But the real story of the tournament has to be the defeat of Astralis. The team which everyone had considered far and away favorites, dropped games left and right, in a disappointing fifth place finish.
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Arguably, Astralis put on nothing less than their usual stellar performance for most of their matches. During round one and two especially, Astralis looked exactly like the team that dominated at the 2019 IEM Season XIII Katowice World Championship and the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals just a few months ago.
Particularly in their match versus Na’Vi, Astralis forced their opponents to play cautiously every round, turning the tables on AstOleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev’s AWP play throughout the series.
But by day two, it seemed that every other team was prepared for Astralis. The cautious play turned into calculated victories as Made in Brazil dominated them in round three. Runners up Team Liquid were able to secure a hard-fought win in round four. Then, in round five, eventual champions FaZe had clearly had their number, defeating them 16-5.
This was one of the most competitive tournaments this year, with teams trading wins in an entertaining and surprising fashion. All that remains to be seen is whether this tournament loss was the beginning of the end of Astralis’ dominance or just a small hiccup in their form.