Natus Vincere couldn’t shake off the image they put forth in the group stage, where they scraped by barely making it to the tournament’s playoff stage, and trailed behind Complexity since the beginning of their own map pick. It appeared as if the CIS squad would be able to make things competitive on Mirage, managing a 9-3 lead early on with a fiery Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev manning the AWP, but they were ultimately unable to push the series to a decider map on the attacking side.
Complexity will now play Virtus.pro, who made a heroic comeback against ENCE in their first playoff series, in the next round of the bracket on Sunday at 19:00 for a spot in the quarter-finals. “We have a good chance of beating [Virtus.pro],” Benjamin “blameF” Bremer said in the post-match interview, “they’re an insane team but either team can win and we definitely expect and hope to win.”
Complexity looked in complete control early on as the defending team on Dust2, their away map in the series, taking a 6-0 lead before Natus Vincere could contest a round, although the CIS squad finally brought the half back to a palatable 6-9, keeping the map open before switching over to the CT side.
blameF and company then picked back up on the attack, taking the second pistol round and putting some distance between themselves and their rivals, who were only able to tally two successful defenses as Complexity plowed their way to a 16-8 map win as red-hot William “RUSH” Wierzba led the way with seven opening kills and a 1.66 rating.
Complexity made it three for three in pistol rounds on the attacking side of Mirage, but Natus Vincere were quick to react this time around, winning the third-round eco to propel themselves into the lead and take a dominating position as s1mple caused havoc round after round with his AWP. Down 3-9 Complexity were finally able to find their footing, winning three rounds to shorten the distance on the scoreboard in hopes of finding a way back into the map in the second half.
Once again Natus Vincere failed to convert on a pistol round and were tied by Complexity in the third round of the half, 9-9, after Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke won a 1vs1 against Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy. The two teams then traded blows and remained equal after 22 rounds, but two big rounds by blameF put Complexity on track to victory as they went on to close out the map and series 16-11 to proceed to the next round of play.