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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI beat FURIA to qualify for playoffs, G2 oust EG in IEM Katowice

Natus Vincere have secured a spot in the IEM Katowice playoffs after beating FURIA 2-0 to send the Brazilian side to Group B’s lower bracket, while G2 survived a tough series against Evil Geniuses to eliminate the North American side from the tournament in joint-ninth place.

Natus Vincere opened their series with a hard-earned victory on Mirage, where several key plays from Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev made all the difference. The superstar’s three multi-kills gave his team an early advantage after a forcebuy back-and-forth that lasted for five rounds, which led to a 9-6 CT half.

s1mple & co. march on to Group B’s upper final unbeaten

NAVI extended their lead after sides switched with a pistol round win but struggled in the opening gunrounds, with FURIA equalizing the score at 12-12, before s1mple stepped up again with two triples to get NAVI out of the rut and close the map 16-13.

Nuke was a much simpler affair for Natus Vincere once they got ahead after another early blow-for-blow exchange in forcebuy rounds. With Deagles in hand in the tenth round, the Russian side managed to tilt the economy in their favor and stabilize, winning a few close scenarios to pick up another 9-6 half. FURIA secured the second pistol, but another forcebuy upset gave NAVI all the tools to close the series with ease at 16-8, 2-0.

Over in Group A’s lower bracket, G2 secured Train and Dust2 in narrow fashion against Evil Geniuses despite Vincent “⁠Brehze⁠” Cayonte‘s best efforts, as the American went 33-16 and 29-20 only to see his team lose both maps by the smallest of margins, 14-16 and 14-16.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

FURIA, NAVI advance through IEM Katowice Group B upper bracket

FURIA overcame NIP 2-0 in Paytyn “⁠junior⁠” Johnson‘s first match with the team, while the CIS derby between Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere went the way of Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev and company with the same scoreline. The winners, FURIA and Natus Vincere, will face off in the Group B upper bracket, while the losers will play each other for survival in the lower bracket.

Virtus.pro set the pace on the attacking side of Dust2 by abusing mid splits and B executes, which Alexey “⁠qikert⁠” Golubev and company were able to exploit all the way to a comfortable 11-4, but Natus Vincere’s slow start didn’t stop them after the switch, when Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov and s1mple led the charge in a 12-round streak to snatch the map 16-11.

Virtus.pro had another early lead, this time on the CT side of Train, but Natus Vincere found a six round streak at the end of the half to turn the tides on their own map pick. Denis “⁠electronic⁠” Sharipov and company then kept their lead in the second half, going up 12-8, until a clutch by Timur “⁠buster⁠” Tulepov gave his team another lifeline. Virtus.pro tried to shift momentum, but unsuccessfully as NAVI closed the map and series out 16-9.

arT destabilized NIP with 16 opening frags

A strong early 5-0 lead by NIP on the attacking side of Overpass was met by an equally strong defense by FURIA after they managed to get their economy in order, as the Brazilian squad went on a tear winning a clean ten rounds to hit double digits before switching sides. NIP tried to hold their own on the CT side, but FURIA proved too much to handle and came out on top 16-12.

On Nuke NIP were first out of the gate on the CT side, but FURIA immediately took the reins of the map with Andrei “⁠arT⁠” Piovezan and Vinicius “⁠VINI⁠” Figueiredo both shining on the attack. Down 4-11 NIP weren’t able to make a dent on the score, as FURIA cleaned house to end the map 16-4 and secure the series to proceed through the upper bracket.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI overcome MIBR in BLAST Premier Spring group C opener

Natus Vincere put their best foot forward in the first game of BLAST Premier Spring Group C, taking down MIBR 2-1. The CIS side looked convincing on Mirage and Dust2, led by their star s1mple, but dropped Train where the Brazilians put up a flawless Terrorist side.

With Astralis, Vitality, G2, and OG faltering in groups A and B, failing to make it directly to the BLAST Premier Spring Finals, Natus Vincere are hoping to live up to the favorites tag in group C in order to avoid joining them in the Showdown event, from which only two teams advance. The winner of FaZeLiquid will be Natus Vincere‘s next opponent in the group stage, with the winner securing the Spring Finals spot.

