NAVI reach first grand final following international move
Natus Vincere have yet to lose a map at ESL Pro League Season 18 heading into the title decider.
Natus Vincere have defeated Monte 2-0 to advance to the grand final at ESL Pro League Season 18. Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev and company will meet the winner of the ENCE-MOUZ semi-final in the best-of-five title decider in Malta, set to take place on Sunday at 16:00 .
|ESL Pro League Season 18|
NAVI continued a flawless run through the tournament with their victory against Monte, yet to lose a map after wins over 5yclone, Apeks, and FaZe in the group stage, and Eternal Fire in the quarter-finals.
The campaign marks the first time this Natus Vincere roster has reached a grand final following the controversial international move in the summer off-season, and the organization's first grand final appearance since the IEM Cologne loss to FaZe in July 2022.
"It's very nice, not only just because it's the last grand final in CS:GO, it's also because I don't remember the last time when we played the final," s1mple said following the match.
The semi-final win was perhaps the hardest of the bunch so far for Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen's team. Monte were leading 11-7 on the favored Terrorist side of Anubis and 9-4 on the CT side of Mirage, but it looked as if the pressure got to the rather inexperienced squad.
On both maps Natus Vincere's nerves of steel made the difference in clutch scenarios and, especially on Mirage, in several late retakes where they were at a disadvantage.
"I feel like they were really feeling the pressure because they kept losing these afterplants," Aleksib said when asked about a round in which he abused Monte's passive stance in a 3v2 retake scenario to reach series point on Mirage.
"After Valerchik [b1t] won that 1v3, I think that was the nail in the coffin. Then you just felt invincible, like, how can we even win this round?"
|Monte||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|40 - 35||+5||84.6||1.19|
|41 - 37||+4||85.1||1.14|
|33 - 34||-1||65.4||1.02|
|29 - 34||-5||57.3||0.87|
|31 - 41||-10||67.7||0.86|