G2, AVANGAR pick up wins in Belek
Na`Vi showed once again their tendency to start tournaments slowly as they were sent to their group's lower bracket after a nail-biting series against G2. The CIS giants still attempted a comeback after finding themselves down 0-1 in the series and 2-11 on their map pick, but they were unable to go all the way against the new G2 roster, which is starting to show some great potential.
The Russian team were put on the back foot from the outset and by the seventh round had already called two tactical pauses as they struggled to contain G2's pressure. Na`Vi eventually improved as the game wore on but still found themselves down by five rounds at the end of the half.
Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov's troops came out of the break with renewed impetus and hounded G2's defense until they took the lead at 13-12 after preventing the French team from stringing rounds together. Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač then came to G2's rescue with a 1v2 clutch to prevent another painful economic reset, with the team riding that momentum to map point at 15-13. Natus Vincere pressed on and managed to find the equaliser, but their efforts were in vain as G2 would lock down the map in the second overtime thanks to some impressive AWPing from Kenny "kennyS" Schrub in the final rounds.
G2 carried their momentum into Overpass, where they got off to a flying start. The French team ran all over the Na`Vi defense and raced to an 11-2 lead before the Russians fought back by winning the final two rounds of the half.
It would have appeared that the game was a foregone conclusion, but Natus Vincere rallied back after switching to the CT side. G2 were largely dormant for the majority of the half and wasted a great chance to reset their opponents' economy when they let Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev clutch a 1v3 situation in the 28th round. That moment of brilliance from the Ukrainian put Na`Vi on map point and left G2's players without tools to contest the game.
G2 came out on Nuke the livelier of the two sides, but the landscape of the game changed once Natus Vincere had money in the bank. The CIS heavyweights dictated the pace for the majority of the half but only took a narrow 8-7 lead into the break as the French side fought back in the final stages to prevent a lopsided scoreline. Denis "electronic" Sharipov kept Na`Vi in the game in the second half, even when all hope appeared to be lost, but it was not enough as G2 ran amok on the Terrorist side and closed out the game in convincing fashion.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||80 - 66||+14||94.1||1.28|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||74 - 72||+2||81.6||1.12|
|Kirill 'Boombl4' MikhailovBoombl4||68 - 72||-4||75.7||1.02|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||64 - 65||-1||71.0||0.96|
|Ladislav 'GuardiaN' KovácsGuardiaN||47 - 66||-19||57.9||0.78|
|G2||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Nemanja 'nexa' Isakovićnexa||74 - 61||+13||86.1||1.17|
|Nemanja 'huNter-' KovačhuNter-||69 - 67||+2||79.6||1.12|
|Audric 'JaCkz' JugJaCkz||69 - 70||-1||78.0||1.06|
|Kenny 'kennyS' SchrubkennyS||70 - 65||+5||72.5||1.05|
|François 'AmaNEk' DelaunayAmaNEk||59 - 70||-11||62.6||0.86|
Meanwhile, AVANGAR got their StarSeries campaign off to a great start as they dispatched Heroic in two maps on the secondary stream. The series kicked off on Train, where, after a keenly-contested first half, the StarLadder Major runners-up put up a very tight defense, losing just one round before running out 16-9 victors.
The Kazakhstani team endured a slow start on Overpass, but once they switched into a higher gear there was no stopping them. They brought the scoreline to 14-8 after enjoying a spell of dominance but could not capitalise on that as they lost control of the game, allowing Heroic to force overtime. AVANGAR would not let the game slip away, though, and won four rounds without response to secure a hard-fought victory on the second map of the series.
|AVANGAR||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Alexey 'qikert' Golubevqikert||48 - 38||+10||83.4||1.28|
|Timur 'buster' Tulepovbuster||44 - 34||+10||73.2||1.11|
|Dzhami 'Jame' AliJame||34 - 30||+4||62.9||1.05|
|Sanjar 'SANJI' KulievSANJI||38 - 43||-5||75.0||0.97|
|Dauren 'AdreN' KystaubayevAdreN||32 - 38||-6||65.5||0.90|