Astralis is currently ranked at #17 in the world after the burnouts from Gla1ve and Xyp9x left the Danish team considerably lacking in fragging power. Gla1ve is back, but not playing in the current ESL One Cologne 2020 Online which left many to consider Astralis to be in a far weaker form than most would readily like.
The Swedish Fnatic, on the other hand, have maintained their top ten rank (at GS#8 currently) throughout the pandemic, shifting from offline to online without seemingly batting an eye.
So when Astralis was pitted against Fnatic in the first day of matches in the ESL One Cologne 2020 Online, many believed that things were over before the server had even populated.
Everyone had forgotten about Astralis’ newest pickup, Lucas ‘Bubzkji’ Anderson that was signed on to replace JUGi after some uninspired performances. Bubzkji turned out to be the ace in the sleeve of Astralis today as the two titanic European teams clashed.
The first map was Astralis pick of Nuke, and it was frankly over before most had their tea brewed. Astralis began on T side where they successfully routed Fnatic’s defenses on a consistent basis, alternating their points between eliminations and successful demos. Fnatic was able to put five points on the board of the first fifteen, and the teams changed sides for an explosive CT side from the Danish where the picked up the remaining six needed points with ease (16-5).
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) August 18, 2020
Train was the choice of the Swedes, and they were more than eager to put Astralis through the wringer after getting dunked on in the first map of Nuke. With Fnatic beginning on T and Astralis on CT, Fnatic struggled to put points on the board as both Device and Bubzkji alternated between eliminating scores of the enemy.
Bubzkji notably felt very comfortable in popdog (ladder room) of Train, contesting Krimz with relative impunity while singularly managing to stymie the offense of Fnatic again and again. The first half ended at (7-8), and the second half saw the reverse of (8-7) which committed everyone to overtime.
With banks bursting at the seams, Astralis brought the full weight down onto Fnatic as they alternated between thwarting pushes and retaking compromised sites without a sweat; Bubzjki proved himself to be a formidable foe for the Swedes as overtime drew to a close in the advantage of Astralis (19-17).
Lucas ‘Bubzkji’ Anderson took the Player of the Match award with similar ease after top-fragging in the server and single-handedly thwarting the advances of a well-seasoned Swedish team.
With precisely how well Bubzjki played, the future of Astralis looks brighter than before the pandemic and burnout vacations did, if that was somehow possible. Their bench is deeper than New York Excelsiors, and they clearly know how to use them.