against the ever-aggressive FURIA highlighted their preparedness for the match and makes them a commendable force going deeper into the tournament. 

One of the key factors coming into this series was Astralis’ performance on Mirage. Mirage is a map that the old Astralis had traditionally avoided and would constantly ban the map. In a recent talk with the media, Vitality members spoke about hwo they are trying to adjust themselves to Mirage. 


Over on the Astralis side, similar efforts are underway, led by the former Complexity players – blameF and K0nfig. Asked about Astralis’ performance and preparedness on Mirage, K0nfig said they are slowly easing it into their map pool.

I honestly think it is pretty important that we are playing the map, because me and blameF were pretty good on the map back in Complexity. We really enjoyed having it in the map pool. We tried to not really play it a lot in the beginning of the team but now we are trying to get back to it. I think the old boys, and Farlig as well, are trying their real best and they are getting into it. I feel it is a comfort zone. 

We try not to listen to social media and read articles because I feel like it’s like a witch hunt a little bit‘: Astralis k0nfig

In the post-match interview, K0nfig was candid about the impact social media has on a player’s performance. 

I think we try not to listen to social media and read articles because I feel like it’s like a witch hunt a little bit. They say every single time we lose a match, we’re shit and if we win a match we’re good . It goes up and down all the time. So I feel like just don’t read it, it’s a waste of time in my opinion. 

Astralis k0nfig

Players have admitted to receiving death threats and abusive comments in DMs when their team does not perform well. The impact of social media on a player’s mentality and performance cannot be understated in today’s world. 

Astralis come prepared on Nuke

The first map of the series saw the two teams battle it out on Nuke, Astralis map pick. The Danes are notorious for their comfort on Nuke, although their playstyle has dramatically changed over the years. 

Astralis started out strong on the T side, winning five rounds in a row before finally losing a round. FURIA managed to stitch together three before handing over the reigns back to Astralis. The Danes led 10-5 at the end of the first half on Nuke, a relatively CT sided map. In the second half, it was very easy for Astralis to close out the map as they won the pistol and the subsequent rounds with ease. 

One of the best performers for Astralis on Nuke was k0nfig who had 26 kills on the map with an ADR of 97.9. His frags had a big impact on the outcome of the round and it was clear his performance made the job easier for Astralis. 

I’ve been up and down individually and it’s been really rough. I changed my mentality a little bit. Of Couse I want to prove I deserve to be on the team, but honestly, I’m just here to be have fun and doing my own stuff and stop thinking about too much of mistakes being made, or looking stupid or jumping through smokes and I am just doing my thing and having fun.

Astralis fend off FURIA on Mirage 

Mirage is a map that Astralis has avoided for the longest period of time. The Danes, usually with a very strong map pool, used to veto Mirage all the time. But that was the old Astralis and the new blood in the team is making an effort to reintroduce the map into the map pool. It is no longer a regular permanent veto and Astralis proved today that they are ready to play and win on this map. 

Credit: Astralis.

It was still a close battle as FURIA managed to get 13 rounds in contrast tot Astralis 16. But once again, it was K0nfig that stole the show, this time with 28 kills. On the side of FURIA, yuurih stepped up with 22 kills, but the Brazilians fell just short of the Astralis train.

I think that they [Furia] are still playing the same kind of playstyle. They are pushing, getting all these aggressive setups and they really like to catch you off-guard and get the first opening kill. Honestly, I think it’s a good playstyle, it fits their team really well. Maybe they are lacking the firepower individually a little bit. That’s what is catching people a little bit, they are fucking up a little in the playstyle cause if you don’t get the kill and you are playing really aggressively then you are messing up a bit. 

Astralis k0nfig

With this victory, Astralis now set up an upper bracket match against Team spirit at IEM Cologne. The winner of that series goes on to the LANXESS Arena and play in front of the iconic crowd.


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Rohan - Content Editor

Rohan

Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)