G2 stave off NAVI to earn group final berth in Copenhagen

Nikola "⁠NiKo⁠" Kovač went above and beyond the call of duty with an exceptional performance to allow G2 to remain undefeated in Denmark.

G2 are through to the BLAST Premier Spring Group C final following a 2-0 victory over Natus Vincere. The European ensemble deconstructed the Ukrainian-majority roster on Nuke (16-10), before securing their place in the next round of play following a scrappy and cut-throat victory on Inferno (22-18).

The loss sends Natus Vincere down to the lower bracket in Denmark, where they will need to put up a flawless run, including an eventual rematch versus G2, if they're to punch a ticket to the BLAST Premier Spring Final without going through the do-or-die knockout stage.

The series' biggest highlight came from NiKo, who started the new year in red-hot form with a superlative 1.59 rating — 0.40 points higher than Ilya "⁠m0NESY⁠" Osipov, his closest teammate. G2 will also be relieved that they closed out the series after originally sporting a lopsided 14-7 advantage on Inferno. Questionable decision-making and over-zealous behaviour gifted Natus Vincere a way back into the game, one that could have easily been a more one-sided affair than what the final score made out.

NiKo was G2's best performer all series long, averaging a 1.59 rating

The series got underway on Natus Vincere's pick of Nuke, but a stellar 4k pistol-round hold of the lower bombsite by NiKo instantly set the tone of the game as G2 wasted no time in jumping out to a 5-0 lead on the CT-side. An all-important 1vs2 clutch from Oleksandr "⁠s1mple⁠" Kostyliev in the sixth round finally got his side on the board, but NiKo's unrelenting aggression around the Outside portion of the map helped G2 lock in an early first-half victory, 8-1. Natus Vincere's unconventional proficiency with mishmash buys of Galil-ARs and Tec-9s provided the team with some positive takeaways, but G2 showed few signs of slowing down to post a 12-3 slaughter of their opponents by halftime.

The game was flipped on its head at the beginning of the second half. Natus Vincere kick started their comeback with vigour, responding to an opening two-round spree by their foes with five shutdowns of their own to eat into the deficit, 8-14. Regardless, this resurgence in form by Natus Vincere merely served as a consolation, with G2 picking up two intermittent round wins en route to a comfortable 16-10 showing.

The European mix owed the vast majority of their gratitude on Nuke to NiKo's otherworldly performance. The Bosnian rifler's blistering display (32-16 K-D, 130 ADR, 1.96 rating) proved to be the rocket fuel to allow the side to punish Natus Vincere's map pick in confident fashion.

G2 picked up their third pistol round of the series to start Inferno, the multinational outfit going on to exploit deficiencies in Natus Vincere's B-site hold to garner a 4-0 lead to start their offensive effort. Denis "⁠electroNic⁠" Sharipov's men woke up in spite of the slow start, creating a solid defensive wall to shut out G2 round after round and bring things back to a competitive 4-5 scoreline. The hard-fought nature of the map continued to be felt as the half progressed, G2's successful slow and calculated takes of the bombsites being met by entrenched defensive positions from Natus Vincere in response. Nonetheless, it was Rasmus "⁠HooXi⁠" Nielsen and co. who narrowly came out on top, the Danish tactician and NiKo taking it upon themselves to lead their squad to a one-round victory in the opening half with ten frags apiece.

G2 pushed forward once on the defensive side, repeating their aggressive gameplan from the map prior to effortlessly slice through Natus Vincere's tactics like a hot knife through butter and push up to a 14-7 lead. Natus Vincere bounced back despite staring down the barrel of defeat, pulling back-to-back 2vs2 clutches out of thin air to spearhead a recovery and close the gap, 11-14. electroNic and company's rebound picked up momentum once the map entered its dying stages, several scrappy and discombobulated rounds leaning ever so slightly in Natus Vincere's favour to gift the team two four-round sprees and force a trip to overtime from an initial seven-round deficit.

Two sets of extra rounds were required to separate the two teams. A rejuvenated s1mple carried Natus Vincere to map point in the first overtime, but well-executed B hits and sublime calling from HooXi enabled G2 to put up an unblemished showing in response, eventually leading to a 22-18 victory to win the series 2-0.

