ATK have faced tough matchup after tough matchup at EPL so far

What to expect from ATK vs. Astralis

The international squad have their backs to the wall heading into today's game.

After daunting matches versus ENCE and Liquid, ATK now find themselves in the Last Change Stage of ESL Pro League Season 17, squaring off against Astralis for a shot at keeping their run alive. While the squad have shown some signs of life in the event, the team will need to give it their all they have if they want to move past the Danish side.

A one-man show

ATK have had a rough go of things in Group D of EPL so far, only notching one map win across their two series played. That is not to say it has been a complete wash for the squad, as ATK kept things close on Mirage versus Liquid, and were able to drag their series versus ENCE to a third map. ATK have also had a shining light in the form of Michael "Swisher" Schmid, who features the only positive rating on the squad, and by a significant margin. If ATK are to stand a chance versus Astralis, Swisher will need to maintain his stellar showing this event while also receiving support from some of his teammates.

  • Only one map victory so far (Vertigo vs ENCE)

  • Swisher leads the pack by a country mile (1.13 average rating)

  • Remaining four players all have sub-0.90 ratings

  • Limited success in previous European online events

Bruised, but battle-tested

Astralis, while certainly not favorites for the group overall, come into this matchup with the odds on their side. While they dropped two series to end up in this position in the first place, their matchups versus Spirit and NAVI were arguably much tougher than ATK's run of ENCE and Liquid. While Astralis don't quite have a player producing star performances like Swisher, the ratings of the squad are far more well-rounded, which allowed them to bring their match versus NAVI to the wire.

  • Faced two particularly tough teams en route to Last Chance Stage

  • No stellar showings; highest rating is device with a 1.07 average

  • Lowest rated players fare far better than ATK's (Xyp9x with a 0.92 versus djay's 0.73)

  • Considerable amount of experience at top LAN events

Likely Vetoes

While ATK are certainly underdogs heading into this match, they can find some solace in the game's veto. Both squads feature fixed perma-bans, with ATK and Astralis banning Nuke and Anubis, respectively, and while ATK has been flexible on their pick, Ancient has been the favorite of Astralis so far. A Mirage pick from ATK would not be unrealistic, considering Astralis' 20% win rate on the map and the close nature of ATK's Mirage against Liquid. The decider will likely come down to Inferno, considering Astralis' recent success on Overpass and their limited showings on Vertigo.

  • ATK ban Nuke

  • Astralis ban Anubis

  • ATK pick Mirage

  • Astralis pick Ancient

  • Decider of Inferno

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