NAVI secure Pro League playoff berth after besting Complexity
Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and company narrowly beat the North American team in two maps to secure a 3-0 group record.
Natus Vincere have guaranteed themselves a top three finish in Group D of ESL Pro League Season 15 after taking down Complexity 2-0 to secure themselves their third match win of the tournament. The PGL Major Stockholm champions came out of the gates swinging with commanding 12-3 leads on Ancient and Dust2, but struggled to close out both maps in the second half as Complexity mustered valiant comeback efforts only to fall short at the final hurdle on both occasions.
Despite now holding an 0-3 record of their own, Complexity aren't entirely out of playoff contention, although their odds of finishing in the top three are extremely slim as they now need to win both of their remaining matches, as well as hope that very specific results from other teams end up in their favor. Natus Vincere, meanwhile, will take on Astralis and Heroic in their remaining matches to determine who will top the group, for which they will be back to full force as Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov is set to return to the server after providing a negative COVID-19 test result.
It was utter dominance from NAVI that kicked things off on Ancient, three early rounds from Complexity quickly falling by the wayside as Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy helped his team cruise to a 12-3 lead at halftime, eight double-kill rounds from the 22-year-old shutting down attempts to enter bombsites from Complexity.
The side swap completely turned the tides of the map though, and Complexity went from looking like they would get blasted off of the server to putting up a stalwart defense of their own. Justin "FaNg" Coakley and Ricky "floppy" Kemery were both key in helping their side mount a comeback effort that saw them win nine of the first ten rounds in the second half, bringing themselves within one of evening the score, but a Deagle double kill from Valeriy "b1t" Vakhovskiy swung momentum in NAVI's favor as they won a crucial eco round, from which the team gained the upper hand and narrowly edged out a 16-13 win to take the first map.
An almost identical scenario unfolded on Dust2 as it seemed like Complexity would capitulate after their comeback effort was halted at the final hurdle on Ancient, another stellar first half from Natus Vincere seeing them go up 12-1 before Complexity snagged two final rounds ahead of the break.
A pistol victory offered Johnny "JT" Theodosiou's men brief respite before they were immediately dealt what should have been a killing blow by NAVI, who won a force buy to secure a 13-4 lead, but an answer back from Complexity in the subsequent round kept the North American side in the running as they began to claw back rounds. It was almost a complete mirror of what unfolded on Ancient as Complexity won nine rounds in a row, this time evening the score at 13-13, but again it was a last-ditch effort from Natus Vincere that put a halt to the comeback effort, with a tense round 30 coming down to the wire before s1mple's side took things over the line to close out the series.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|46 - 38||+8||85.0||1.29|
|49 - 37||+12||91.2||1.28|
|47 - 38||+9||89.1||1.21|
|44 - 38||+6||77.9||1.10|
|27 - 43||-16||55.0||0.74|
|Complexity||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|46 - 45||+1||87.1||1.11|
|46 - 40||+6||70.1||1.09|
|40 - 46||-6||82.2||1.00|
|28 - 37||-9||54.8||0.82|
|33 - 46||-13||67.8||0.79|