Natus Vincere came from behind to beat FaZe 2-1 and seal passage to the grand final of StarSeries i-League Season 4.
The series kicked off on Inferno, where Natus Vincere got out to a quick 3-0 lead after taking the pistol round with an A execution. After buying up, FaZe started to hold off the Na`Vi offence, with a quad-kill from Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer restoring parity at 3-3.
Na`Vi did not take long to regain the lead, and they looked on course for a 10-5 half - but then an unexpected round win from FaZe with just CZs turned the game on its head and propelled Finn "karrigan" Andersen's side to take a narrow 8-7 lead.
Na`Vi looked poised to win the second pistol after Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev had picked up two frags in B, but then olofmeister came up huge and found four frags in quick succession to put FaZe further into the lead. The Ukrainians hit back immediately on a very weak buy, but they could not follow it up, with FaZe eventually bringing the scoreline to 11-9.
Natus Vincere then went on a great run, stringing five rounds together after winning a series of aim duels. But FaZe would not give up so easily, and shifted into a higher gear for the remainder of the game, winning five rounds without response to take the lead in the series.
Overpass, the map that followed, began with a flying start from Na`Vi, who send out a strong message after winning four of the first five rounds. Håvard "rain" Nygaard then rescued his side with three great kills inside A, but it would not take long for Na`Vi to get back in control. The Ukrainians kept playing at a very high pace and ran all over the FaZe defence, closing out the half with a 10-5 lead.
Things then went from bad to worse for FaZe, who lost the second half pistol to a 1v2 clutch from s1mple. And while they managed to hit back in the following round, they were barely able to make any sort of impact after that. Na`Vi kept a very tight defence and managed to string several rounds together, with Denis "electronic" Sharipov locking down the map for his team by winning a 1v2 situation in the 23rd round.
It all came down to Train, the decider map, where the opening stages of the game were highly contested as teams traded round for round. Down 3-1, Na`Vi caught FaZe's players off-guard thanks to a 1v3 clutch from s1mple, who by now had taken his 1vsX tally in the tournament to 14.
Na`Vi's Terrorist side had come under heavy criticism during the previous stages of the tournament, but they looked a completely different team here. FaZe had no response to Na`Vi's pace and kept losing most of the aim duels, with the Ukrainians winning eight rounds without response. It was only then that FaZe managed to adjust to their opponents' strategies, but as the half came to an end they still found themselves down by three rounds.
Now playing on the CT side, Na`Vi came from the break with all guns blazing and won six rounds in a row to reach match point. FaZe then got their first round of the half, but there was nothing they could do to keep the Ukrainians from running away with the game.
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Håvard 'rain' Nygaardrain||66 - 55||+11||94.7||1.26|
|Nikola 'NiKo' KovačNiKo||53 - 57||-4||82.2||1.00|
|Ladislav 'GuardiaN' KovácsGuardiaN||41 - 57||-16||68.8||0.86|
|Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjerolofmeister||47 - 54||-7||69.9||0.86|
|Finn 'karrigan' Andersenkarrigan||45 - 55||-10||67.8||0.84|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||70 - 55||+15||100.5||1.39|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||64 - 43||+21||83.7||1.37|
|Ioann 'Edward' SukharievEdward||51 - 50||+1||66.0||1.08|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||46 - 49||-3||71.0||1.04|
|Danylo 'Zeus' TeslenkoZeus||47 - 55||-8||73.0||0.97|