s1mple shines as Na`Vi edge past Heroic
Natus Vincere have secured a spot in the DreamHack Winter semi-final stage after edging past Heroic on three maps.
The series kicked off on Inferno, Heroic's map pick, but it was Na`Vi who drew first blood, thanks to a trio of quick kills from Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev to open up the B site. The Danish team hit back on eco after catching Natus Vincere's players off-guard with a full B stack, setting themselves up for a 3-1 lead.
The rest of the half was all about Na`Vi's impressive offense. The Ukrainian team took control of proceedings and shut down any chances of Heroic building up an economy or stringing rounds together, closing out the half with a commanding 11-4 lead.
Natus Vincere piled more misery on Heroic by taking the first three rounds of the second half, increasing their lead to 14-4. The Danes still scrapped a round to keep their hopes alive, but then Edward earned map point for his team with a quad-kill inside B, with the Ukrainians also taking the following round to lock down the map.
Overpass was the map that followed, and it was a completely different story. Heroic got off to a flying start and won nine of the first ten rounds as they did not give Na`Vi any room to operate. It was only then that Na`Vi's offense finally came to life, with the Ukrainians stringing four rounds together to bring the deficit to 9-5 before Jakob "JUGi" Hansen picked up a triple kill to earn his team's tenth round of the game.
Na`Vi came from the break a livelier side and won the first three rounds of the half to bring the deficit to just two rounds. But a comeback was not on the cards: after buying up, Heroic regained control of the match, winning five rounds straight to reach map point. Natus Vincere then finally brought Heroic's streak to an end, but there was no stopping the Danes from taking the map.
It all came down to Train, the decider map, which began with Heroic winning the pistol round as CT and the following anti-eco. A successful third-round buy then earned Na`Vi their first round of the map and sparked a fantastic run from the Ukrainians. The rounds that the Danes edged out were few and far between, and with their economy getting constantly reset, they were limited to just four rounds in the half.
Now playing on the Terrorist side, Heroic kept the pace extremely high during the early stages and won the first five rounds of the half to bring the deficit to 11-9. Natus Vincere then tightened up their defense, and the game turned into an AWP duel between Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and JUGi. The 20-year-old Dane still tried to get his team back in the game, but Na`Vi eventually secured the map to seal passage to the semi-finals.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||71 - 45||+26||87.9||1.43|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||53 - 47||+6||80.1||1.14|
|Ioann 'Edward' SukharievEdward||53 - 49||+4||71.2||1.09|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||36 - 43||-7||65.2||0.98|
|Danylo 'Zeus' TeslenkoZeus||33 - 52||-19||62.7||0.81|