NAVI fend off NIP to set up G2 matchup

New additions to each team in Andrii "⁠npl⁠" Kukharskyi and Daniil "⁠headtr1ck⁠" Valitov had their highlight moments as NAVI took down NIP in the BLAST Premier Spring Groups.

Natus Vincere have advanced to the BLAST Premier Spring Group C upper final following a 2-1 victory over Ninjas in Pyjamas (Inferno 16-9, Mirage 17-19, Overpass 16-8). The Ukrainian team moves on to face G2 in the next round, while NIP fall to the lower bracket to clash with BIG.

It was a match of two teams debuting in the new year with new lineups. After a poor start to his stint with the team as a sixth member at the BLAST Premier World Final late last year, npl impressed in the opening match of the season after being promoted as a full-time fifth player. He was one of the keys to NAVI's win on Inferno especially, putting up 16 kills on the CT side to keep his team hot on Ninjas in Pyjamas's heels.

On the other side, another former NAVI Junior prospect and npl's ex-teammate headtr1ck had his highlight moment on Mirage, with 30 kills in an overtime win, and was overall his team's highest-rated player of the series (58-48, 1.07 rating).

Former NAVI Junior teammates clashed in their seasonal debuts

Natus Vincere did not need Oleksandr "⁠s1mple⁠" Kostyliev or Denis "⁠electroNic⁠" Sharipov to pick up the first map. While the usually ever-reliant s1mple and the in-game leader scored just three kills between them by halftime, the former academy prospects took over.

In his debut as a permanent member of the team, npl in particular kept NAVI in the game in a close first half. The 17-year-old's quad-kill in the pistol round and three more crucial multi-kills ensured Ninjas in Pyjamas wouldn't run away with the game early, while Valeriy "⁠b1t⁠" Vakhovskiy starred with consistent output, eight multi-kills and 27 kills in total to get the opener across the finish line.

After their slow start, s1mple and electroNic woke up with some key rounds early into Mirage, but ultimately even s1mple's 29-kill performance wasn't enough. The second map went the other way as Ninjas in Pyjamas survived a late push from a resilient NAVI, denying their opponents a big comeback in the end on the back of a great performance from headtr1ck.

A close first half ended with Aleksi "⁠Aleksib⁠" Virolainen and Hampus "⁠hampus⁠" Poser winning clutches to get away with a close lead. headtr1ck, the new addition to NIP, pushed his team to 14 rounds with a quad-kill in the second pistol round, but even after getting themselves a six-round lead Ninjas in Pyjamas could not close out the map in regulation. It wasn't until overtime that they found the recipe for success with a perfect offense, giving themselves enough space to clinch the map at 19-17.

Overpass was a clear-cut affair from start to finish. NAVI ran away with the game with a 6-0 start on the Terrorist side, consistently finding openers and exploiting the gaps created in the defense. With an 11-round half, it was just a matter of time before they found the momentum to finish off the map once on the CT side, and powered by a resurgent s1mple and electroNic they ran out victors 16-8, 2-1.

