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Natus Vincere join Vitality in Grand Final after three map thriller

NaVi sends Heroic home from the ESL Pro League Season 14 with a 2-1 victory

The first semi-final concluded with Vitality as victors and the first team to advance to the Grand Finals of the event. The team to join them in the Grand Final was to be found between Natus Vincere and Heroic. Both teams have become a mainstay at the top of the rankings, so an intense Bo3-series was on the cards. And intense it was. Both teams fought with a clear intent of advancing to the final stage of the event, however, one team proved stronger on the day. “s1mple” and the NaVi boys proved too difficult a task for the Danes to handle and after three incredibly close maps it was the CIS giants to join Vitality in tomorrow’s Grand Final.

The first map was Mirage and was the choice of NaVi. Many discussions about picking Mirage have been raised, seeing that it is a familiar map for many teams in the pro circuit. Heroic are by no means strangers to the map of Mirage and it showed. Both teams put in an impressive performance, and it was close right until the end. At the scoreline of 8-7 at halftime, it was impossible to separate the two teams and the same story continued in the second half. Going toe to toe, Mirage was anyone’s map, however, ultimately it was NaVi to close out the first map of the series. At the scoreline of 16-14, “s1mple” and his troops could walk away with a narrow victory and one step closer to the Grand Final. 

The second map of the series was to be played on Overpass and was, of course, picked by Heroic. The Danes are known for their ability on Overpass with last-moment rotations tricking their opponents into a favorable fight for the Heroic. It was also Heroic to start the strongest, securing an early 5-0 lead. The Heroic lead, however, soon dwindled away as NaVi began to regain form and answered back. Carrying over from Mirage it was just as close on Overpass. Either team refused to give up their chance of advancing to the Grand Finals and tried their absolute hardest to stay in the game. Ultimately, however, it was the Heroic boys, despite a masterclass by the Ukrainian “s1mple”, to take the series to all three maps with a 16-13 victory on Overpass.

The third and final map was set to be played on Nuke. With “s1mple” waking up on Overpass the thought of facing, arguably, the best Nuke player in the entire world in “s1mple” seemed a scary prospect for the Heroic roster. And scary it proved to be. “s1mple” carried on his form from Overpass and put up yet another impressive performance on Nuke. However, despite that, it wasn’t a one-sided affair as Heroic fought to the best of their abilities and made it as close as possible. Ultimately, however, “s1mple” and NaVi were too powerful and at the scoreline of 16-14, it was Natus Vincere to take home the victory and join Vitality in the Grand Final.

Highlight of the BO3-series

NaVi – Heroic (2-1) | ESL Pro League Season 14 (Semi-final)

16-14 (Mirage) |

s1mple – 1.54 Rating / 29-17 K-D / 83.3 ADR

16-13 (Overpass) |

s1mple – 1.46 Rating / 26-15 K-D / 91.7 ADR

16-14 (Nuke) |

s1mple – 1.46 Rating / 26-15 K-D / 91.7 ADR

 

MVP: 

Aleksandr ”s1mple” Kostyliev| 1.59 Rating / 92-54 K-D / 102.8 ADR

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