The Danish squad continue their current CS:GO success by claiming $250,000 and a second show-match victory against their CIS rivals.
Rematches are hardly rare in esports, but there was an eery level of tension before the “Clash for Cash”, a competition setup specifically to see Eleague’s last two finalists settle their score . Astralis, the current IEM champions in CS:GO, took down Virtus.Pro in an even-skilled finals during January’s ELEAGUE Major. Currently on an upward trend this year, it was unsurprising to see them best the Polish team yet again, two maps to one.
Granted, it wasn’t obvious from the first map, Doom, that we’d get such a one-sided shoot off. Virtus.pro originally gained a solid 6-0 lead, with Wiktor “Taz Wojtas almost taking his team victoriously into the seventh round with a high risk “God-tier” double kill. This was the map that Virtus.pro took from Astralis back in the Eleague Majors, and even though the Poles tried to keep the action away from the bomb site in the second half, Astralis came short of a full comeback, bringing the map to an end at 16-7 to Virtus.pro.
Moving onto Overpass, it was another even match-up…for a little while. The pistol and early rounds went Virtus.pro’s way, but a successful fake out from Astralis dictated the confrontation from then on. As terrorists, Virtus.pro’s attacks were too aggressive and ill-equipped to deal with a psychologically dense defence – the clenching final round in particular was a complete walkthrough for Astralis, who evened it up with a 16-4 score.
By the time we reached Mirage, it appeared all the Polish energy was spent. Aside from a very impressive ace by Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski, who turned a dicey 2 v 4 round into a win, the 16-3 final score must have left Virtus.pro fans a little sour. The second of Virtus.pro’s meagre wins was admittedly impressive; with a successful fake-out on the B-bomb site, but it was too little too late, and after several showdowns at the explosive sites the Danes were ready to walk home with $250,000.
The Eleague “Clash for Cash” competition was set up specifically as a chance for redemption for Virtus.pro. One of the oldest and most respected names in the game, the current CIS squad have been struggling to stay in the ESL Pro League, and so far the Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas trophy is their only one hoisted this year. As predictable as last night’s match-up was, there was enough historic precedent (and financial backing from ESForce) that could’ve swung things in Virtus.pro’s favour.
Astralis and Virtus.pro will return in July, along with six other CS:GO “legends” for the PGL Major in Krakow. They will be joined by another six “challengers”, in a competition that could see a new name added to the FPS halls of history.