Virtus.pro have won SL i-League Invitational #1 after defeating Natus Vincere 2-1 (16-11 on Inferno, 8-16 on Train and 16-10 on Cobblestone).
The first map of the series, Inferno, began at a frantic pace as rounds went back and forth, with Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev twice rescuing Na`Vi in force buy situations. With the scoreline 2-2, Virtus.pro went on a massive run that saw them win eight rounds in a row thanks to their impeccable map control.
Na`Vi then finally brought Virtus.pro's streak to an end, with Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács getting two entry frags with the AK-47 before Edward won a 1vs2 clutch with the SCAR-20. However, Virtus.pro hit back right after to reset Na`Vi's economy before closing out the half with a 12-3 lead.
Egor "flamie" Vasilyev went huge in the pistol round as CT and picked up four kills inside B to give Na`Vi the round. Virtus.pro then hit back on a force buy, but they were unable to follow it up, with Na`Vi picking up three rounds in a row to reduce the deficit to six rounds.
Virtus.pro then picked up back-to-back rounds to reach map point. Na`Vi refused to throw in the towel, however, and won four rounds straight, but a quad kill from Filip "NEO" Kubski in a tec9 push sealed the deal for the Polish side.
Virtus.pro won the first map
On Train, Na`Vi got off to a dream start on the CT side, winning ten of the first 11 rounds as Virtus.pro struggled to find a way past the defensive setup of the CIS team. With some key AWP kills from Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski, Virtus.pro strung two rounds together, but Na`Vi came back to haunt them in the final stages, taking a massive 12-3 lead.
In the second half, Virtus.pro kept themselves in the game by winning the pistol round with ease. Na`Vi almost cause a major upset on a force buy, but Jarosław "pashaBiceps" Jarząbkowski saved the day with a spectacular 1vs3 clutch.
Round after round, Virtus.pro shut down Na`Vi's offense, but an insane 1vs3 clutch from Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko on 10 hp gave Na`Vi their first round of the half and sparked a great run from his team, who took the map 16-8.
Captain Zeus with the key clutch
The decider map was Cobblestone, where Na`Vi came out the livelier of the two sides, storming to a 3-0 lead. But rest of the half was all about Virtus.pro, who thrice put together three-round streaks, giving Na`Vi no chance to build on the few round wins they edged out in gun play.
Na`Vi came out of the game looking scary and equalised the game thanks to a well-executed A split in the pistol round, with flamie getting three kills to his name. Once we reached the gun rounds, however, the impetus of the game changed completely as Virtus.pro won seven of the next eight rounds en-route to a 16-10 finish.
K - D
Janusz 'Snax' PogorzelskiSnax
63 - 49
Wiktor 'TaZ' WojtasTaZ
43 - 56
Paweł 'byali' Bielińskibyali
55 - 53
Filip 'NEO' KubskiNEO
41 - 56
Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' JarząbkowskipashaBiceps
47 - 54
Virtus.pro win the title against the crowd's wishes
SL i-League Invitational #1 final standings: