As the Major qualification period came to an end, the favorites emerged victoriously.
With a 2-1 win over HEET, Astralis secured the final spot for the Antwerp Major; the Danes lost Dust2 to the Frenchmen but took Ancient and Nuke instead.
In the third-place decider, NIP proved too strong for ENCE, winning a convincing game on Overpass to claim the Legends spot.
Dust2 began the series, a map that Astralis struggled with within 2022, with the Danes beginning on the CT side.
The first half was fiercely contested, with HEET finding success accessing bombsites but struggling to convert rounds, as Benjamin "*blamed*" Bremer and Asger "*Farlig*" Jensen played key roles in shutting down the offense; the Frenchmen did find a few rounds in the middle of the half, but only managed a 5-10 scoreline, a less than ideal result.
Astralis regained control of the game in the second-half following a HEET pistol win. HEET got the game all the way back to 12-10 before their Danish opposition found any traction on offense; once they did, Astralis picked up a few more, and the game seemed to be over. It was fortunate for HEET that their double AWP setup once again proved so successful, as they ultimately won 16-13.
The Danes were left regretting another disappointing T side, which has been their Achilles heel the entire RMR. Next up was Astralis's pick of Ancient, a map on which the Danes might very well claim to have the best T side in the world.
The HEET started on the CT side and ran away with the game, scoring six without reply, in large part due to the impressive defensive play of Thomas "Djoko*" Pavoni. Despite being shut out completely, Astralis was able to grow into the half, their default-heavy strategy on Ancient bearing fruit; they picked up seven of the final nine rounds to go into the second half at a mere 7-8 deficit.
Despite a pistol win and conversion for Astralis, HEET fought resolutely and found a couple of rounds in man-disadvantage situations to claw back into the game. HEET ran the score all the way to 13-11 before the Norwegians pulled ahead again. Having run out of ideas on its T side, the Danes took control of the game, with Farlig picking up an ace. Astralis closed the game out 16-14, with Wienecke and Farlig playing key roles.
The series was decided on Nuke, and the map began scrappily with both teams trading rounds back and forth; with the score at 3-3, Astralis began to dominate on defense, taking control of the economy and closing out the first half with a scoreline of 11-4 that seemed insurmountable for HEET.
HEET managed to score four straight at the start of their defensive half. However, they blew a chance to shut down Astralis after their first victory; this gave the Danes their way back into the half and they duly won 16-11.
ENCE chose Nuke as the opening map of the Legends-deciding series, and the European team was left to rue their choice.
The defense of NIP was strong as they won the pistol and converted, running the score up to 6-0 before the offense of ENCE got a look in. The European squad did gain some ground, picking up a few rounds, but Lotan "*Spinx*" Giladi was the only player finding any success. ENCE was entitled to four T rounds back given that it lost the pistol.
In their offensive phase, NIP once again won the pistol and converted for a 13-4 score, leaving ENCE without a chance to recover their map pick. The miracle did not come, as NIP comfortably won the map 16-8 to set themselves up for a 2-0 series win.
NIP chose the map Vertigo, and the Ninjas struggled to gain any traction on their T side. The European squad started with the pistol and converted, before trading rounds back and forth in the middle portion of the half; eventually, Olek "Hades" Miskiewicz, Spinx, and Pavle "Maden" Bo*kovi* all scored 90+ ADR on their way to a 12-3 halftime win.
The ENCE team lost six of the first seven rounds of the second half before they found their footing; once they did, it was a straightforward task to close out the map, ending 16-9 in ENCE's favor and bringing the series to the decider of Overpass.
A back-and-forth battle ensued on Overpass, with rounds exchanged closely to a 4-3 score in favor of ENCE, before NIP began to take control of the game, taking seven of the remaining eight rounds to conclude the game with a convincing 10-5 score.
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