 Natus Vincere K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
67 - 49 +18 86.8 1.26
65 - 45 +20 72.0 1.23
54 - 53 +1 80.7 1.11
51 - 46 +5 70.9 1.08
53 - 51 +2 66.6 1.04
 Ninjas in Pyjamas K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
58 - 48 +10 64.1 1.07
49 - 58 -9 71.8 1.01
50 - 63 -13 72.7 0.92
43 - 56 -13 68.4 0.86
43 - 65 -22 61.9 0.81
Sweden Hampus 'hampus' Poser
Hampus 'hampus' Poser
Age:
24
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1416
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
Russia Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov
Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov
Age:
24
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1376
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.66
Finland Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
Age:
25
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
1064
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.65
Ukraine Daniil 'headtr1ck' Valitov
Daniil 'headtr1ck' Valitov
Age:
18
Rating 1.0:
1.13
Maps played:
125
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
Ukraine Valeriy 'b1t' Vakhovskiy
Valeriy 'b1t' Vakhovskiy
Age:
20
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
518
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.63
Ukraine Andrii 'npl' Kukharskyi
Andrii 'npl' Kukharskyi
Age:
17
Rating 1.0:
0.98
Maps played:
69
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.69
Ukraine Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
25
Rating 1.0:
1.25
Maps played:
1629
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.64
Expected but good fight in mirage Also big up from npl showing some improvement from last time out
2023-01-21 16:23
#2
 | 
Philippines stiwa5k
First
2023-01-21 16:22
#3
 | 
Korea Axiotimos
GOAT
2023-01-21 16:22
M0NESY will humble S0mple
2023-01-21 16:23
3 replies
name checks out
2023-01-21 16:52
1 reply
#35
 | 
Ukraine litekreu
inconsistent name
2023-01-21 18:05
Name
2023-01-22 05:31
banger match coming
2023-01-21 16:23
well played by headtr1ck
2023-01-21 16:24
#7
 | 
United States zovint
nice
2023-01-21 16:24
#8
 | 
Russia fuzik
They need to replace Hampus
2023-01-21 16:24
4 replies
#10
 | 
Kazakhstan akrrr
you made 6 mistakes in word "ALEKSIB"
2023-01-21 16:26
weird way to spell botleksiB
2023-01-21 16:27
+lauNX -aleksib hampus to IGL
2023-01-21 16:32
You misspelled "aleksib"
2023-01-22 05:32
#9
 | 
Cuba Hanes
NOOOOOOO!
2023-01-21 16:24
days until botleksib kicked over/under 100. Place your bets.
2023-01-21 16:26
8 replies
obsessed
2023-01-21 16:28
number of your braincells over/under 100. Place your bets.
2023-01-21 16:33
2 replies
weird way to spell cells
2023-01-21 16:33
1 reply
fixed
2023-01-21 16:33
After Paris Major
2023-01-21 16:32
2 replies
+1 most likely outcome
2023-01-21 16:33
#36
 | 
Ukraine litekreu
+1
2023-01-21 18:06
I think the result is pretty reasonable all things considered
2023-01-21 18:29
Is the game became more t-sided after a1 and awp nerf, or both teams just suck at ct?
2023-01-21 16:28
1 reply
i think its the latter tbh
2023-01-21 16:45
"headtr1ck was better than s1mple" ... xD ROFLMAO trash talkers in htlv clueless
2023-01-21 16:34
NIP is terrible wtf
2023-01-21 16:42
3 replies
expected with all these nationalities and aleksibot... They should go full swedish
2023-01-21 16:44
2 replies
Agree
2023-01-21 16:51
#27
 | 
Kazakhstan nurdos
Meanwhile headtrick topfragging
2023-01-21 16:52
Can't wait for this match to happen
2023-01-21 16:53
Another navi vs g2, I want to see g2 vs nip
2023-01-21 16:59
#30
 | 
Latvia laiziolas
Well it was nice game. Nip did put some fight but as first game together its acceptable.
2023-01-21 17:05
#31
 | 
Romania FaZe_NBK
NIP COO calc raises 2023 expectations: "With this, I believe we can contend for Majors"
2023-01-21 17:17
Aleksibot most overrated IGL. please replace
2023-01-21 17:17
#33
 | 
China threo333
aleksib lul
2023-01-21 17:34
#34
REZ | 
Europe Rebell_
Every time I watch NiP play, it's always to same shit over and over again...
2023-01-21 17:48
headtr1ck good debut
2023-01-21 18:47
I wonder why they ever believed that aleksib was right for NiP.
2023-01-21 19:17
1 reply
#40
 | 
Sweden Gopher666
Coz they are fooled by his stats.
2023-01-21 21:00
Perfecto are so good dude holy shieet
2023-01-21 21:09
3 replies
He is really the GOAT of support. He plays with so few mistakes and deliver
2023-01-21 22:01
2 replies
No one can take that title from Xyp9x unless they have better stats than him during Astralis era, win 4 majors in a row, reach higher than top13, and have more clutches than him or shox Looks pretty impossible rn
2023-01-22 07:23
1 reply
xypex didn't play as well as Perfecto does it right now. And both won majors. So you can have your GOAT but for me it is perfecto. He doesn't need to clutch so much cuz he doesn't let it happen that it is necessary.
2023-01-22 07:47
S1mple had a slow start in this game, I don't think Na Vi can afford to allow that to happen against G2
2023-01-21 22:52
#47
 | 
Finland giliuss
If only s1mple didn't wake up..
2023-01-22 07:24
Ez g2-0?
2023-01-22 14:50
#50
roeJ | 
Honduras Braha
4 players from navi academy are playing in tier 1 teams
2023-01-23 09:48
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