Natus Vincere defeat Evil Geniuses for semi-final spot in Odense
After a month-long break from competition, the CIS side started off well at ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals, beating TYLOO, MIBR, and Evil Geniuses in the group stage to secure at worst a top-four finish in Denmark. Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses will have to settle for a spot in the quarter-finals of the playoffs, where they will meet the winner of the mousesports - ATK game.
Natus Vincere had a head start on Mirage, Evil Geniuses' pick and a map the North Americans have won the last five times they played it. After a 4-0 lead following the pistol, Natus Vincere fumbled to a pistol-armor buy, which allowed Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz and co. to grab momentum. Evil Geniuses dominated in buy rounds, finishing the half 9-6 up.
The second half followed the pattern of the first, as Natus Vincere had early success, securing the first five rounds (11-9), but started struggling after a misplayed A execute. Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov and co. then grabbed control of the game and secured a 16-12 victory, negating Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev's impressive 1.55-rated performance.
A 1v3 clutch from Denis "electronic" Sharipov started the Russian rifler on the right foot on Dust2, as he went on to dominate the opposition from the Terrorist side early on. The 21-year-old player was boasting a 17-2 K-D as Natus Vincere claimed a 7-1 lead, bouncing back from a disappointing Mirage.
stanislaw tried to keep his team in the game and won them a couple of rounds with multikills, but without Evil Geniuses following up on the successful rounds, Natus Vincere had an easy route to an 11-4 half. s1mple secured four USP-S frags in the second-half pistol, and with the team's main star activated on the defense, Natus Vincere closed out the map easily, 16-5.
A 3-0 start for Natus Vincere on the CT side of the decider map, Nuke, was quickly counteracted by a couple of A hits by Evil Geniuses, seeing the score tied up early, 4-4. The two teams were neck and neck throughout the half, but the North Americans pulled in front at the end, finishing 8-7 up.
Adding to their lead, Evil Geniuses secured the CT pistol and followups (10-7), but just when it seemed like they have it in the bag Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov's triple started a streak of rounds going the CIS side's way. It all came down to the round at which Natus Vincere was up 14-11. Egor "flamie" Vasilyev and Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács clutched the 2v3 afterplant on B, put their opponents' economy in a bad place, and closed out the map 16-11, making the score for the series 2-1.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||71 - 35||+36||87.7||1.50|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||62 - 44||+18||85.1||1.36|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||54 - 41||+13||81.2||1.23|
|Ladislav 'GuardiaN' KovácsGuardiaN||52 - 48||+4||68.9||1.10|
|Kirill 'Boombl4' MikhailovBoombl4||49 - 48||+1||73.4||1.05|