NAVI qualify for EPL S17 playoffs over Spirit

Spirit require two consecutive wins on Sunday if they're to advance to the playoffs alongside Natus Vincere.

Natus Vincere are the third team from ESL Pro League Season 17 Group D to qualify for the playoffs after moving past Spirit in the lower bracket final, 2-0. Denis "⁠electroNic⁠" Sharipov and company struck first after pulling off a late-map recovery on Anubis (16-14) before laying down the law and wrapping up the series with a commanding showing on Nuke (16-7).

Natus Vincere's group stage run comes to an end with this victory, one which has been marred by less-than-ideal performances, including a 1-2 to loss to FORZE. Nonetheless, the Ukrainian ensemble looked far more composed in this series, even recovering from an initial 5-10 deficit on Anubis to secure passage to the next phase of play in Malta.

Spirit's defeat relegates the side down to the last chance stage in Malta. The Russian-majority roster will need to pick up back-to-back victories on Sunday if they're to join Natus Vincere in the playoffs, with their first test being a rematch against Astralis at 12:30 .

Date Matches
ESL Pro League Season 17
Perfecto topped the scoreboard versus Spirit with a 1.21 rating

An Anubis pick from Spirit christened the playoff-deciding matchup, where the Russian squad, energized by a 9-4 and 115 ADR performance from Robert "⁠Patsi⁠" Isyanov, raced to a 5-2 lead on the T-side. Triple kills from Andrii "⁠npl⁠" Kukharskyi and Oleksandr "⁠s1mple⁠" Kostyliev earned NAVI some respite and increased their round tally to four, but Spirit's suffocating hold on the game showed few signs of letting up as the half progressed; Leonid "⁠chopper⁠" Vishnyakov and company marched to 10 rounds by the side swap on the back of a well-executed and thorough offensive effort.

Natus Vincere kick-started their comeback attempt at the outset of the second half, using s1mple's turret-like precision to go on a six-round streak and take the lead for the first time since their CT-side pistol round conversion, 11-10. A flurry of individual heroics came to Spirit's rescue at this point, though, with Igor "⁠w0nderful⁠" Zhdanov stepping up with a triple kill before chopper clutched a 1vs2 to swing the momentum back in their team's favor and climb to a 14-11 advantage. Alas, Spirit's new-found revival lacked the legs to go the distance, and Natus Vincere turned up the heat with a five-round spree to eke out a laborious 16-14 victory on their opponents' pick.

Natus Vincere went from strength to strength once Nuke rolled around, putting up a dominant T-side on Cedar Creek which began with 6-0 start after honing in on vulnerabilities in Spirit's A-site hold round after round. chopper's troupe remained locked out of the conversation as the rounds whizzed by, even as the Russian outfit sought to stabilize their increasingly dire situation by calling three of their four tactical timeouts by round 10. Regardless, Natus Vincere's stranglehold only tightened by halftime and the Ukrainian roster, who were being led to victory by a surprisingly strong performance from npl, sat 11-4 up heading into the more favored CT-side.

Natus Vincere pulled off a 4vs4 retake of the A bombsite to commence the second half, but electroNic and company's inability to convert their weaponry advantage in the ensuing round gifted Spirit a chance to claw things back. A hat-trick of rounds brought the Russians up to seven on the scoreboard, but Natus Vincere's overpowering lead proved to be too steep a climb to overcome, with the Ukrainians wasting no time in closing things out after adding four rounds on the trot, 16-7.

