Defeating the Finns from ENCE 2-0 in the grand final of the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice Major, Astralis have won the first Intel Grand Slam eligible event of the new season and overall their third IGS-eligible event overall.
Across the tournament in Poland, the Danes beat compLexity, Cloud9, Renegades, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Made in Brazil before outclassing the Finnish underdogs.
In the current form Astralis is in, the question seems not if but when they complete their second Intel Grand Slam.
No true contender seems to be out there looking like they could challenge Astralis in the race. FaZe Clan have not improved after replacing Finn "Karrigan" Andersen. TeamLiquid were supposed to be the team to do challenge, but in Katowice they lost to ENCE in the first round of the playoffs. Natus Vincere remain dangerous with Sasha "s1mple" Kostyliev, but not nearly consistent enough. Both of those teams were knocked out by ENCE.
Looking at Katowice results, only Made in Brazil showed signs of progress. With the same core lineup that brought them their previous peak, the Brazilians might be the first team to try to dethrone Astralis, but still not many would bet on it today.
After winning in Katowice, the Danes have nine more events to win their second, third and four eligible title. The earliest it could happen would be on July 7th, 2019, if the Danes win IEM Sydney, DreamHack Masters Dallas and ESL One Cologne.
The next stop is Intel Extreme Masters Sydney on May 3-5, 2019. Don't miss it!