NAVI best Astralis to reach IEM Cologne grand final
Natus Vincere have now qualified for their second grand final in a row since adding Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev, after previously winning BLAST Premier Spring Final. They will now face the winner of the other semi-final between FaZe and Movistar Riders, who they will battle in a best-of-five final tomorrow at 16:00 .
For Astralis this is the end of the road, as they achieved their best Big Event placing of the season, and will hope this performance gives them some much needed confidence going into the summer break.
The first semi-final of the day started off on Nuke, and Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev wasted no time to start one of his superstar performances, getting three kills in the pistol round to ensure his team takes an early lead. Astralis were quick to respond, as two fast plays at the start of the half meant the scores were kept close by the Danes, who found themselves within two rounds of their opponents at 5-3.
After that, two formidable A site holds by Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy consolidated Natus Vincere's lead as the Danes were able to get just one more round in the half, which ended 11-4 in the favor of Natus Vincere. It is no surprise that s1mple was the best performer on the defensive side on Nuke, as he amassed 17 kills.
Astralis began their defensive side with a pistol round and managed to convert four straight rounds, but once the Ukrainian team managed to compose themselves it was b1t's vent dives which proved crucial to his team's T side. A 1v2 clutch by sdy proved to be the cherry on top, as he put his team up to match point that they converted at the first time of asking and moved the series on to their map pick of Mirage.
It was Natus Vincere once again that got off to a good start by winning the pistol, but as soon as Astralis got to a gun round they started dominating. The Danes won eleven rounds in a row, with Natus Vincere winning just one more as b1t and sdy won a 2v5 situation armed with just pistols. That set a half time score of 12-3 to the Danes, which meant the pistol round was a must win for the CIS squad.
Natus Vincere delivered and converted the following few rounds to start mounting a comeback, the score reading 13-10 in no time. Just as his team looked lost, Benjamin "blameF" Bremer delivered a round with a hero AK-47 buy and put his team on map point, with the Natus Vincere economy looking shattered.
b1t started off a round that defied the odds, with his team keeping themselves in the game by the narrowest of margins. More bad news for the Danes followed, when s1mple started to get activated in the map getting a triple which he finished off with a trademark no-scope to force overtime.
The beginning of overtime was a story of clutches, with Perfecto and blameF both winning a 1v1 as the scores stood at 17-17. When his team needed him most, it was b1t who delivered two incredible multi-kills around middle to close out the game and book Natus Vincere a spot in the grand final.
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|54 - 38||+16||103.4||1.42|
|49 - 35||+14||77.0||1.26|
|38 - 35||+3||75.2||1.14|
|40 - 41||-1||70.2||1.01|
|37 - 38||-1||58.9||0.94|