December 9 Astralis once again defeated Team Liquid to win the ESL Pro League Season 8 champions, and have become the first-ever winners of the Intel Grand Slam.
Danish CS:GO squad Astralis was making a run for the Intel Grand Slam after defeating mousesports in their ESL Pro League Season 8 playoffs match this weekend. It put them within striking distance of their fourth major trophy, and a cool $1 million bonus prize – which they’re taking home with them today.
Saturday’s matchup began with mousesports’ pick, Mirage. Astralis began strong, taking the first three rounds playing as Terrorists and going on to a six-in-a-row streak to end the half at 9-6. Mousesports kept the first round competitive, but they couldn’t completely close the gap and Astralis took round one 16-12.
Next up was Astralis’ map pick, Inferno. Mousesports fell to a 1-4 disadvantage early, but stayed in the game thanks to clutch plays by Miikka “suNny” Kemppi and Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný. Even so, by the half they were down 5-10 against the Danish squad.
Once they took over as Counter-Terrorists, Astralis cruised to victory with a second six-in-a-row winstreak to take the match and secure a finals berth. Today, they’ll take on Team Liquid – and given the two teams’ history against each other, Astralis is heavily favored to win.
Winning the championship means they’ve earned a $250,000 USD (£196,371.25) share of the prize pool, but also the $1 million Intel Grand Slam prize – a feat that so far has never been accomplished. To do it, a team has to win four major tournaments within ten qualifying events – in other words, once you’ve won your first qualifying event, you’ve got nine more tournaments to finish off the set and claim the prize.
Astralis began their run with their win at the Dreamhack Masters Marseille in April, and followed that up by winning the ESL Season 7 finals in May. In November, they won at IEM 13 Chicago