The grand finals of the ELeague Major at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta concluded with one of the best performances Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has seen in a Major. Astralis took down Virtus.pro in an emotional best-of-three series to be crowned the ELeague Major Atlanta Champions on Sunday.
The first map pick by Virtus.pro in the series was Nuke, which is a bit of an question mark for most professional CS:GO teams. Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz started the pistol round with an aggressive outside push on the defense to catch an off-guard Filip "NEO" Kubski, who was setting up a smoke for an A-bombsite execute. The Danes took the first round, but Virtus.pro forced with upgraded pistols to turn the second round in their favor. The Polish Plow then powered through the Danish defense to extend their lead to 5-1. Although Virtus.pro seemed to take action to break ahead of the pack, Astralis came back to tie it up at 6-6. Unfortunately for Astralis, Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski held off a B-bombsite retake in a 1-vs-3 that propelled Virtus.pro to a 9-6 lead at the half.
The second half for Astralis started off with three consecutive rounds won on the offense to tie the game at 9-9. Both teams then traded highly contested rounds that ended up with a 12-12 tie before the Danes were defeated by Virtus.pro's well executed anti-eco round that broke any momentum Astralis had. Astralis came close to taking Virtus.pro's first map pick, but ultimately fell 16-12 with Virtus.pro taking the series lead 1-0.
The second map of the afternoon was Overpass. This was a favored map for the Danes, who have performed well on it all tournament. Right out of the gate, Paweł "byali" Bieliński and Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas secured an almost unwinnable 2-vs-3 while retaking the A-bombsite for a defuse to win the pistol. Astralis answered back in the following round with a force buy and a flashy quad kill by Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen to even the score early. Virtus.pro struggled against the slow offense of Astralis facing a 6-2 deficit before Snax sparked the team after an impressive 1-vs-2 clutch on the B-bombsite. Virtus.pro won three straight while Astralis answered back with three of their own to lead the half 9-6.
Astralis won the initial pistol round in the second half, but NEO responded with two quick scout kills to open the A-bombsite for his team to take the following round. Two eco rounds later, Astralis widened the gap on Virtus.pro for a 13-9 lead. However, the Poles shut down Astralis' aggressive defense thanks to byali, who pounced in Rounds 23 and 24 to close the gap 13-11. Virtus.pro then managed to close out a few anti-eco rounds to lead for the first time in the map 14-13. The Polish Plow was just two rounds away from closing Map 2 and the series, but the Danes tied the series 1-1, forcing a third map.
The series-deciding map came down to Train, a map that Astralis and Virtus.pro both historically perform well on. Virtus.pro came out the gates firing on all cylinders by winning the first seven rounds of the game. The Danes then got themselves back into the game after saving the high-powered rifle to mount their comeback. After claiming a few rounds for an 8-5 score, TaZ turned an impossible 1-vs-3 into a 1-vs-1, but the young Dane Kjaerbye clutched Astralis' final round of the half with 0.1 seconds to spare on the defuse.
Virtus.pro started on the defense with a 9-6 lead in the second half and won three straight to further extend a six-round lead. Astralis then went to work as they managed to string a few rounds together before being reset once again by a force buy from the Poles. However, Xyp9x's 1-vs-1 against Snax sparked the initial comeback on the offensive side with four won in a row. With a 13-12 deficit, Astralis gave up another round due to an anti-eco round that favored Virtus.pro. The Danes were unfazed and pulled off four straight to take the last map 16-14, winning the ELeague Major Atlanta Championship.