Astralis continue 'crazy' journey by crushing AVANGAR in Berlin

Nicolai 'dev1ce' Reedtz of Astralis turned in a star performance as his team defeated AVANGER 2-0 in the StarLadder Berlin Major finals. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

BERLIN, Germany -- Astralis dispatched AVANGAR in a one-sided 2-0 showdown at the StarLadder Berlin Major finals Sunday, in front of a crowd of 10,000 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

The Danish team easily outclassed their opponents with a 16-6 victory on Inferno and a 16-5 trouncing on Dust2, earning $500,000 and their third Major victory in a row -- coming in their first tournament since March 2019.

The tournament also represented the fourth major win overall for a team that dominated the circuit in 2018 and in parts of 2017.

"It's been a long ride for me, [xyp9x] and [dupreeh]," AWPer and match MVP Nicolai 'dev1ce' Reedtz said.

"We've been playing together for six years and we have achieved so much now. It's crazy to be a part of this team and how we work together; it's very unique. We're just incredibly proud of what we have built as a team, but also as a fan base and a fan culture."

Astralis' dominant T-side play shined in both rounds, where they held a 17-4 record (besides an equally impressive 15-7 CT score). They successfully contested AVANGAR's comeback attempts, shutting down several buy rounds and scoring momentous victories when forced to preserve their economy.

"First of all, everyone knows that their stacking game on CT is one of the things they do a lot; it's one of the things that brought them this far," dev1ce said on his team's preparation for AVANGAR. "Of course, we had to focus on that. we started on T-side on Inferno and we controlled the pace. We attacked the B site a lot."

The team started strongly in Game 1 with a 12-3 score on T-side. By the time they swapped, the players took turns at performing clutch plays to hold objective points: dupreeh's 1v3 in Round 7, magisk's three-kill Round 14 performance to secure an A-side objective takedown.

However, AVANGAR provided resistance whenever they could. AdreN's highlight four-kill flank in Round 9 provided a short spark, and the team's fiercer contest after the switch left promise ahead of their second game on Dust2.

Ultimately, they were unable to build any momentum after the switch as their Danish opponents shut them down with a particularly devastating hold by xyp9x.

Astralis' dominion was even more assertive on Dust2. Starting on the CT-side, dev1ce scored a quadruple kill to deny the A-side objective in the first round. Although AVANGAR contested them in Round 3, resistance was futile; Astralis progressed to 11-4 before the intermission, then closed the game 16-5.

"We always had [in] the back of the head that when we get an entry frag, we just have to chill, let them make a move, then gla1ve would come out with a solution -- and he did amazingly," dev1ce added. "[It] was kind of the same on Dust2: every round felt like we knew what they were going to do."

Although Astralis were in top shape, dev1ce was even more so during the finals on his 24th birthday. Indeed, he contributed to 25.21% of his team's damage (102.3 damage dealt per round), scored 42 kills and nine assists and posted only 21 deaths across 43 rounds. He also made several clutch plays during the series.

Astralis are set to make their next appearance at ESL One: New York 2019, where they will face NRG Esports and Team Liquid, two teams they eliminated during the Major's Champions stage.