Virtus.pro extend unbeaten streak with win over NAVI to reach IEM New York CIS grand final
With a second consecutive victory over NAVI at IEM New York CIS, Virtus.pro not only extend their unbeaten run in the tournament but also increase their win streak across all competitions to 15 series, which dates back to mid-September. The Dzhami "Jame" Ali-led team will look to make it 16 against the winner of Nemiga and Spirit in Sunday's grand final, scheduled for 13:00 .
Individual brilliance from Timur "buster" Tulepov saw Virtus.pro put together a near-flawless offence on Inferno to comeback from an uninspiring first half before the young star Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis stepped up to the plate on Mirage to lead his team to victory in a closely-contested map, while Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev recorded a 0.78-rated performance and struggled to find impact for NAVI throughout the series.
Natus Vincere kicked off the series at blistering pace on their opponent’s map pick of Inferno, bulldozing their way to a 7-1 lead off the back of several fast-paced site hits. Virtus.pro’s defence tightened up moving forward as YEKINDAR opened up the two following rounds with a triple kill and a double kill, respectively, to put his team in a position to increase their tally to three. The two teams locked horns in a back and forth for the remaining rounds of the half, with Jame and Denis "electronic" Sharipov both securing quad kill rounds for their sides as Natus Vincere headed into the break with a 10-5 advantage.
buster came alive once Virtus.pro swapped to the T side, wreaking havoc across the map with numerous multi-kills to rapidly tie up the score at 10-10. Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov and co. were unable to stabilise and hold off the attack aside from a solitary round as Virtus.pro continued their remarkable second-half dominance to claim a 16-11 victory.
VP successfully carried over the momentum from the previous map to lock down a 4-0 start on the CT side of Mirage. Two kills on the lurk from Egor "flamie" Vasilyev helped put Natus Vincere’s first round on the board and an electronic 1v2 added another, but Jame’s troops hit straight back to extend their lead. NAVI regrouped to pick up the majority of the remaining rounds to prevent the scoreline from getting out of hand to chase a three-round deficit at the midway point.
A much-needed pistol went in favour of Natus Vincere followed by an Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy 1v3 clutch as the CTs encroached on VP’s lead, however, a Jame ace promptly flipped proceedings on its head as his squad gained a substantial economic advantage. With superior weapons available, Virtus.pro put the pedal to the metal to run over NAVI and reach series point, but Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy's side were not out just yet. Natus Vincere strung together six rounds with their final breath to take the map the distance, but YEKINDAR's 4K heroics in the last round of regulation pushed his side over the line.
|Virtus.pro||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|48 - 37||+11||97.1||1.41|
|46 - 26||+20||73.8||1.31|
|46 - 39||+7||81.7||1.13|
|38 - 33||+5||74.3||1.04|
|23 - 38||-15||51.5||0.72|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|45 - 41||+4||81.3||1.11|
|43 - 45||-2||78.3||1.01|
|33 - 36||-3||64.3||0.96|
|27 - 42||-15||60.9||0.78|
|24 - 37||-13||50.0||0.73|