Credit: ESL and Stephanie Lindgren

Natus Vincere are through to the Grand Final!

"s1mple" and his teammates at NaVi move past ENCE and secure Grand Final spot

After FaZe managed to beat Team Spirit in what came to be a thriller of a brawl on Dust 2, there was only one battle left before it all comes down to the Grand Final of the PGL Major 2022 in Antwerp. I am, of course, talking about the second Semi-final of the event where Natus Vincere were set to take on the in-form boys of ENCE. Going into the Bo3-series it was no secret that Natus Vincere were the heavy favorites to take home the victory and secure a spot in the Grand Final. Whilst "s1mple" and NaVi are, by no means, an opponent you wish to face, the ENCE roster have proven themselves to be a strong contender as of late and an exciting battle was definitely on the cards. Whilst it wasn't the closest of Semi-finals in the history of Counter-Strike it was by no means a boring one. ENCE mustered up the best performance they could against a scarily cohesive Natus Vincere roster. Ultimately, however, it wasn't enough and "s1mple" and his troops were able to walk away with a 2-0 victory and celebrate amongst thousands of fans that they have, once again, made it to a Major Grand Final.

The first map of the Bo3-series was picked by ENCE and saw the brawl kick off on the concrete of Nuke. Whilst it was the pick of ENCE, Nuke is a map that both teams are more than capable on, not to mention how oppressive the AWP of "s1mple" can feel if he is playing to his level of skill on Nuke. ENCE started on the arguably more difficult side of the map, the T-side. Known for his creative T-sided strategies and always having multiple players lurk in unsuspected areas of the map, "Snappi" had a tough task ahead of him in the form of the NaVi defense. And tough it proved to be. With "Boombl4" showcasing a masterclass in how to hold down the A-bombsite and "s1mple" hitting all the necessary shots, it seemed impossible for "Snappi" and his troops to break down the CIS defense. Four rounds were all ENCE managed to secure on their T-side, meaning an 11-4 scoreline going into the second half Nuke. The second half seemed somewhat closer, however, it was all too little too late for ENCE to bounce back. Failing to post an, otherwise incredible, comeback on their CT-side it was Natus Vincere who were able walk away with a victory on Nuke at the scoreline of 16-7.

The second map of the series was picked by Natus Vincere and took place on the iconic map of Dust 2. Being a map that allows for the individuals of a given team to shine and dominate a game, Dust 2 seemed a daunting prospect for the ENCE roster as "s1mple" was already on fire on Nuke. Starting as the aggressors were NaVi. Continuing as they had finished Nuke, it was clear that NaVi were not joking around. Proving incredibly consistent and cohesive as a unit, something they have previously struggled with, the Ukrainian and Russian roster was a mouthful for the European ENCE roster to handle. At the scoreline of 9-6, favoring NaVi, it was time for the two teams to switch sides. Something immaculate was needed from the ENCE mastermind "Snappi" as it was ENCE to try their luck on the T-side of Dust 2. Luck was definitely needed for ENCE to have the slightest chance against a Natus Vincere that seemed unstoppable. The, arguably, greatest CS:GO player of all time "s1mple" was never silenced, and alongside his teammates, he made ENCE look like an easy opponent. At the scoreline of 16-12, it was all over. Natus Vincere had taken down ENCE and secured a spot in the Grand Final with style.

The victory against ENCE means that Natus Vincere will be facing FaZe in the Grand Final of the PGL Major 2022 in Antwerp tomorrow in what could become a brawl for the history books.

Highlight of the Bo3-series:

Natus Vincere - ENCE 2-0 | PGL Major Antwerp Legends Stage (Semi-finals)

16-7 (Nuke) | Boombl4 - 1.77 Rating / 24-11 K-D / 115.4 ADR

16-12 (Dust2) | s1mple - 1.78 Rating / 30-16 K-D / 112.8 ADR

MVP: Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev - 1.76 Rating / 58-31 K-D / 113.0 ADR

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