A comeback on Inferno sealed the French triumph.
Vitality defeated Astralis 2-1 to go to the upper bracket final of the BLAST Premier Fall Final. To begin the series, Dan “apEX” Madesclaire’s lads won a highly competitive Nuke 22-18 before the Danes replied on Dust2 16-14. Vitality won Inferno 16-11 thanks to an outstanding effort from Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut throughout the series.
The French team finished in the top four at the event and will now face Natus Vincere in an attempt to advance to the grand finals. Meanwhile, Astralis has advanced to the lower semi-finals, where they will meet the winner of BIG vs. FaZe on Friday at 02:30.
Vitality put on a strong defensive performance on Nuke, going toe-to-toe with Astralis in a half that saw apEX roll back the years to help ZywOo contain the Danish advance. The French won five rounds in a row before switching sides with a 9-6 victory.
The second half got off to a shaky start. Vitality secured the pistol and planned a push on the A bombsite, but a Benjamin “blameF” Bremer Deagle ace put an end to that, resulting in a back-and-forth force buy between the two teams. Astralis went on a little winning streak to recover the lead after the awkward round exchange, but it wasn’t to last.
Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander’s squad lost a map point and needed to win another force buy to force overtime. The first round of extra time was insufficient to determine a winner, thus the two teams went into a second round. After a faultless CT side, the French team was able to seal overtime and take Astralis’ pick 22-18 by converting a post plant on B.
Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke teased the French with both the rifle and the AWP to lead his team to a ten-round victory streak in their Dust2 debut. With five in a row, apEX and co. were able to save the half at the final finish before exchanging sides at 5-10.
From the end of the first half, the French maintained their pace, gradually narrowing the deficit and grabbing the lead at 12-11 after halting an Astralis late A assault. Despite ZywOo’s best efforts on the CT side, the Danes maintained their focus and won the map 16-14 after a brief winning streak.
Philip “Lucky” Ewald and k0nfig barricaded the A bombsite during an early Danish streak on Inferno, with the 18-year-old briefly shining in his new role with the rifle. A 0-6 deficit did not deter Vitality’s spirit, as they were able to claw back half with intermittent round wins before settling for a 6-9 T side.
On the CT side, it was Richard “shox” Papillon’s turn to put on a vintage performance, earning a critical 1v2 clutch on round 25, allowing his team to finish the final 16-11 and take the series 2-1.