DreamHack Masters: No. 1 Astralis Handle No. 5 NiP In Quarterfinals

by Steven Cropley

The WWG CSGO Team Rankings No. 1, Astralis looked dominant in the group stage although playing two North American teams, neither of which made it to the playoffs. The team is riding on the back of fantastic performances to close out its 2016 before being crowned ELEAGUE Major champion to kick off 2017. Until proven otherwise, Astralis is the best team in the world. No. 5 Ninjas in Pyjamas has had a rough go since it failed to qualify for the Major. The team has had a string of poor online results and things did not look too great in the group stage. Mistakes and less than optimal performances out of world-class considered players left the team in the decider where it went all three maps, the first being a 2-16 beat down at the hands of No. 8 Cloud9. If NiP didn't find that magic it's known for, Astralis would have an easy road to the semifinals and so it did.

DHM Astralis
(Photo: Astralis)

Astralis showed its continued superiority through this quarterfinal matchup. Starting on Inferno, the Ninjas pick, Astralis tore through the defense of the Swedish side. NiP would manage only three rounds through the entire first half, never able to string rounds together in an effort to break the momentum of its opponent. The second half would follow suit with NiP scraping together just three rounds yet again while the Danish team grabbed the four needed for a map victory to start 1-0 and move to its map pick.

Things would get incrementally better on map two, and that increment is one round. The half would go the same as before with the Danes taking a commanding 12-3 lead. This go around NiP would be able to match Astralis round for round after the switch but that was a battle it would not win in the long term as at 4-4, the Danes had reached 16 rounds to the ninjas seven.

Astralis will play No. 3 Virtus.pro in the semifinals.