Despite a below-average Train, s1mple posted a 1.42 rating for the series

Natus Vincere took the lead early on the defensive side of Mirage, MIBR‘s map pick, with s1mple‘s 1v3 making the score 6-0. A low-buy worked out for the Brazilian side, getting them on the board, with some strong entry work from Daniel “⁠danoco⁠” Morgado seeing the gap shrink to 7-4.

The CIS side recovered from the setback to end the half strongly, 10-5, before a clean pistol round propelled them to map point in no time, 15-6. Double kills from Ricardo “⁠boltz⁠” Prass and Gustavo “⁠yel⁠” Knittel kept MIBR alive in the next round and they managed to push it to 15-10, when Natus Vincere closed out the map.

A different-look MIBR showed up on Train, taking the game by the horns and going 4-0 up as yel posted 10 kills, including an anti-eco ace. The Brazilians got six unanswered rounds before Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov started finding openings and got Natus Vincere back into it, ending the half just one round behind.

Bruno “⁠shz⁠” Martinelli‘s quad kill in the pistol got MIBR back on track, and Natus Vincere‘s defenses were no match for boltz and co. At 14-7, it seemed that Natus Vincere were good for their first round on the defense, but yel turned it around in the 2v3 and won the map after a flawless T-side, 16-7.

That momentum was brought over to Dust2, where MIBR took a 5-0 lead off the bat. s1mple started rolling shortly, with his AWP cutting down opponents, leading Natus Vincere to chain ten rounds in a row. The streak continued after the switch as Andrey “⁠B1ad3⁠” Gorodenskiy‘s men cleaned up the pistol and anti-eco, making the score 13-5. In round 20, Marcelo “⁠chelo⁠” Cespedes denied s1mple‘s 1v3 clutch, but only prolonged the inevitable. As the Ukrainian superstar reached a 28K-9D scoreline, Natus Vincere claimed the map dominantly, 16-6.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI brush aside Astralis to win BLAST Premier Global Final

Natus Vincere won the BLAST Premier Global Final 2020 after recording a convincing 2-0 victory over world No.1 Astralis. Fresh off a three-map thriller against Vitality in the consolidation final, the CIS team showed no signs of fatigue as they put up a world-class display against an off-colour Astralis side that was outfought and outclassed.

Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev, who was crowned the tournament’s MVP, was once again the main catalyst behind NAVI, but there were strong performances all around in the CIS team. Just days ago, when they were defeated by Liquid in the first round of the tournament, it would have been almost impossible to imagine such a comeback from the team, who capped off a dream lower bracket run with a display reminiscent of their IEM Katowice 2020 campaign.

“I think we are stronger than last year, as you can see we can actually pull off some comebacks and we have more belief in each other,” s1mple said after the series. “We just keep practising every day, discussing things, fixing mistakes. Everyone wants to reach this goal. We want to stay at the top for as long as possible.”

NAVI made light work of Astralis in a one-sided affair

NAVI made a hot start to the series, racing to a 4-0 lead on the T side of Nuke, their own map pick. Astralis, who handed Lucas “⁠Bubzkji⁠” Andersen his first game of 2021, responded with Desert Eagles and a MAC-10 and then tightened up, gradually taking the upper hand in this evenly-contested first half. The Danish team seemed to have gained a strong foothold in the game, but then NAVI put together another streak of rounds to end the half ahead.

Egor “⁠flamie⁠” Vasilyev opened the action in the second half with a crisp quad-kill on the lower site to kick NAVI further into the lead. The CIS team held off a comeback attempt by Astralis and rallied to a 14-9 lead before clutch rounds by Lukas “⁠gla1ve⁠” Rossander and Emil “⁠Magisk⁠” Reif restored hope amongst the Danish side’s fans. However, there was no stopping NAVI, who locked down the map in the 28th round in style, Ilya “⁠Perfecto⁠” Zalutskiy pulling off a jumping headshot with a P250 in a spectacular eco round from the team.

