Cologne victory brings NAVI one win away from Intel Grand Slam title
The CIS team will have a shot at becoming the third Intel Grand Slam winner in September.
The $1,000,000 IGS prize is given out to the team that proves to be dominant at the highest level and was previously won by Astralis in 2018 and Liquid in 2019. However, Natus Vincere are looking determined to join the exclusive group, with their first chance to do so at ESL Pro League Season 14.
Prior to IEM Cologne, Natus Vincere was victorious at DreamHack Masters Spring in May of 2021, where they defeated Gambit in the grand final, as well as IEM Katowice 2020, reigning supreme over G2 at the final LAN before the online era. All three matches finished with a 3-0 victory in favor of Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and co.
Natus Vincere's Intel Grand Slam wins:
The race seems to be between the two CIS sides, though, as only they have secured victories at Masters Championship events (Cologne or Katowice), allowing them to complete the IGS with four events won from 10 consecutive ones held by ESL or DreamHack. Without a Masters Championship, six events in the 10-event window are required to win IGS Season 3.
As previously mentioned, Natus Vincere will have a chance to close out the IGS after the break, with three IGS tournaments confirmed for the remainder of the year. The action resumes with ESL Pro League Season 14 in August - September, and even if the CIS side doesn't claim the title there, they will have two more shots at IEM Fall and IEM Winter later in 2021. If no team wins the IGS this year, the competition will continue in 2022.
Important to note as well is that Natus Vincere reaching three wins has activated the spoiler bonus, which awards $100,000 to any team that is able to stop Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy's squad from winning the Intel Grand Slam by defeating them in a grand final.
Confirmed Intel Grand Slam events for 2021:
ESL Pro League Season 14 (August - September)
IEM Fall (September - October)
IEM Winter (December)