Na`Vi outshine Vitality to secure BLAST Premier Spring Finals spot
Group B’s consolidation final hosted the rematch of Natus Vincere and Vitality from the opening round, which saw the French side come out on top, but this time around the two squads entered the series in very different circumstances. The previous round witnessed Natus Vincere secure a phenomenal victory over Astralis, whereas Vitality fell to Complexity in a disappointing showing.
The matchup unpredictably featured muted performances from the two team’s superstars in Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut compared to their usual standards, particularly in the opening map, with the likes of Egor "flamie" Vasilyev and Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov shining for Natus Vincere.
Natus Vincere came out of the gates hot on Inferno, Vitality’s map pick, with Denis "electronic" Sharipov picking up a triple kill on the retake to kick off a three-round lead for the Russian squad on the CT side. Vitality struggled to find success on the offence as Natus Vincere shut down the Frenchmen repeatedly, with multi-kills in the early stages of the map from Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy and outstanding multi-kills from flamie in the final rounds spearheading Natus Vincere to an extensive 11-4 halftime lead.
Alex "ALEX" McMeekin and Dan "apEX" Madesclaire halted the Natus Vincere train in its tracks in the second half with numerous opening kills between them to get hot on the heels of the Russian squad. Natus Vincere looked a shadow of their first-half selves as s1mple and co. were unable to find any momentum, with a subsequent period of Vitality dominance narrowing the score difference to just 12-14. However, yet another incredible clutch from electronic, this time in a 1v2, edged Natus Vincere over the line.
The duo of s1mple and Boombl4 wreaked havoc in the early stages of Dust2, bulldozing their way through Vitality’s defence to fly to a 6-0 lead. ZywOo came alive in the following two rounds to help lock down successive rounds for the French side, but a 2v4 conversion from s1mple and Perfecto got Natus Vincere back to winning ways. With the half looking as if it was coming to a gloomy end, Vitality tightened up their defence to secure three of the final four rounds to salvage a 5-10 half.
Natus Vincere came into the second half ready to close out the series hastily as Perfecto out-dueled Cédric "RpK" Guipouy to deny the Frenchman a 1v3 clutch in the pistol. Vitality could only muster one round moving forward as the score difference proved insurmountable, with a Boombl4 triple kill swiftly ending the map 16-6 to send Vitality to the Spring Series' Showdown stage.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||44 - 26||+18||86.2||1.40|
|Kirill 'Boombl4' MikhailovBoombl4||38 - 30||+8||90.0||1.30|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||37 - 28||+9||84.0||1.26|
|Ilya 'Perfecto' ZalutskiyPerfecto||38 - 27||+11||71.1||1.22|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||31 - 32||-1||64.2||1.04|
|Vitality||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Mathieu 'ZywOo' HerbautZywOo||31 - 33||-2||72.9||1.02|
|Dan 'apEX' MadesclaireapEX||30 - 42||-12||83.2||0.89|
|Richard 'shox' Papillonshox||29 - 32||-3||51.3||0.85|
|Alex 'ALEX' McMeekinALEX||31 - 44||-13||70.7||0.83|
|Cédric 'RpK' GuipouyRpK||22 - 38||-16||50.9||0.62|
With Natus Vincere earning the last spot at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals from Group B, the team list currently looks as follows: