In was the longest and certainly one of the most memorable matches we have so far seen in CS:GO: VeryGames have defeated Natus Vincere 2-1 to progress to the Mad Catz semi-finals.
After more than six hours VeryGames and Natus Vincere finally settled their differences in a tie that had no shortage of drama, with nail-bitting overtimes, great rounds and also network problems. The Frenchmen march on in the tournament, while the Ukrainians will return home empty-handed.
The first map of the tie was de_mirage_csgo, and it proved to be one of the most interesting maps that we have so far seen in the game. VeryGames got off on the wrong foot here as their pistol round rush failed to take down a single player from Na´Vi.
The Ukrainian team then survived a major scare in the second round, as VG came close to restoring parity with an eco rush onto B, but the last Na´Vi player won the decisive 1-on-1 clash and defused the bomb.
Na´Vi went on to take the score to 6-0, and even though they were enjoying a commanding lead, the biggest difference between the two sides was that every close round was going the way of the Ukrainian team. Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom, however, made sure to put an end to that trend, winning a 1-on-2 situation after the bomb had been planted on A to give VeryGames their first round.
The French team then added one more round, reducing the deficit to 6-2, but just when everyone thought that a comeback was in the making, Na´Vi regained control of proceedings and won five rounds in a row, much to the dismay of the ESWC runners-up.
With just about every tactic failing to produce results, VeryGames opted for aggressive early pushes, and that is how they got their round of the first half. They went close to adding a fourth round to their tab right after, but Yegor "markeloff" Markelov had different plans, winning a 1-on-3 situation, with two wallbangs in the process, to put Na´Vi in the lead 12-3.
Now on the defensive side, VeryGames looked like a much stronger side, winning the first seven rounds to take the score to 12-10. The Frenchmen then surprisingly decided to play aggressively and do some early pushes, a strategy that cost them the next two rounds.
With the score now 14-10 in favour of Na´Vi, Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans ordered his men to go back to their default strategy, and without too much surprise VeryGames regained control of the game, winning five rounds in succession. The Ukrainian giants' tactics seemed very limited, as 90 per cent of the time they rushed the A bombsite, but they were still able to win the last round of the half to take the game to overtime.
After five overtimes failed to set the two teams apart, VeryGames turned in a strong performance at the sixth attempt to win the map 34-30 and take the lead in the tie.
VG were the stronger side on mirage
Things did not look too good for Na´Vi, who had just lost the map they had picked, as the two teams switched to de_dust2_se. Here, the Ukrainian team started out the brighter, winning the pistol round, but then VeryGames gave a good response and won several rounds in a row. However, Na´Vi refused to concede defeat and turned the score around to go into interval up 11-4.
Now on the Terrorist side, VeryGames knew they had a mountain to climb to win the map, but still attempted to turn the score around and get the victory that would take them to the last-four stage. But all they managed was to win seven rounds, with Na´Vi coming out on top 16-11 to level the tie on one map.
de_inferno_se then followed, with VeryGames starting out on the Terrorist side. After taking down Sergey "starix" Ischuk early on in the pistol round, the Frenchmen proceeded to rushing the B bombsite. By the time the bomb was planted, Na´Vi had already lost two players, so it was with little surprise that VG took the lead. The following two rounds also went VG's way, with the French team managing to avoid taking too much damage from Na´Vi's pistols.
It was at this point that network problems arose, which rendered GOTV, and thus the streams, impossible. With no way to follow the matches except using HLTV.org's scorebot, the community missed Na´Vi turning around a 4-0 deficit to head into the break with a 10-5 lead that looked very promising.
After winning the pistol round in the second half, it seemed like Na´Vi had already one foot in the semi-finals, but they were dealt a heavy blow immediately after as they were stopped inside the B bombsite by VeryGames players, wielding P250s.
That one eco round proved to be the turning point in the match as it powered VeryGames to come out on top 16-14 after a lot of close rounds.
K - D
Adil 'ScreaM' BenrlitomScreaM
95 - 90
Nathan 'NBK-' SchmittNBK-
93 - 85
Kenny 'kennyS' SchrubkennyS
72 - 71
Edouard 'SmithZz' DubourdeauxSmithZz
85 - 92
Kévin 'Ex6TenZ' DroolansEx6TenZ
67 - 90
K - D
Danylo 'Zeus' TeslenkoZeus
104 - 92
Yegor 'markeloff' Markelovmarkeloff
93 - 78
Ioann 'Edward' SukharievEdward
87 - 74
Sergey 'starix' Ischukstarix
84 - 83
Arseny 'ceh9' Trynozhenkoceh9
60 - 86
With this victory, VeryGames have secured passage into the Mad Catz semi-finals, in which they will lock horns with Anexis, while Na´Vi will return home empty-handed, wondering what could have been.