NRG secure Major semi-final spot over Natus Vincere
The third quarter-final of the New Champions Stage kicked off on Dust2, where Natus Vincere ensured the first pistol on the CT side of affairs. NRG decided to put a lid on their opponents' momentum, successfully snatching the driver's seat off the back of a second-round force buy, which went on to yield the squad an additional three rounds.
The two sides exchanged blows, witnessing a M4A4 triple kill from Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov in the process, immediately followed by retaliation from Natus Vincere that saw the scoreline squared off at five rounds apiece. In conclusion of the half, NRG cruised to a confident 10-5 closure, with Tarik "tarik" Celik posting an ace while holding off the B bombsite.
NRG kept the pressure up, as the squad was able to convert the second pistol round in their favour, following up with an additional two victories off the back of the early momentum. Unwilling to yield, Natus Vincere took affairs into their own hands after the early blunders, running away with a string of five consecutive rounds, with outstanding individual plays from Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko, Boombl4 and Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev. In the end, however, the CIS representatives were unable to mount a comeback, as the surplus amassed by NRG proved to be too heavy a burden, concluding the map 16-12.
Mirage witnessed a continuation of NRG's momentum, as Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz and company secured the map's first pistol round, following up with a 2-1 lead, courtesy of triple kills from Vincent "Brehze" Cayonte and Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov. While early momentum was NRG's to behold, once Natus Vincere stabilised, affairs turned lop-sided, as the CIS offensive decimated the dispirited CTs, claiming seven consecutive rounds in their favour.
The AWPing duo of tarik and CeRq culled all members of Natus Vincere in round 12, creating space for an addtional victory in the follower. This showing was the final success for NRG in the initial half, as Zeus and his men concluded their CT side with a 10-5 surplus.
The second half once more saw a successful pistol round for NRG, where Ethan "Ethan" Arnold accounted for the departure of three of the defence's men. Thanks to early momentum and a successful conversion despite rifles on the CT side, the North American representatives were able to bridge the round discrepancy to a single round.
Natus Vincere maintained the lead by securing a single round, but issues persisted on the defence, leading to a further four consecutive losses, facilitated by an AWP triple kill by CeRq in round 22. A spotty performance from the CIS squad on the defence ultimately cost them dearly, as a weakened economy in round 27 allowed NRG advancement to map and series point. A last-ditch effort from Natus Vincere saw star players s1mple and Denis "electronic" Sharipov step up, contributing massively in the ensuing three rounds, in turn ensuring overtime on Mirage.
NRG were on track to produce a flawless T side overtime half, halted by an AWP triple kill from s1mple in round three. Only in the latter half were NRG able to close out the match, with affairs coming down to the wire at 19-17.
|NRG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Tarik 'tarik' Celiktarik||54 - 40||+14||81.8||1.27|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' DimitrovCeRq||48 - 38||+10||78.3||1.20|
|Vincent 'Brehze' CayonteBrehze||45 - 44||+1||84.0||1.17|
|Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguzstanislaw||41 - 40||+1||62.3||1.00|
|Ethan 'Ethan' ArnoldEthan||32 - 44||-12||65.3||0.90|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Kirill 'Boombl4' MikhailovBoombl4||44 - 44||0||74.7||1.08|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||44 - 41||+3||69.4||1.07|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||47 - 45||+2||72.7||1.03|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||38 - 49||-11||83.3||0.98|
|Danylo 'Zeus' TeslenkoZeus||33 - 41||-8||57.8||0.89|