Astralis have been eliminated from PGL Major Antwerp in the Challengers stage, sent home by Team Liquid. The 2-0 defeat was a heartbreaker for Astralis, the most successful organization in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive history.
With Astralis and Liquid facing each other in the pivotal qualification match for the Legends stage, it was inevitable one of the two teams would take an early exit from PGL Major Antwerp. It was difficult to separate the two teams, but, inevitably, Liquid got the better of the Danish side over the course of the two-map series.
Benjamin “blameF” Bremer posted a whopping 40 kills in 30 rounds on the first map, Vertigo, but it was not enough to bring his team over the line. BlameF also had the only positive Kill/Death on Astralis at +24. The rest of his team wasn’t performing up to snuff, particularly Asger “farlig” Jensen and Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth.
It’s a difficult break for Astralis, who have lofty 2022 ambitions. Farlig was meant to be the final piece of the puzzle for the Danish team’s rebuild around the new additions, blameF and Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke. While blameF has consistently proved his mettle, k0nfig’s results lack the same consistency. The legacy Astralis members of Xyp9x and Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander have also struggled to make an impact.
It is uncertain whether this disappointing result will prompt changes in the Astralis roster. The Danish org hasn’t shied away from making moves when they felt it necessary over the past couple years.
As for Team Liquid, they advance to the Legends stage, which begins on Saturday. Now that Complexity Gaming have been eliminated — by Liquid’s hand — Liquid are the only North American team remaining at the major. They still have a difficult path ahead of them, but the fact that they mounted a comeback from their 0-2 start in the Challengers stage is an encouraging sign for the team.