NAVI overcome slow start to beat mousesports in ESL One Cologne
The CIS giants came back from a map down to win the series and set up a semi-final contest with Complexity in Group A's upper bracket.
Natus Vincere got their ESL One Cologne campaign off to a good start as they moved past mousesports by a 2-1 scoreline. The international team began the series brightly with a convincing victory on Nuke but faded quickly as they were outfought and outclassed on the remaining maps, where NAVI's star power was on display.
mousesports, who will fight for their tournament life on Friday against MAD Lions, were a two-man show as Robin "ropz" Kool and Özgür "woxic" Eker once again did most of the fragging for the team. With the rest of the team struggling to put up good numbers, questions will need to be asked about the future of the current lineup. How much longer can they afford to wait before giving backup player Aurimas "Bymas" Pipiras a shot?
Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy opened up the action on Nuke with a quad-kill to put NAVI in the lead, but there was no follow-up as mousesports responded immediately with Desert Eagles. The opening period was a touch fragmented as neither team looked capable of taking charge of the game, but then Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev began to leave his mark on the contest with his AWP.
With a stunning Desert Eagle quad-kill, woxic then changed the momentum of a game that was that was threatening to get away from his team: ropz followed that up with a quad-kill of his own before Finn "karrigan" Andersen brought the curtain down on the half with a 1v2 clutch.
Things looked bright NAVI after switching to the T side as they executed a flawless pistol round, but it all fell apart after that. ropz picked up three stunning Desert Eagle headshots in the following round to halt the CIS giants, who never found themselves in the game again. NAVI struggled for ideas on this T side and were out-aimed for the entire half as mousesports quickly locked down the map, led by an outstanding performance from their Estonian star, who had 33 frags to his name.
Train was a reminder - as if one were needed - of how deadly NAVI's star duo can be when they are on point. s1mple and Denis "electronic" Sharipov combined for 54 frags as the IEM Katowice champions swept aside their opponents. The game initially followed the same pattern as Nuke as mousesports brought the deficit to a minimum with a late streak of rounds, but the second half was dominated by NAVI, who kept an unmovable defense that only conceded two rounds.
ropz came back alive on Dust2, racking up 10 frags in the opening stages as mousesports raced to a 4-1 lead. Things were looking promising for karrigan's troops, but then NAVI tightened up their defense, shutting down any chances of their opponents stringing rounds together to head into the break with a three-round lead. The second half turned out to be a one-way street as the mousesports defense could not keep up with the pace set by NAVI, who went on a 7-1 run to put the series to bed.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|65 - 43||+22||84.9||1.28|
|61 - 49||+12||87.6||1.26|
|47 - 41||+6||64.6||1.11|
|51 - 52||-1||82.6||1.09|
|48 - 54||-6||72.4||0.94|