Astralis flex on C9 to assert dominance in Katowice

In the history of CSGO Majors, there have been two 16-0 matches, and both have come in the last year or so. The first was on dust2, played at the FACEIT Major in London last year, and saw MiBR fail to win a single round against the would-be champions of the event, Astralis. Last night, we saw the same scoreline, this time with Cloud9 on the receiving end, and once again it was the Danish five that took the win, proving if proof were needed that they remain strong favourites to add another Major title to their list of achievements.


To put into context how dominant the Danes were, they both started and finished their game against the American org before the Na’Vi vs Vitality game, which had long been underway, could reach a conclusion. Less than half an hour of CSGO was played before Cloud9 were allowed to go back to their rooms, think about what had happened, and most likely try to forget that was the case, such was the level of destruction on show.

As is his way, temporary Cloud9 leader flusha found the funny side at least, as you can see from the tweet above, and although people were keen to jump on an earlier message where the Swede had called people out for sleeping on his team there isn’t a lot Senor Vac could realistically have done. Equally, drawing conclusions from these losses to Astralis is tenuous at best, as you can be a very good CSGO side and still be made to look not just average, but stupid, due to the incredible complexity and antifragility the Danish side have developed over time.

Expectations were muted

What makes this result all the more impressive is the context, which is far from unique to Astralis, but still needs to be put in place. After a fairly long Christmas break, Astralis decided to travel to the US to play in the IBP event, which was a disaster by most accounts, and even worse for the Danes. The reason it was such a bad week for them in particular was a combination of the awful administration of the event, and also the end of their winning run vs Team Liquid, considered by many to be the number two team in the world.

That result was taken with a pinch of salt, but not a huge one, as the conditions were the same for all the players involved meaning excuses were thin on the ground. This, and a few close wins over lower ranked teams at the end of 2018 had led some to speculate that the Danish era might be over, but while it is true that the likes of North, Heroic and OpTic are dead in the water, the same can not be said for the reigning world champions.

There is still a distance left to run for Astralis of course, but the signs are all good so far, and Cloud9 are proof of the gulf in class that still exists between the Danes and the rest. We can’t wait to see them face Liquid, but outside of the NA mix it seems like challengers are going to be thin on the ground, with Na’Vi and FaZe not playing their best, and the rest looking weak. If Astralis were to repeat, it would be fitting reward for their feats, and nobody could argue with their place in CSGO history, which is being cemented more every day.

Images: HLTV, ESL