18th March 2023
 Spirit K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
35 - 32 +3 62.1 1.04
36 - 40 -4 75.4 0.94
27 - 36 -9 63.0 0.84
24 - 36 -12 58.5 0.82
26 - 37 -11 55.0 0.78
 Natus Vincere K - D +/- ADR Rating 2.0
37 - 31 +6 83.6 1.21
32 - 28 +4 73.6 1.18
36 - 32 +4 84.1 1.15
42 - 29 +13 68.8 1.14
34 - 29 +5 71.7 1.09
Russia Leonid 'chopper' Vishnyakov
Leonid 'chopper' Vishnyakov
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Russia Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov
Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Russia Robert 'Patsi' Isyanov
Robert 'Patsi' Isyanov
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Ukraine Andrii 'npl' Kukharskyi
Andrii 'npl' Kukharskyi
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Time is adjusted to your selected timezone
Ukraine Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Ukraine Igor 'w0nderful' Zhdanov
Igor 'w0nderful' Zhdanov
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
s1mple goat
2023-03-18 19:23
1 reply
+1 s1mple top 1 2023
2023-03-18 23:02
Spirit let me down again
2023-03-18 19:24
1 reply
yo Boombl4 back 2 navi please, they need u
2023-03-18 19:31
Common NaVi easy group stage run. Sadly there will be no NaVi - Ence / Forze loser 2nd place decider.
2023-03-18 19:25
2 replies
the only way such a match (Navi - Ence / Forze) makes sense is if they add another bracket and make this quadruple elimination format with one qualifying team per bracket, which would be ridiculous.
2023-03-18 20:01
1 reply
I mean winner of lower bracket final is 3w 1l and loser of upper bracket final is 2w 1l - but will still be qualified higher.
2023-03-18 20:50
typical navi, shaky first games vs tier5 teams and slowly getting into form during tournament, years go nothing changes with that
2023-03-18 19:29
5 replies
Outside of 2021, I can’t think of any versions of NaVi that didn’t have rough starts to their tournaments. Makes it more interesting to watch I guess…
2023-03-18 20:05
2 replies
2022. they didnt win them but in allot of events looked more convincing than faze, until they lost to faze ;(
2023-03-18 20:43
1 reply
Ur right, I remember over and over hoping that NaVi would win and they crushed it but then FaZe
2023-03-18 20:44
NaVi don't care about group stage lol. Watch them kick ass in playoffs
2023-03-18 23:05
1 reply
Aruba defoliant
Yeah i will keep my eyes peeled.
2023-03-19 09:28
United States AcE3K
Navi did not lose to Rare Atom lol , huge blunder in the article
2023-03-18 19:41
2 replies
Europe kuu1
I think it was edited.
2023-03-18 20:33
1 reply
United States AcE3K
Yea he edited and removed the whole passage lol
2023-03-18 23:44
suffering a 17-19 defeat on Inferno in a 1-2 loss to Rare Atom in the lower bracket semi-final yeah sure
2023-03-18 19:42
1 reply
Typical HLTV Reporting false facts and trying to malign NaVi.
2023-03-18 23:04
save w0nderful
2023-03-18 19:46
Spirit has such a difficult road comparing to liquid, trash format ffs. Overall they need 2 wins against Astralis and 1 over Liquid, while liquid only need to win vs ATK and Rare Atom to be exactly at the same place.
2023-03-18 19:50
Simple highest kills but lowest ADR. That’s weird
2023-03-18 19:57
"alongside suffering a 17-19 defeat on Inferno in a 1-2 loss to Rare Atom in the lower bracket semi-final" No. GSTK, bro, come on.
2023-03-18 20:00
Ukraine D1mkaS777
Ok, but there is a win 2-1 against rare atom
2023-03-18 20:22
Typical CiS little bro syndrome vs NaVi
2023-03-18 20:24
EZ4NAVI Spirit n00bs, magixx bot go drink coke and prac hard maybe one day your team will be top 5 in CIS
2023-03-18 23:01
Disappointing result tbh, spirit could have won this for sure, this team is so weird, sometimes they look like top 5 title contenders then they flip on a dime and look like a tier 2 team that barely makes it into the major, they really need to work on consistentcy
2023-03-19 01:42
3 replies
Magixx and s1ren being so inconsistent is the reason why we can't get to the next level. They have high highs and low lows. I'm glad Patsi managed to step up his game after a very sloppy start. He's not as good as he was last year yet, but hopefully it's all downhill from now on. The biggest issue right now is their CT side. I remember them having the best CT I've ever seen in my life back in Antwerp, the utility usage, the teamwork, everything was there and it kinda reminded me of old Astralis to some extent. Also a lot of ideas on how you wanna push a certain position and catching perfect timings all the time. It's all gone. Maybe it has something to do with teams studying them more but they don't make these kind of moves anymore. It's not like they're doing a certain move and the enemy covers all bases so it goes off half cocked. They don't have many set-ups either. They usually play quite passive, not finding much information of off that. Like, there's no element of surprise. I'd like to say something about their retakes but they just cry to heaven to say the least. No idea what happened with their pistol rounds as well. They used to be one of the best teams in the world when it comes to pistol rounds, and I think they have had like a 20% winrate of pistol rounds so far this year. Pistol rounds have always played a vital role for them, and if you keep losing them time after time, you can't win the game. The game against NAVI would've been different if they at least pulled off one pistol round on Anubis. And yes, they're probably the worst team in TOP 20 when it comes to playing out the clutches. Maybe not specifically playing them but just throwing 1v3, 4v2 scenarios 10 times per series. It's so frustrating to watch...
2023-03-19 02:18
2 replies
it is really frustrating to watch sometimes, that nitro 1v4 clutch was just crushing to watch despite the fact that they won the map, i get what you mean about ct sides though, i feel like they have only been doing t side prac and no ct side prac to improve t sides but have therefore lost thier skills on ct side, i remeber in stockholm with the old roster thier ct side on ancient looked unbeatable but got thrashed on t sides, it seems to have flipped now with great t sides but averageish ct sides especially on anubis. I imagine a bootcamp with a focus on praccing both sides so they can be strong on both sides i wouldnt mind seeing them build a bigger stratbook with a mix of passive and aggressive t sides plus some new setups on ct side because spirits playbook has last all of its edge now that most tier 1 teams have properly learned thier playstyle and can anti strat it so some new executes and strats could be beneficial the pistol problem is frustrating as i loved watching spirit pistol rounds as they were very entertaining but like spirits other strats teams know how to combat thier pistol style now, s1ren on the dualies used to clean up but now teams know how to dual with him properly so he isnt as successful for no fault of his own after epl i think a pre rmr bootcamp could be really beneficial for this team coming into the major and i am pretty optimistic for the upcoming major IF we get playoffs at epl, if we lose to liquid or astralis i will be a little more worried
2023-03-19 06:26
1 reply
I mean they all live in Serbia and I guess they play from the same place quite regularly. It's more about the quality of the practice. They should revamp their playbook and focus more on CT side. Their T sides have actually looked pretty decent lately, but whenever they start CT on enemies' mappick, they struggle a lot and they rarely hit double-digits. I wouldn't mind seeing them have new pistol rounds, set-ups up their sleeves heading into RMR and Major. Teams just read them like a book and some changes have to be made on CT if they want to go on to have another successful major run. Like, back in Antwerp they were like getting 11 CT rounds with ease, no matter what map they played and who they played against. They were down 5-10 on Nuke against FURIA and Heroic and then they just turned into prime Astralis and started getting the round after round with such ease. I remember watching these games and as far as I remember these rounds weren't even close most of the time.
2023-03-19 09:41
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