Europe
Matchpage
2
0
23rd January 2023
16
Nuke
10
22
Inferno
18
 G2 K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
62 - 40 +22 107.7 1.59
50 - 37 +13 72.1 1.19
38 - 39 -1 63.2 0.99
32 - 32 0 53.7 0.93
32 - 41 -9 56.1 0.86
 Natus Vincere K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
48 - 36 +12 78.5 1.20
44 - 47 -3 79.1 1.03
32 - 40 -8 58.3 0.88
35 - 47 -12 64.4 0.84
28 - 45 -17 51.6 0.72
Denmark Rasmus 'HooXi' Nielsen
Rasmus 'HooXi' Nielsen
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.86
Maps played:
852
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.68
Russia Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov
Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov
Age:
24
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1378
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.66
Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.15
Maps played:
1691
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.67
Ukraine Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Age:
25
Rating 1.0:
1.25
Maps played:
1631
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.64
Russia Ilya 'm0NESY' Osipov
Ilya 'm0NESY' Osipov
Age:
17
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.18
Maps played:
317
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.60
#2
 | 
Afghanistan sak_dog2
kkk
2023-01-23 18:04
pog
2023-01-23 18:04
#6
 | 
South America Neshie
G2 era
2023-01-23 18:04
1 reply
deserved
2023-01-23 22:45
s1mple isn't putting up s1mple numbers anymore
2023-01-23 18:04
8 replies
Why should he?
2023-01-23 18:05
5 replies
To continue being the number one player in the world
2023-01-23 18:48
4 replies
NaVi need elec back to rifle and bring in a decent igl Before we can talk s1 seems unmotivated
2023-01-23 18:49
3 replies
Never was a problem for real #1
2023-01-23 19:17
That's true. I'd like to see Jerry or another IGL that could unlock s1mple better. But s1mple's slumps are better than some pros best
2023-01-23 19:21
1 reply
True he can easy get up to 1.40 again if he wants i think
2023-01-23 19:35
I mean he is still carrying. Just look at the scoreboard, he's the only one in the green with a 1.20 rating. He's trying, but they need a real igl
2023-01-24 13:49
1 reply
Also because of the Ukrainian crisis, I don’t expect him to put up 1.40 every map. He’s doing really good all things considered
2023-01-25 16:18
gigachad
2023-01-23 18:05
NiKo diff
2023-01-23 18:05
3rd
2023-01-23 18:05
#13
 | 
Croatia shinebair
average g2 set giving me 7heart attacks and choking 14-7lead
2023-01-23 18:06
2 replies
yeah classic g2 hahaha
2023-01-23 18:07
I put my phone aside at 16:18, and missed the best part . F me
2023-01-23 22:10
What happened to b1t? If he starts performing, I'd see navi becoming a contender again. Not impressed about npl yet but gotta give the kid more time
2023-01-23 18:07
8 replies
Idk
2023-01-23 18:08
#23
 | 
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
b1t has his positions back somewhat but obviously Nipl is still new to the scene, so I think they did pretty well despite that.
2023-01-23 18:13
u not impressed by npl yet ?? the guy is carrying
2023-01-23 19:45
2 replies
Need to see more of his games. I'm not saying that he is bad
2023-01-23 19:47
1 reply
+1 too early to tell
2023-01-24 00:23
i just realized that Hooxi has more kills than b1t what is going on...
2023-01-23 21:36
2 replies
What the hell... Gigachad
2023-01-23 22:14
1 reply
*casually outfrags b1t* Gigachad
2023-01-25 01:41
#17
 | 
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
Amazing game. :D
2023-01-23 18:09
#18
 | 
United States ryan!nacs
Nearly pulled a G2 on Inferno but glad to see they got it done
2023-01-23 18:09
banger inferno, good thing that hunter turned on his monitor in the end.
2023-01-23 18:09
#20
 | 
Bangladesh ImpacT_
G2 top 1 2023
2023-01-23 18:09
G2 played well + NiKo entry was too strong for Navi to handle :D
2023-01-23 18:12
Free
2023-01-23 18:16
BANGER MATCH
2023-01-23 18:17
noob big boom no navi, you just cant have top rifler as igl
2023-01-23 18:26
b0t
2023-01-23 18:26
1 reply
top 16 player btw
2023-01-23 22:06
Nice job NiKo, this is how G2 wins titles my man - use that mechanical skill and stick to entry / opener. This is your best role.
2023-01-23 18:33
#30
 | 
Russia fuzik
BoombI4 is enjoying the show right now :D