Inferno began with a flawless pistol round from NAVI, a sign of what was to follow: Astralis made things competitive for a while, but the game quickly became a one-way street as the CIS giants steamrolled their way to a 10-5 lead, led by Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov on 19 frags.

More misery was to come for Astralis, who lost the pistol round as newcomer Valeriy “⁠B1T⁠” Vakhovskiy picked up a quad-kill on the A site. The Danish team still attempted a response, but NAVI refused to take their foot off the gas and wrapped things up without losing a single round in the half.

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BLAST Premier Global Final 2020 standings:

1. Russia Natus Vincere – $600,000
2. Denmark Astralis – $200,000
3. France Vitality – $80,000
4. United States Liquid – $50,000
5-6. Europe G2 – $20,000
5-6. United States Evil Geniuses – $20,000
7-8. Europe Complexity – $15,000
7-8. Brazil FURIA – $15,000

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI overcome Vitality to reach BLAST grand final

A thriller consolidation final BO3 between Natus Vincere and Vitality finished with the former team taking a 2-1 victory and earning a spot in the title match against Astralis.

The best player of 2020, Mathieu “⁠ZywOo⁠” Herbaut, and the second-best one, Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev, both had stellar showings in the match. Though, it was Natus Vincere‘s AWPer that pushed it across the line with a 1.74 rating on the decider, Dust2, to ensure his side a grand final bout against Astralis.

s1mple put up another masterclass to take down ZywOo and co.

Nuke kicked off with Vitality taking a 4-1 lead, but Natus Vincere managing to break the Frenchmen’s bank with a mixed-buy proved pivotal to them getting into the groove. The score was 6-4 for them when ZywOo‘s aggressive ramp play netted him a double entry, pulling the scoreline back to finish with just one round between the two teams at half time.

Vitality pushed ahead after the switch by winning the pistol and were up 11-8 before Denis “⁠electronic⁠” Sharipov‘s double put Natus Vincere in a strong situation to win their first defensive buy round. However, Vitality struck back and reached 15-9 after a Dan “⁠apEX⁠” MadesclaireRichard “⁠shox⁠” Papillon 2v4, but the CIS side still showed class. With their back against the walls and s1mple powering up, they chained six in a row to reach overtime and then closed it out, 19-17, to win their map pick.

Things moved to Overpass next, where Natus Vincere‘s 3-0 lead post-pistol was canceled out by Vitality thanks to Kévin “⁠misutaaa⁠” Rabier showing up in first buy with a quad kill. From 3-3, the CIS side took back the lead with great play from s1mple as well as Egor “⁠flamie⁠” Vasilyev, who put up a 4K hold in round 8. Just when it was looking like the Frenchmen were going to get run over on their map pick (8-3 down), they scraped their way back into the half to finish it 8-7.

The second half was a full-out brawl, as Vitality took four of the first five rounds, but Natus Vincere came alive after a triple-kill from Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov to equalize at 12-12. In the dying embers of the map, shox found consistent success playing aggressively on A, helping his side to close out Overpass 16-12.

Strong play from shox set Vitality up for the early lead as CT on Dust2, 4-0, with the scoreline turning on its head after s1mple‘s AWP triple kill and Ilya “⁠Perfecto⁠” Zalutskiy‘s 1v2 clutch, which destroyed Vitality‘s economy. After that, Natus Vincere ran up a strong lead by punishing the mid holds from Vitality, finishing the half 10-5.

Another pistol added to the tally of the French side gave them a route back into the game, however, Natus Vincere were back to winning ways after their double eco, reaching 13-8. apEX‘s team managed to add one more round soon, but were unable to convert against a low-buy which saw their opponents take the victory, 16-10.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI take revenge on Liquid in BLAST Premier Global Final

Natus Vincere have booked a spot in the consolidation final of the BLAST Premier Global Final after posting a 2-0 victory over Liquid, taking revenge on the North American side for Wednesday’s defeat by the same scoreline. The maps were exactly the same as in that first match just three days ago, but NAVI looked a much more resolute side this time around, keeping their composure even when things were frantic in the closing stages.

Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev spearheaded the team’s spectacular Inferno comeback with an imperious display on the T side (1.89 rating), while Egor “⁠flamie⁠” Vasilyev led the charge on Nuke after coming on in between maps. The CIS giants seem to be improving after each match, but they will now face their biggest test yet in the form of Vitality in the consolidation final, with Astralis lying in wait in the tournament decider.

NAVI went into the match all guns blazing, storming to a 6-1 on the CT side of Inferno, Liquid‘s map choice. The North Americans then finally got a footing in the game, courtesy of a trio of frags by Michael “⁠Grim⁠” Wince and then a 1v2 clutch from Keith “⁠NAF⁠” Markovic in the following round, but NAVI picked up the pace in the final stages of the half and picked up a 9-6 lead, with Valeriy “⁠B1T⁠” Vakhovskiy leading the charge with 16 frags.

s1mple will go up against ZywOo on Sunday

Liquid came out of the break looking lively and shut out NAVI six rounds in a row with a watertight defence. Things looked a bit concerning for the CIS giants, who were struggling to find openings and looked bereft of ideas, but then s1mple did what he normally does and pulled the team out of an adverse situation. After putting up 15 frags in the first 21 rounds of the game, he shifted into a higher year and racked up 18 kills in the following eight rounds to inspire NAVI’s comeback against a shellshocked Liquid side that could do nothing to stop the Ukrainian prodigy.

Nuke began with Liquid looking the brighter of the two sides, keeping the Terrorists at bay during the early stages for a 7-1 lead. NAVI responded with 3v5 clutches in back-to-back rounds, which changed the complexion of the game: The CIS team took control of proceedings after that and reduced the deficit to a solitary round before the break, with Ilya “⁠Perfecto⁠” Zalutskiy raising eyebrows with multiple key frags.

NAVI carried that momentum into the second half and won six rounds in a row, bringing the scoreline to 13-8. They seemed on the brink of victory, but then a 1v3 clutch by Jonathan “⁠EliGE⁠” Jablonowski turned the game on its head and revitalised Liquid, who went on a dominant run, eventually taking the lead after clutching a 2v4 situation. NAVI would not let things get out of hand, however, and locked down the map after tightening up in the dying stages of the game.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI overrun G2; march on in BLAST Premier Global Final lower bracket

Natus Vincere took down G2 in convincing fashion, 2-0, to eliminate the French-Balkan team from the tournament. The CIS side fell into the lower bracket early, afer a loss to Liquid, while G2 were two rounds away from taking down Astralis in the upper bracket final on Thursday, but are now out of the event.

The Natus VincereG2 match was clear-cut from the start, as Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov‘s men took the lead on Train and didn’t let go of it for the whole series. They continue their lower bracket run on Saturday, with a rematch against Liquid.

Natus Vincere looked unstoppable in the series

Boombl4‘s triple kill opened up the action on Train, with the CIS squad bouncing back from an anti-force loss to grab the early lead as Terrorists. G2‘s engine struggled to get going, as they only grabbed their second when Natus Vincere already had eight on the board. Nemanja “⁠nexa⁠” Isaković‘s team was unable to tie two together, though, with the map continuing onward in a similar fashion.

The half time finished 11-4 and Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač secured the pistol for his side with a quad kill, but again no momentum was built as s1mple took down three with the SSG-08 to win the force-buy. With a massive lead, Natus Vincere had no issues closing out their map pick, 16-6.

On Mirage, NiKo found himself in three clutch situations early on, but losing two of them meant Natus Vincere stamped their foot down on the second map. They reached an 8-1 lead before nexa‘s double-entry got G2 rolling and made the half competitive.

The European side salvaged the offensive half, reaching six rounds before the switch, but Boombl4‘s double burst-fire frag extended the lead for Natus Vincere on the pistol. Ilya “⁠Perfecto⁠” Zalutskiy was also having a great game, and finished with a 19K-9D scoreline as his team concluded the series with a 16-8 on Mirage.

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