Astralis versus AVANGAR. That is not the final one would have expected before the main stage of the StarLadder Major 2019 kicked off in Berlin. The Danish superstars will be facing the CIS-representant and clear underdog in front of thousands of fans on the center stage in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin.
On Saturday, Astralis faced the North-American contender NRG after eliminating Team Liquid in the semifinals. A series that didn’t feel all too challenging for Astralis’ IGL Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander: “I don’t think NRG played their best game today. Maybe it was the pressure but it didn’t feel like they were in the flow as when we play them normally.”
AVANGAR’s performance at the Major in Berlin is the biggest surprise in the recent CS:GO history. “When a team like AVANGAR makes it to the final of a Major they are really rolling on momentum. That could make them very dangerous for us”, explains gla1ve. Astralis is too experienced to underestimate their opponents.
Although Astralis did already beat their biggest rival for the #1 spot in the world, Team Liquid, there not yet back to where they have been a few months ago. “We aren’t back at our peak performance yet. While we performed well in the games today, we need to gain back stability.”
“The top is very close right now”, gla1ve admits. “There isn’t much potential to do new stuff. It is nice to have a new map like Vertigo in the pool where we can run some new tactics. We, of course, try to do so on the other maps as well but it is much tougher.”
When thinking of CS:GO in Germany, the ESL One Cologne is the first thing that comes to mind. However, the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin delivers a quite similar atmosphere. “The atmosphere here is crazy. It is so awesome to have all these international Astralis fans here as well as the Danish Corner who are incredibly cheerful.”