Na`Vi repeat victory over Heroic to secure higher quarter-final seed
The decider series proved to be a headache for Na`Vi. The Russian team stuttered, then moved into high gear, ending the series in cruise control against a Heroic side who came into the match with a plan but lacked firepower to go all the way. Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov's troops outfought their opponents on the last two maps of the series and will now look ahead to their first match in the playoffs, in which they will face the losing side of the decider series between Evil Geniuses and forZe.
Na`Vi's fans will also hope that this match will bring some joy to Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács, who is going through one of the toughest periods of his career. The Slovakian AWPer had a disappointing performance on the first map but gave a much better account of himself in the rest of the series and put up some respectable numbers.
The series began on Nuke, a pick that had gone awry for Heroic in Tuesday's match. The Danes' willingness to go for the map again suggested that they had come up with a different strategy for this series, and they stormed out of the gate looking a livelier side.
Heroic pinned Natus Vincere against the ropes from the outset and soon began to build a comfortable lead. As the game started to spiral out of control, Na`Vi called timeouts in an effort to halt the Danes' momentum, but they kept losing aim duels, and any round won by them was immediately traded back by Heroic, who went into the break up 10-5.
Na`Vi gathered themselves and responded after half-time with a convincing pistol round, which they followed up with two more. But the landscape of the game changed once Heroic had money in the bank; they kept their defense very tight and compact for the remainder of the half and conceded just one round before securing the map.
Natus Vincere made a flying start to the game on Train, racing to a 7-1 lead after immediately bouncing back from a pistol round loss. Heroic still tried to salvage something meaningful from the half, but they were limited to just five rounds, leaving them with a mountain to climb as they headed into the Terrorist side.
The imposing Na`Vi were unwilling to take pity on their stunned opponents and hit map point without dropping a single round. A desperate force-buy then yielded Heroic their first round of the half, but there was no follow-up as the Russian side hit back immediately to put the game to bed.
Na`Vi kept the pressure on Heroic and ran rampant from the get-go on the Terrorist side of Inferno. The Danes had no answer to the home side's pace and aggression, and, to make matters worse, they constantly wasted precious man advantages, twice losing 5v2 situations. They responded with great individual plays from Martin "stavn" Lund and Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer late in the half to stop the onslaught and get some much-needed rounds before the break.
Despite being faced with a Herculean task, Heroic refused to throw in the towel and began to chip away at the deficit. But even though they valiantly prevented Na`Vi from stringing rounds together, they were simply too far behind to recover, with the Russian team locking down the map in the 25th round.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 39||+26||92.0||1.41|
|53 - 40||+13||82.6||1.30|
|46 - 35||+11||70.5||1.10|
|39 - 40||-1||64.9||1.00|
|47 - 51||-4||70.8||0.97|