Heroic stun Na`Vi in ICE Challenge opener
The opening map of the series, Overpass, began with a strong start from Heroic, who jumped out to a 5-1 lead on the CT side after giving Na`Vi's players very little room to operate, with the Ukrainians' sole round coming off the back of a quad kill by Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev.
Things were starting to look ugly for Natus Vincere, but then Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev stepped up to the plate with three quick frags in a post-plant situation. That round marked the beginning of a great run from the Ukrainian giants, who shut down any chances of Heroic stringing rounds together, going into the break up 8-7.
Benjamin "blameF" Bremer raised eyebrows early in the second half as he opened up the A site with three frags in the pistol round. Heroic would not be able to build on that win, however, as the round was immediately traded back by Natus Vincere, who went on a flawless run to close out the map at 16-8, with s1mple ending the game on 30 frags.
A 1v3 clutch by blameF in the opening round on Nuke set the tone for what would be a one-sided first half. Heroic's defence was breached for the first time eight rounds into the game in an anti-eco round, but they did not let that deter them and strolled to an 11-2 lead before Na`Vi responded with two rounds in a row.
Carrying their momentum into the second half, Heroic took the pistol round with a trio of kills by Daniel "mertz" Mertz to pile even more pressure on Na`Vi. The Ukrainian team still tried to respond, but their force-buy attempts were all rebuffed, leading to a quick conclusion to the game.
The decider map, Inferno, followed the same pattern of the previous two as Heroic claimed the pistol round despite s1mple picking up an ace as Na`Vi lost track of the bomb in the A site. Na`Vi hit back in the fourth round but there was no follow-up as Heroic replied on a very weak buy, punishing the Terrorists for a sloppy execution towards A.
With his team down 1-5, Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko called a tactical pause in an effort to halt Heroic's momentum. The timeout did not alter the course of the game, however, as Na`Vi continued to look bereft of ideas and were constantly outplayed in post-plant situations, ending the half with just two rounds.
A clean sweep earned Natus Vincere their first pistol round of the series and a way back into the game. Na`Vi kept the Terrorists at bay with a water-tight defence and restored parity at 13-13, putting the pressure on Heroic's players.
It looked like Na`Vi had the map in the bag, but all of a sudden they lost their grip on the game. Heroic got their first round of the half with a B execution and denied s1mple the 1v2 clutch in the following round following a scrappy affair in A. The Danes would not let the series point go to waste and put the match to bed after taking control of the B site with ease.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||76 - 46||+30||99.9||1.45|
|Ioann 'Edward' SukharievEdward||49 - 50||-1||75.7||1.07|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||47 - 52||-5||69.7||1.00|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||39 - 53||-14||66.6||0.86|
|Danylo 'Zeus' TeslenkoZeus||33 - 51||-18||57.6||0.83|