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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI to face Gambit in BLAST Premier upper final after taking down BIG

Natus Vincere knocked BIG down to the lower bracket of BLAST Premier Spring Final with a 2-0 victory, beating the German team resoundingly on Dust2 (16-2) and edging out Inferno (16-14).

BIG‘s pick of Dust2 backfired heavily as Johannes “⁠tabseN⁠” Wodarz and co. couldn’t match up with the Russian-Ukranian side in any department, and Ilya “⁠Perfecto⁠” Zalutskiy‘s clutch play proving most difficult to deal with. Then, on BIG‘s first Inferno played since March, Natus Vincere managed to come back from a 12-7 deficit as Terrorists to win the series in two.

In the post match interview, Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev admitted that his team expected to play Overpass, but BIG‘s deviation from their standard veto pushed them towards Inferno. Commenting on the upper-bracket final matchup, the AWPer said that he hopes Natus Vincere are Gambit‘s kryptonite, as they are the only team with a good record against the world’s No. 1 winning the last two head-to-heads. “Maybe they are playing too much, we started to learn their game and play better against them. But still I think they are always focused against us,” s1mple concluded.

Perfecto ensured a smooth victory on Dust2

Natus Vincere were off to a blazing hot start on Dust2, the pick of their opponents. In no time, BIG found themselves 10-0 down on the offensive side as three clutches from Perfecto didn’t allow the Germans to get going. The Russian-Ukrainian side dropped just two rounds before switching sides, went on to win the second pistol, and swept the map 16-2 to move on to Inferno.

With a second-round force-buy win, BIG quickly went on to grab a 4-1 lead on the second map, outdoing their total for Dust2 swiftly. Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov‘s double entry with the CZ-75 set up Natus Vincere to win a force-buy, inspiring his team to tie the scoreline at 5-5. As the map went on, Ismailcan “⁠XANTARES⁠” Dörtkardeş and Nils “⁠k1to⁠” Gruhne continued to cause problems for the defense and finding openings, pushing BIG to a 9-6 advantage at halftime.

The Turkish player picked up four on the pistol and clutched a 1v2 in the follow-up to see his team move closer to victory (12-7), but Natus Vincere didn’t falter. Valeriy “⁠B1T⁠” Vakhovskiy powered through and inspired a comeback with a 15K-8D Terrorist scoreline. The CIS side made the most of the opportunity he provided and closed out the map 16-14 after a couple of frantic rounds at the end of the match.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Gambit beat Complexity to book upper bracket final spot in BLAST Premier Spring Final

“We’ve got to prove that we can beat them; we’ve been so close in the past,” Kristian “⁠k0nfig⁠” Wienecke said in the pre-match interview. “Now it’s time to f–king beat them.”

Like two weeks ago, in the IEM Summer Group A lower bracket final, Complexity came close but couldn’t get over the line. This time around, they were defeated in two close maps by Gambit, who are through to Saturday’s upper bracket final against the winner of BIG vs. Natus Vincere.

It was yet another case of so close yet so far for Complexity, whose leads in both maps always seemed fragile. Like in the previous series, they couldn’t overcome the little mistakes that a team like Gambit ruthlessly punishes. Even when they were behind, the CIS side seemed to be one step ahead.

Gambit dispatched Complexity in two maps

Gambit came out the brighter of the two sides, taking a 4-0 lead on the T side of their map pick of Mirage. Complexity responded with little more than a few Desert Eagles and put some rounds together to level the score, before Gambit ended the half on a high with a four-round streak.

Things looked bright for Complexity as the second half got underway. They seized control of the game and pushed Gambit‘s players right up against the ropes, immediately trading back a round won by the CIS team. But then Vladislav “⁠nafany⁠” Gorshkov pulled a rabbit out of the hat with a trio of frags in an eco round to charge the course of the map. With the momentum generated, Gambit regained their composure and took control of proceedings, keeping their beleaguered opponents in check for a dominant 6-0 run.

k0nfig lit up the server in the first half of Vertigo, leading his team’s efforts in a 9-6 half with a 20-8 score and a 128 ADR. It was an impressive CT showing from Complexity, but they still had to be kicking themselves after the end of the half for letting their foot off the gas for a while after a 6-0 start.

Gambit restored parity after winning the opening three rounds of the half, but their momentum was halted in the first gun round as Justin “⁠jks⁠” Savage pulled off an ace clutch. However, the IEM Summer champions quickly regained their footing and kept their opponents at bay, weathering a very late comeback attempt to secure the map and put the series to rest.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

NAVI edge past FaZe in BLAST Premier Spring Final upper bracket

Natus Vincere overcame FaZe with two 16-14 victories in the second and third maps of their BLAST Premier Spring Final opening series. The two teams played an incredibly close decider map on Mirage after each team took their own map pick, but it was the squad led by Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov that was able to come out ahead in the final round of regulation, denying their rivals a victory in olofmeister’s return to the starting five.

Andrey “⁠B1ad3⁠” Gorodenskiy’s men will now play the upper bracket semi-finals following their opening triumph, where they will face off against BIG, while FaZe will fight for survival in the tournament’s lower bracket in a tough match against their former teammate Nikola “⁠NiKo⁠” Kovač and the rest of the G2 squad.

NAVI put forth a strong team performance to close the series out

The series started on FaZe’s map pick, Ancient, where the Finn “⁠karrigan⁠” Andersen-led team started on the offense, tallying six rounds before the switch. It was then that the international squad were able to really take control, with the aforementioned in-game leader also leading on the scoreboard with 22 kills, 100 ADR and a 1.63 rating as they posted a clean half with Natus Vincere unable to break the defenses a single time.

The CIS squad looked poised to wipe the slate clean with a victory on Dust2 and took the first rounds of the map on the attack, but FaZe put up resistance with an on-point Håvard “⁠rain⁠” Nygaard from the first moment they could get their hands on rifles, tallying a five round streak in a half that stayed close all the way to the last round, which went the way of FaZe. NAVI retook the lead on the CT side, and although they weren’t allowed to run away on the scoreboard, in the end it was the CIS squad who were able to clinch the map in the last round of regulation to force a decider map.

Mirage started out as a close affair with Natus Vincere on the attack and FaZe on the CT side, although it was Aleksandr “⁠s1mple⁠” Kostyliev and company who had the edge throughout the half despite losing the pistol round as they carried a 9-6 lead at the time of switching sides. FaZe didn’t fret and tied things up after the first three rounds of the second half but a series of back-and-forth rounds kept the map even. Ultimately, it was Natus Vincere who were able to thrive in the dying embers of the match to win another 16-14 map and secure the series.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Complexity beat NIP to move on in BLAST Premier Spring Final upper bracket

Complexity got their BLAST Premier Spring Final campaign off to a winning start by taking down NIP comfortably 2-0 in the opening round. The international squad stamped their authority on the series after a 0-5 start on Mirage, going on to claim the map thanks to the deadly duo of k0nfig and Benjamin “⁠blameF⁠” Bremer before taking Ancient convincingly in the team’s first official appearance on the new addition.

blameF & co. will now square off with Gambit in the upper semi-finals on Thursday at 15:30