After two and a half months of competition for the top spot in the North American and European divisions, as well as the South American and Oceania qualifiers, two teams met in the best-of-five grand final, where Astralis defeated Team Liquid 3-1 to claim the ESL Pro League Season 7 title.
Path to the grand finals
Prior to Championship Sunday, Team Liquid went the extra mile against mousesports in the quarterfinals, where the North American’s edged mouz in double-overtime to take the series lead before stomping the German-based team on Dust2 for the semifinal spot. Natus Vincere, who were seeded directly into the semis after failing to drop a single series during group play, waited for Team Liquid’s arrival in the semifinals, but were defeated across Dust2 and Inferno to hand Team Liquid their grand final berth.
On the other side of the bracket, FaZe Clan and SK Gaming met once again in the playoffs, where Finn “karrigan” Andersen and his men have not yet defeated SK offline until this very series. Right off the bat, FaZe Clan took control of the series by dropping only one pistol round across Overpass and Mirage, where they stomped SK 16-5 to claim the semifinal spot. The IEM Sydney grand final rematch between the awaiting Danes of Astralis and FaZe Clan saw Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander and company get revenge over FaZe Clan, who could only win nine rounds across two maps in the semifinal loss, with Astralis returning to the grand final.
Astralis puts Team Liquid down in four
The best-of-five grand final in the Lone Star State kicked off on Team Liquid’s map pick, Dust2, where Astralis made it seen it was their own map pick with a commanding 14-1 lead on the CT-side at the half. Gla1ve and his men marched on through the second half to claim the remaining two rounds to take the map. The series then landed on Nuke, where Team Liquid quickly took control of the first half to wheel out a 9-6 scoreline going into the second. Astralis had a smooth start in the second half over Team Liquid, but the two teams traded rounds where gla1ve and company finally edged the map 16-14 to take the 2-0 series lead.
The North Americans got another chance on their map pick, Mirage, where the slow start from Nick “nitr0” Cannella and his men quickly turned round to rebound for the offensive 6-2 lead. Astralis managed to work their scrappy economy to reclaim the lead and take the first half 8-7. Astralis remained in the driver’s seat with five straight in the second half on the T-side before Team Liquid stood tall with seven in a row to take the 14-13 lead. Astralis managed to equalize the score, but that was about all the Danes could write as Team Liquid remains alive with a 16-14 win, trailing in the series 2-1.
It all came down to Inferno, Astralis’ map pick, with Team Liquid holding the line to pick up a slated 3-0 start on the CT-side. Gla1ve rallied his men to contest, but Team Liquid were too strong on the retakes and took control on the defense to round out the first half, 10-5. Team Liquid came out in the second pistol to extend their lead to 11-6, but Astralis came back in dominating form to win six straight on the defensive side before the North American could respond. From there, the Danes of Astralis remained composed and won the remaining five rounds to claim the ESL Pro League Season 7 title in Dallas.