Natus Vincere beat fnatic 2-1; clinch a playoff spot in Marseille
Natus Vincere claimed a 2-1 victory over fnatic (16-7 Inferno, 11-16 Cobblestone, 16-14 Overpass) after a back-and-forth series to claim the first place in Group C and go into the playoffs.
On the first map of the series, Inferno, Natus Vincere started off with a 3-0 lead as Counter-Terrorists, soon extending that advantage as Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev valiantly held the line on B, taking down two and allowing for the retake to come in. With Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev pulling off a 1v1 on A and Edward having another great round on B, Natus Vincere marched on to a 7-0 lead.
Robin "flusha" Rönnquist and co. replied with a force buy and built on it by recovering from a 3v5 deficit in the following round, eventually making it 7-3. From that point until the end of the first half rounds were traded back and forth, which still suited the Ukrainians who finished 10-5 up.
Taking the second pistol and cleaning up the anti-ecos set Natus Vincere well on the path to victory in the first map. fnatic won a couple of rounds and looked like they had a chance to pull it back, but Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko led his team by example, securing three kills to win a round that killed fnatic's momentum and allowed Natus Vincere to finish it 16-7.
fnatic was the team to grab the good start on Cobblestone, kicking it off with a 3-0 on the CT side of their map pick. Natus Vincere were able to tie it up, starting with the first buy round, but the Swedes were able to edge out a few close rounds to grab a three-round lead again (6-3).
Due to the close nature of the rounds, Natus Vincere was able to break fnatic's economy after s1mple's 1v1 clutch against Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson (6-7) and ride the momentum to an 8-7 first-half finish.
Despite taking the second pistol of the map, Natus Vincere's momentum quickly ground to a halt in the second half as they fell to a force buy, KRIMZ was the man of the hour for the Swedes as he secured three kills in the round. After some initial back-and-forth, fnatic looked like the better team, controlling the game from the T side, and soon closed out Cobblestone 16-11.
A pistol round win, Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson and Maikil "Golden" Selim pulling back a 2v4 and Natus Vincere's weird buying patterns all combined for fnatic to have a great start on Overpass as CTs (6-0). Things could've gone even better had it not been for the heroics of s1mple, as his team struggled to make their mark the superstar clutched a 1v3 and a 1v2 situation back-to-back.
Those rounds brought Natus Vincere back to life and the Ukranian side started racking up rounds, dropping only two before the end of the first half to finish 8-7 down. Following a short interruption by fnatic, who won the second pistol, Natus Vincere were back on track by securing the force buy.
Edward and s1mple were at the forefront of the action as Natus Vincere racked up rounds, shutting down fnatic's approaches to the sites completely. After being down 14-8, flusha and KRIMZ stepped up with quad-kills in consecutive rounds, keeping their team in it. However, Natus Vincere pulled it together at the end to win the map 16-14, take the series and advance to the playoffs.
K - D
Freddy 'KRIMZ' JohanssonKRIMZ
59 - 57
Robin 'flusha' Rönnquistflusha
53 - 58
Jesper 'JW' WecksellJW
51 - 57
Jonas 'Lekr0' OlofssonLekr0
49 - 61
Maikil 'Golden' SelimGolden
39 - 60
K - D
Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple
75 - 50
Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic
65 - 50
Ioann 'Edward' SukharievEdward
57 - 53
Danylo 'Zeus' TeslenkoZeus
49 - 48
Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie
47 - 52