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The IEM Rio Legends stage starts on Saturday
  1. Esports

Esports: Astralis stun NIP to reach BLAST grand final

Danes Astralis have made their way to the BLAST Premier Spring Showdown Europe grand final after a dominant 2-0 victory over Ninjas In Pyjamas, setting up a clash with ENCE on Sunday evening.

Astralis - 5/6 to defeat ENCE - came into the tournament with inconsistent form, have steadily built up a solid map pool and that improvement was showcased in no uncertain terms.

Ninjas In Pyjamas, buoyed by the recent signing of superstar Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin, had enjoyed plenty of success in recent tournaments, but proved no match for Astralis on this occasion.

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The series kicked off on Astralis' pick of Nuke and, on a map that usually favours the defensive sides, they entered the break with an 8-7 lead after their attacking phase.

Astralis themselves have always been notable for solid defensive strategies, and they closed out their map pick 16-11.

Better was expected of Ninjas In Pyjamas as we moved to Mirage, but unstoppable performances by new signing Asger "Farlig" Jensen and Benjamin "blameF" Bremer saw Astralis cruise to a 14-1 lead on their defensive half.

Astralis show no mercy

Astralis were in no mood to let the Ninjas back into the map and quickly closed the series with a 16-1 success, the biggest margin of victory at both the North American and European showdowns thus far.

ENCE awaits them in what promises to be a fascinating grand final, given that side's recent successes.

Defeating Copenhagen Flames and Heroic to get to this point, ENCE have displayed a polished map pool and, with individuals stepping up when required, they are very strong opponents.

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