2023-01-23 18:33
2 replies
I think Sdy is having a better time than Big Boom right now
2023-01-24 05:28
1 reply
i don't think sdy is that type of guy to enjoy his ex-team losing. he's pretty humble on the screen. but who knows, maybe he rlly prays for s1mple's downfall for being toxic towards him.
2023-01-25 01:44
No Boombl4 no brain in Navi
2023-01-23 18:39
omg niko turning up =D
2023-01-23 18:57
b0t is back
2023-01-23 19:14
Expected with NPL
2023-01-23 19:23
Nice ! I don’t care for g2 at all but it’s good to hear that karma is catching up with Navi.
2023-01-23 19:26
1 reply
Karma from what? - boombl4 was a a necessary move, navi is a big org they can't be associated with scandals, One could even say carlos was out of G2 for way less
2023-01-23 19:59
Nikola "goat-rifler" kovac
2023-01-23 19:26
Na'VI will be OK until RMR.
2023-01-23 19:29
G2 are looking much better, perhaps they could be title contenders?
2023-01-23 19:40
#48
 | 
Aruba defoliant
Navi picking Nuke against G2 made me laugh so hard.
2023-01-23 20:25
#49
 | 
Uganda Tby17Q
NiKo #1 2023 confirmed !!
2023-01-23 20:33
1 reply
Niko next major winner. script is going as intended.
2023-01-25 01:47
Niko playing aggressive and confident is a joy to watch. Glad to see the multiple smoke and Wallbang deaths didn’t fully tilt him
2023-01-23 20:34
#51
 | 
Hungary Mitomen20
Nuko too strong.
2023-01-23 20:45
kkk navi noobs
2023-01-23 20:55
#53
 | 
Germany LeonYEET
Hooxis play was sick af he just needs to keep it up
2023-01-23 20:57
elec wasting his talent trying to igl.
2023-01-23 21:01
1 reply
+1
2023-01-23 22:05
Many people giving electronic hard flack, but we don't really know how he is calling or how different was boobl4's calling. Sure he sacrificed some of his best spots for eg. pit in inferno bust still don't forget that this is a pretty much new roster. Also, this is the time when s1mple is not as dominant as in 2021 and also b1t dropped off really hard too. Don't know how nipl played in the academy league but obviously, he didn't have that many t1 reps before joining full-time like b1t. So nobody knows anything yet about navi's future. I wanted them to get hobbit from c9 but let's see how nipl performs now. Again if he doesn't perform well this season, Navi should absolutely go for the likes of hobbit or buster.
2023-01-23 21:22
If NAVI keep npl and don't get a REAL igl... be ready to see navi not qualifying to a major for the first time.
2023-01-23 22:12
Today NiKo was like mouz / early faze time. Crazy impact and shots
2023-01-23 22:13
#63
 | 
Denmark Rhymebook
Niko is one of the best Nuke players ever tbh
2023-01-23 22:17
If they re-match on Friday, there is no way navi pick nuke again
2023-01-24 00:18
fluke
2023-01-24 06:48
#73
 | 
African Union mikecool
It was an exciting series to watch
2023-01-24 09:36
#75
 | 
Thailand Saenchai
gg
2023-01-24 18:35
NiKo found his power once again. This G2 is scary, guys
2023-01-25 16:23
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.
Now playing
Thumbnail for stream
United Kingdom
ESL TV
38399 viewers
Top streams
All(51)
Casters(27)
Streamers(17)
Organizers(7)
United Kingdom
ESL TV
(38399)
Brazil
gaules
(28727)
Russia
Maincast
(12083)
United Kingdom
ESL TV (YouTube)
(5192)
Other
ohnePixel
(4443)
United States
fl0m
(2709)
United Kingdom
ESL TV B
(2352)
Portugal
RTP Arena
(2103)
Poland
ESL TV
(2009)
Argentina
Luken
(1719)
Ukraine
Maincast
(1562)
Russia
Dosia
(1501)
Montenegro
Lobanjica
(1442)
France
1pv
(1399)
Serbia
ArenaEsport (YouTube)
(1379)
Spain
ESL TV
(1257)
Sweden
HeatoN
(1218)
Netherlands
D0cC
(898)
United Kingdom
smooya
(858)
Brazil
mch
(807)
Finland
Elisa Viihde
(798)
Turkey
Brosskiez
(423)
France
bodyy
(320)
Czech Republic
PLAYzoneUP
(299)
Portugal
fox
(286)
Russia
twenty3
(281)
Philippines
Focus Fire
(265)
Brazil
wastzera
(221)
Hungary
Esport1 TV
(212)
Other
Champion of Champions 2
(207)
Bulgaria
Niku
(171)
Brazil
Jogando Junto
(169)
Serbia
ArenaEsport
(160)
Brazil
Apoka
(156)
Sweden
Esportstudion
(144)
Brazil
cogu
(132)
Brazil
velhovamp1
(131)
Brazil
gaules TV
(122)
Canada
jasonR
(121)
Brazil
BTSBrasilFPS
(119)
Argentina
guishorro
(94)
Brazil
momentefps
(92)
Brazil
bt0
(88)
France
hAdji
(60)
Sweden
robiin
(35)
Brazil
JokerBR
(33)
Poland
MINISE
(33)
Serbia
bakistuta
(22)
Canada
DAVEY
(19)
Romania
GamePlanTV
(13)
Brazil
BTSBrasilCSGO
(4)