After a turbulent beginning to a new age, Ukrainians must start from scratch. The team just made it past the BLAST Premier Fall Groups last week, so losing this match would be disheartening, to put it mildly.
Even though it's still early for this new NaVi, a miss in Cologne seemed unthinkable, given their record of success in that city. At the million-dollar Gamers8 2023 event on August 16 in Saudi Arabia, we are now NaVi's most probable competition.
Before being severely damaged by a NaVi on Nuke, who seemed to have gained some new energy, the Danish team just about closed off their map selection of Ancient. However, they may ultimately credit Christian "Buzz" Andersen for his truly horrifying performance, as the Danish rifler thoroughly destroyed Ukrainians on Overpass to advance his team to the arena and record the highest-rated map of his career.
Round after round on the T side, he single-handedly destroyed NaVi Monster setups. He grabbed a crucial clutch early in Astralis' CT half to put his team on 14 rounds.
Astralis will play Heroic on Friday, and the winner advances to face G2 in the semifinals, setting up a Danish derby in the quarterfinals. The two Danish teams previously faced off at the beginning of the year's BLAST Spring Groups, when Heroic defeated Astralis 2-1 thanks to a pair of 16-4 victories on Vertigo and Mirage.
As a consequence, s1mple has never before in his career failed to earn a spot in the Lanxess Arena. Since his first ESL Cologne tournament in 2016, he had succeeded in every opportunity he had to compete in the German arena, but Astralis proved to be too powerful this time.
NaVi will be miffed with their early defeat to MOUZ, which sent them to the lower bracket, as well as the fact that they couldn't finish the job after having Astralis by the neck on Ancient, which might have made it a 2-0 triumph.
Recall that BLAST launches proposals for host sites in 2024, claiming a €22 million profit. A official location selection process has been started by esports tournament organizer BLAST for its big esports events in 2024 and beyond.