NAVI win Intel Grand Slam Season 3
The CIS squad has become the third team to win an Intel Grand Slam.
The feat has taken Natus Vincere nearly a year-and-a-half since they got the first of four victories at IEM Katowice 2020, the last pre-pandemic LAN event, and was won half online and half on LAN. The other LAN event victory came at IEM Cologne 2021, while the two online events won were DreamHack Masters DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 and ESL Pro League ESL Pro League Season 14.
Egor "flamie" Vasilyev, who was a part of the NAVI squad that won IEM Katowice 2020, will also get his part of the prize money for the part he played as a member of the team that won that event, with Valeriy "B1T" Vakhovskiy claiming his percentage in the remaining three victories.
The third Intel Grand Slam season itself was the longest one to date, lasting 756 days since it began at IEM Chicago 2019. Previously, the title had been conquered in 523 days the first time around, by Astralis, and in an incredibly fast 144 days when Liquid won it, closing out the time between their first and last wins in a staggeringly quick 63 days.
But despite taking the longest, Natus Vincere needed fewer events than Astralis, as the third season lasted 13 events as opposed to the 15 of the first season. Had Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy's men not won at ESL Pro league Season 14, NAVI would have had two more shots at the title.
Part of the reason for this last Intel Grand Slam taking so long could be attributed to the fact that during the dawn of the coronavirus pandemic several events were cancelled and the Intel Grand Slam didn’t resume immediately when Counter-Strike moved online, leaving a large gap between the first six events of the season, the last of which was IEM Katowice 2020, Natus Vincere’s first victory, and its resumption at the IEM Global Challenge in December 2020.
Natus Vincere’s closest contender for the Intel Grand Slam Season 3 title was Gambit, as the Russian squad had two victories and five remaining attempts to chase the award, but Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov and company will have to start along with everyone else when season four kicks off.
The events and winners of Intel Grand Slam Season 3 are:
IEM Chicago 2019 - Liquid
ESL One New York 2019 - Evil Geniuses
DreamHack Masters Malmö 2019 - fnatic
IEM Beijing 2019 - Astralis
ESL Pro League Season 10 - mousesports
IEM Katowice 2020 - Natus Vincere
IEM Global Challenge 2020 - Astralis
IEM Katowice 2021 - Gambit
ESL Pro League Season 13 - Heroic
DreamHack Masters Spring 2021 - Natus Vincere
IEM Summer 2021 - Gambit
IEM Cologne 2021 - Natus Vincere
ESL Pro League Season 14 Natus Vincere