Natus Vincere sweep G2 to win IEM Katowice
Only three organizations have been champions in Katowice since the start of CS:GO, the Polish legends of Virtus.pro, fnatic with two different lineups, and Astralis — once with Emil "Magisk" Reif and once with Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjærbye. Natus Vincere and G2 reaching the grand final of IEM Katowice 2020 meant that a new champion would be crowned in Poland, and a new name would enter the Intel Grand Slam race, joining the likes of MOUZ and Evil Geniuses.
The two best performers at the event going into the grand final were Kenny "kennyS" Schrub and Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, the two accomplished AWPers, both hoping to add their first IEM Katowice title to their names. Despite G2's impressive form over the last month and an undefeated run at the tournament, Natus Vincere's stomping of Astralis in the semi-final saw them assume the title of the favorites going into the match.
The series started on G2's map pick, Nuke, where Natus Vincere put up a wall, claiming a 16-4 win with Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov reaching a personal record rating-wise. Dust2 was more of a back and forth, but with an activated s1mple and Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy showing up clutch, the CIS side extended their series lead to 2-0. Mirage was a similar story to Nuke, as Natus Vincere had a near-perfect CT side to claim a straightforward victory in the series.
By winning IEM Katowice, Natus Vincere have secured their first Big Event win since StarSeries i-League Season 7 in April 2019, when Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko and Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev were still a part of their lineup. With Boombl4 and Perfecto lifting their first such trophy, Natus Vincere have also joined the Intel Grand Slam race.
Natus Vincere started furiously on the CT side of Nuke, G2's map pick, with Boombl4 leading the way for the Russian-Ukrainian side. The in-game leader picked up a hat-trick in the pistol and then a double and a triple kill in the first two rifle rounds to set up Natus Vincere for a big lead on the defense.
G2 were down 8-0 and only put down the bomb once in the half, finding themselves completely locked out, before finally getting on the board with a strong A site execute. However, with none of their players surviving and a loss in the follow-up, G2 once again struggled economically which only made Natus Vincere's life easier.
With Boombl4 continuing his outstanding performance, posting a 28K-6D scoreline and eight opening kills, Natus Vincere cruised to a 14-1 half while giving away only one opening duel on the CT side. With a vent dive strategy in the pistol, Natus Vincere reached map point, converting it into a 16-4 win following Denis "electroNic" Sharipov's triple.
electroNic's 1v2 clutch on the T-side pistol on Dust2 was quickly replied on by G2, who won a force buy to start building momentum for the first time in the series. Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač was the standout player with 15 kills in nine rounds, powering his team to a 7-2 lead. Natus Vincere, after failing to get on the board with their A executes, finally cracked the code in round ten, winning a round to break G2's streak and bank.
After a quiet start on Nuke, Perfecto topped the board for Natus Vincere as they came back to end the half in the lead, 8-7. After the switch, force-buy battles ensued, with Natus Vincere getting the upper hand. They put down the foot on the CT side to reach a 13-8 lead when Nemanja "nexa" Isaković won a crucial 1v3, inspiring a comeback from the French-Serbian side. They exploited weaknesses towards the A bombsite and tied five together to equalize the score, 13-13, but stumbled at the final hurdle. Three retakes were pulled off by Natus Vincere to claim Dust2, with a 1v2 clutch from Perfecto sealing the deal.
With Natus Vincere needing just one more map to claim the title in Poland, the action moved to Mirage where G2 had another rough start. This time it was Egor "flamie" Vasilyev who was causing them issues, claiming 12 kills in the first four rounds of the map after finishing Dust2 with just 10. Natus Vincere showed no sign of stopping there, locking down the approaches on Mirage to claim another 14-1 CT half. After 15 rounds, s1mple had just one death to his name, while Perfecto was flawless, 14K-0D.
|G2||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|42 - 52||-10||79.1||0.95|
|38 - 50||-12||65.4||0.80|
|35 - 53||-18||51.4||0.73|
|28 - 55||-27||52.9||0.64|
|26 - 54||-28||47.7||0.55|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 37||+28||106.9||1.68|
|59 - 29||+30||95.7||1.52|
|48 - 36||+12||74.2||1.19|
|53 - 43||+10||80.8||1.16|
|38 - 24||+14||55.4||1.15|
IEM Katowice 2020 final standings:
1. Natus Vincere - $250,000
2. G2 - $100,000
3-4. Astralis - $40,000
3-4. fnatic - $40,000
5-6. Liquid - $15,000
5-6. 100 Thieves - $15,000
7-8. FaZe - $7,000
7-8. MOUZ - $7,000
9-12. Ninjas in Pyjamas - $4,000
9-12. MAD Lions - $4,000
9-12. Vitality - $4,000
9-12. Evil Geniuses - $4,000
13-16. Virtus.pro - $2,500
13-16. Cloud9 - $2,500
13-16. Renegades - $2,500
13-16. TYLOO - $2,500