Gambit defeat NAVI to claim DreamHack Masters Spring semi-final spot
The world No.1 team conceded Dust2 to Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and co., but took the victory in the CIS derby with strong showings on Overpass and Mirage.
Gambit concluded the group stage of DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 undefeated after claiming a 2-1 win over regional rivals Natus Vincere. The upper-bracket semi-final of Group A went three maps after a strong start from Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov's team on Dust2, but the "Black & Yellow" weren't able to bring the same tenacity on Overpass and Mirage.
In the post-match interview, Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov was full of praise for his opponents: "First of all, I'd like to say big respect to NAVI, they played really well, different from what we expected." Despite a good initial impression, Natus Vincere weren't able to match Gambit's star duo Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov and Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov across the series, who showed up in style.
The team's AWPer posted a spectacular 34K-10D on Mirage, and it was only a late-game comeback and great clutch play that allowed Natus Vincere to make that map competitive. "We sometimes can't close a map when we are winning, it is a mental problem, but we are trying to fix it", Hobbit said about their issues to shut out a 13-4 lead as CT.
Gambit got off to a good start on Dust2, 5-1 on the defense, but weren't able to build on it as Natus Vincere picked up the pace on their map pick. Clinical hits saw Boombl4's' team equalize the score at 5-5 before the in-game leader's quad kill turned around a 2v4, securing Natus Vincere the lead at half time. Gambit looked flat after moving on to the offense, never threatening s1mple and co. who ran rampart to claim the map, 16-8.
Following a slow first map, Ax1Le came online on Overpass, inspiring his team to an 8-2 early lead as Terrorists. Natus Vincere found some success with a s1mple - Boombl4 double AWP, but only managed five before switching to the offense. Gambit's second half on Overpass was similar to Natus Vincere's on Dust2 as Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov and co. allowed their opponents just two, closing it out 16-8 with a mixed buy.
A USP-S double from s1mple gave Natus Vincere the upper hand at the start of the decider, Mirage, but Gambit regained control of the half in no time. nafany's ace while clearing out B made the score 4-2 in his team's favor, with the lead extending to 11-4 before the switch. As Gambit secured the CT pistol, it seemed like the game was done and dusted (13-4), but Natus Vincere showed tenacity to stay alive. Late-round situations kept going their way, including a 2v5 from Boombl4 and s1mple. Finally, Gambit managed to stop the comeback at 16-13, with an inspired sh1ro standing out on the final map.
|Gambit||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|56 - 34||+22||73.5||1.26|
|53 - 50||+3||82.4||1.11|
|56 - 51||+5||82.7||1.07|
|50 - 54||-4||70.4||0.97|
|36 - 43||-7||54.1||0.89|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|66 - 47||+19||87.8||1.32|
|45 - 56||-11||70.2||0.92|
|38 - 45||-7||60.8||0.87|
|40 - 50||-10||55.1||0.84|
|42 - 54||-12||71.4||0.84|