Natus Vincere defeat Liquid 2-0; advance to IEM Katowice semi-final
Going into the quarter-final series at IEM Katowice, Liquid had a six-series winning streak over Natus Vincere, only losing a couple of BO1s to the CIS team, including the last meeting between the two at BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen 2019. In the game in Poland, Natus Vincere were ahead throughout the series, and eventually closed it out after two maps.
Natus Vincere started their map pick, Dust2, by securing the T-side pistol round, but Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski's quad kill in the following force put a stop to any momentum building. Liquid went up 4-2 before Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev's 1v4 clutch on the A site inspired Natus Vincere, seeing them go on a streak of rounds won. Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov's triple kill in round 11 was another key round for the CIS side, seeing them finish the half 10-5 after winning eight out of nine rounds in the final stretch.
Nick "nitr0" Cannella and co. opted for a B site execute on the pistol, which worked out and gave them a route back into the map. The scoreline was 10-9 before Natus Vincere woke up and went on another strong run. After reaching map point, 15-10, Liquid hit back with one, but s1mple finished off Dust2 with a triple AWP kill, 16-11.
Just like on Dust2, Natus Vincere won the initial pistol but lost to the force buy, seeing Liquid take a 3-1 lead on the T-side. Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy and Egor "flamie" Vasilyev secured the 2v2 retake in round 5 which got their team back on track, with Denis "electronic" Sharipov's multikills proving pivotal to Natus Vincere winning seven out of eight rounds. EliGE put a stop to that with a triple entry kill, resulting in Liquid reaching six rounds, but they were stopped there due to clutches by electronic and s1mple.
Another pistol round went Liquid's way to start the second half of Mirage, but Natus Vincere were shortly back to winning ways, with another 1v2 from s1mple pushing them to significant lead, 12-8. A double AWP setup netted Liquid a round, but they were unable to build upon that and Natus Vincere shortly reached match point. Keith "NAF" Markovic and EliGE kept the North American side afloat, but just as they were closing in on overtime, s1mple showed up with three kills and flamie clutched out the 1v2 to secure a 16-13 victory on Mirage and advance to the semi-final.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Aleksandr 's1mple' Kostylievs1mple||47 - 33||+14||86.0||1.28|
|Denis 'electronic' Sharipovelectronic||38 - 33||+5||83.8||1.16|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyevflamie||39 - 40||-1||74.8||1.06|
|Ilya 'Perfecto' ZalutskiyPerfecto||33 - 32||+1||63.1||1.01|
|Kirill 'Boombl4' MikhailovBoombl4||26 - 37||-11||56.8||0.87|