Credit: ESL and Adela Sznajder
2022 never reached the same heights for Natus Vincere as the year before. The PGL Stockholm Major champions have dealt with their fair share of adversity during a troublesome year on and off the server. At BLAST World Finals the CIS team has tried out Andrii "npl" Kukharskyi on certain maps instead of Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev.
Today against Team Liquid it was Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev on the server on both maps. But the Ukrainian couldn’t do anything against a very well-oiled Team Liquid machine. On NAVI’s own map pick of Overpass, it was Liquid in complete control. Jonathan 'EliGE' Jablonowski and Mareks "YEKINDAR" Gaļinskis both cruised past the defense of NAVI to facilitate a 16-10 win.
On Ancient the difference in class was only enhanced. A superb T-side from Liquid saw them 11-4 up on the usually very CT-sided map. s1mple did what he could, but the rest of the NAVI roster was way off the mark throughout the first half. But then NAVI woke up. From 4-13 down NAVI regained control and slaughtered Team Liquid, who thought they could rely on their retakes. Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi was the man of the hour for NAVI on Ancient and drove his team to the third and final map of Mirage.
Next up was the decider Mirage. After a great CT side from Liquid, the team managed to take a 10-5 lead switching over to the T side. With YEKINDAR being on fire, NAVI stood no chance against the well-played Liquid team. On the T side, Team Liquid saw themselves lose the first two rounds as s1mple played light out doing the pistol. However, the North American team took back the momentum and cruised the game home with a 9-16 scoreline.
Team Liquid can on the other hand look forward to a Semi-Final tomorrow against the tournament underdogs from OG.
Team Liquid – Natus Vincere 2-1 | BLAST Premier World Finals
16-10 (Overpass) EliGE – 1.61 Rating / 25-16 K-D / 107.2 ADR
14-16 (Ancient) | b1t – 1.43 Rating / 29-17 K-D / 91.6 ADR
16-9 (Mirage) | YEKINDAR – 1.45 Rating / 25-12 K-D / 86.9 ADR