Vitality beat Na`Vi in BLAST Premier Group B opener
The Frenchmen have stepped into the year on the right foot after a nearly two-month-long break from official competition since their title-winning run at EPICENTER at the end of last year, extending their winning streak against Natus Vincere's core to 3-0 in matches.
Na`Vi, on the other hand, had been warmed up from this week's run to the grand final at ICE Challenge but were still unable to contend with Vitality at their second tournament with Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy, conceding the convincing series 0-2 on Inferno and Dust2.
Vitality picked Inferno and got off well, with Alex "ALEX" McMeekin's Deagle 1v3 in a third-round halfbuy kicking off a five-round streak for the French side on the offense. Although they kept up the pressure with consistent banana control, the wave started turning when Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov stepped up to the plate with several key plays.
Ending the first half with 23 kills, the in-game leader single-handedly made sure Natus Vincere stayed in contention with seven rounds to their name by the end of halftime. The second half proved difficult for them, however, as only 1v2 heroics from Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and Egor "flamie" Vasilyev kept them in the game, but a 1v3 clutch going the other way — courtesy of Cédric "RpK" Guipouy — ensured match point for Vitality and soon a 16-12 triumph.
Dust2 saw Na`Vi do what Vitality had done to them at the beginning of Inferno, with the Frenchmen picking up the pistol round but falling short in the first gunrounds, where s1mple's team's offense ruled on the way to a 6-2 lead. But just like on the opening map, the half ended up being the closest possible thanks to a double-AWP setup between Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut and Richard "shox" Papillon, which helped them close it with five in a row.
2019's best player added a huge multikill to his name to start off the second half, where Na`Vi could only pick up two more rounds before another winning streak from Vitality, featuring a 1v3 clutch from shox, put the series at an end at 16-9, 2-0.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Kirill 'Boombl4' MikhailovBoombl4||48 - 40||+8||99.9||1.27|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||41 - 31||+10||78.7||1.24|
|Ilya 'Perfecto' ZalutskiyPerfecto||23 - 39||-16||47.3||0.73|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||22 - 41||-19||55.3||0.72|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||23 - 41||-18||54.4||0.64|