NAVI repeat Katowice victory over Astralis in Pro League stage 2
In the rematch of the IEM Katowice semi-final clash, Natus Vincere justified their status as world No.1 as they took down Astralis to get their Pro League stage 2 campaign off to a flying start. The Danes, who have been No.2 in the world rankings since being dethroned by NAVI on March 9, looked determined to establish a new order as they came out firing on all cylinders and outclassed their opponents on Inferno, but then the CIS side responded in kind and dominated proceedings on the following two maps to join fnatic at the top of the standings.
A 1v2 clutch from Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth in the opening round of the series set Astralis up for a hot start on the offensive side of their map pick. The Danes raced to a 6-1 lead, prompting Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov to call a tactical pause in a bid to halt the Terrorists' momentum. Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, who couldn't find a single frag in the first five rounds of the game, then finally woke up and began to wreak havoc with the AWP as he roamed the map looking for picks, helping NAVI to close the gap to five rounds before the break.
Xyp9x went huge in the second-half pistol with three kills to his name, kicking Astralis further into the lead. Natus Vincere still tried to fight back but could not find a way through the Danes' brick wall defense, with Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen and Emil "Magisk" Reif pulling off multi-kill rounds as Astralis cruised to an easy victory.
The Danish team carried that momentum into Dust2 and jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but then NAVI picked up the pace and began to string rounds together after coming out victorious in the opening duels, which often forced Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander's troops into save situations. It was almost like watching a repeat of the first half of Inferno but this time with the CIS giants in command as they strolled to a 10-5 lead.
NAVI further added to their lead with a successful 5v5 retake on the A site and rode that momentum to a 14-5 lead. Astralis rallied back and began to chip away at the deficit, but the CIS side quickly hit map point, eventually putting the game to bed on a shoddy buy following three Desert Eagles kill from Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy.
Train was Denis "electroNic" Sharipov's time to shine. The Russian talent racked up 17 kills as Natus Vincere secured 10 rounds against a leaky Astralis defense, with Nicolai "device" Reedtz looking a far cry from his usual self on the AWP.
Astralis went into their T side determined to turn things around, but their pistol round victory was immediately traded back by NAVI on a force buy. By the time they gathered themselves, the Danes were already too far behind, and two rounds were all that they could master as the CIS giants kept their defense compact and ran away with the game.
|Astralis||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|53 - 44||+9||71.2||1.15|
|49 - 45||+4||77.9||1.05|
|46 - 45||+1||74.4||1.04|
|37 - 42||-5||64.6||0.93|
|36 - 49||-13||67.2||0.86|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|57 - 43||+14||82.0||1.22|
|48 - 47||+1||77.2||1.07|
|41 - 44||-3||76.5||1.06|
|38 - 40||-2||49.3||0.92|
|41 - 48||-7||70.5||0.90|