Na`Vi beat GODSENT in Perfecto debut at ICE Challenge
All eyes were on Natus Vincere heading into their debut in London, with the team playing their first official match since parting ways with Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács and bringing on Perfecto from Syman. Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev's return to AWPing duties didn't immediately make an impression on the server, although Natus Vincere's combined performances still helped to secure them an early passage to the playoffs.
GODSENT initially remained on par with Na`Vi as Nuke got underway, but Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov's troops quickly stabilized mid-way through the first half to secure a map one victory for themselves. A strong showing from Perfecto on the opening map of the series was quickly left by the wayside as the 20-year-old's inexperience at the top level showed on Dust2, leaving Natus Vincere to give up a handful of advantageous situations and ultimately concede their own map pick 16-12. The CIS side continued to struggle early on in the series decider of Train, but managed to lock down their defense towards the tail end of the map to edge out a 16-13 victory and take the series over the line.
Denis "electroNic" Sharipov kicked off the series with a Glock triple kill to help Na`Vi recover a 3vs5 situation and take the opening round of Nuke, but a force-buy in the ensuing round had GODSENT immediately seizing control to run up a 4-1 scoreline in reply. It took a triple kill from s1mple on a pistol buy to get Natus Vincere back on the board, but from there, Boombl4 and company remained in firm control as they won eight of the remaining ten rounds of the half to take a 9-6 lead at the break.
Na`Vi maintained momentum as they swapped to the defense, securing six rounds in a row to swiftly claim match point. A triple kill and 1vs2 clutch from Jesse "zehN" Linjala gave GODSENT their seventh, but an immediate answer back from Natus Vincere left no room for a comeback as they closed out the opening map 16-7.
Multi-kills from s1mple and electroNic aided Na`Vi in their effort to take a 3-0 lead as their own pick of Dust2 got underway; however, this time it was GODSENT who refused to concede control as they fought back with a seven-round spree of their own, powered primarily by a stellar individual showing from Pavle "Maden" Bošković. Boombl4 and electroNic kept their side competitive as they helped add three to their tally, but it was GODSENT who were the clear-cut victors as they maintained a three-round lead over their opponents heading into the side swap.
GODSENT's pistol win to kick off the second half was spoiled by a Deagle triple from Boombl4, with Natus Vincere using the momentum from the upset to take five rounds in a row and snatch away the lead at 11-10. A pair of eco round victories allowed GODSENT to emerge on top of a back-and-forth battle for control, leaving Na`Vi's economy in turmoil as the European roster bounced back with another five rounds to secure the map victory 16-12.
Natus Vincere's T-side efforts on Train were initially a stark departure from the first two maps, with the team grabbing a pistol round victory off the back of a triple kill from s1mple before falling to a force-buy from GODSENT. Mikail "Maikelele" Bill's side continued to keep Na`Vi at bay for a majority of the half, with the Russian roster managing to rally back towards the latter portion of their offensive effort to reduce the gap between them and GODSENT to three rounds at halftime.
A B site retake gave Natus Vincere economic control on their CT-side, helping them gain the upper hand early in the second half and steal the lead from GODSENT at 10-9. zehN and Maden combined with a handful of multi-kill rounds to keep GODSENT in contention, with the team taking four in a row to put themselves ahead of Na`Vi at 13-10, but Boombl4's troops tightened up their defensive line once their backs were against the wall to close out the map 16-13.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|60 - 58||+2||89.9||1.12|
|59 - 52||+7||76.4||1.10|
|52 - 51||+1||61.1||0.99|
|45 - 44||+1||66.2||0.97|
|43 - 54||-11||63.3||0.84|