HomeEventsNatus Vincere breeze past FaZe, to face G2 in IEM Cologne Grand...

Natus Vincere breeze past FaZe, to face G2 in IEM Cologne Grand Finale

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NAVI BREEZE PAST FAZE CLAN TO JOIN G2 IN THE GRAND FINALS OF IEM COLOGNE

The CIS superstars made short work of Faze Clan in the second semi-final, to book a berth in the Grand Final of Intel Extreme Masters Cologne 2021, the first LAN event in more than a year and a half.

Almost like a fairytale, the last LAN event before the Pandemic disrupted the whole world, saw G2 and NAVI battle it out at IEM Katowice 2020. Fast forward 500 days later, the first LAN back sees the two match up AGAIN to continue where they left off and settle scores again.

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Faze put up a good fight, but ‘s1mple’ was just a cut everybody else today as he has been all tournament. Faze did exceed everyone’s expectations – coming in ranked #37 in the world, fighting their way from the play-in all the way to the semi-finals, eliminating the #1 team in the world in the process was, something no one could have predicted. But they fall short of a Grand Final spot yet again.

Faze, wary of NAVI’s exploits on the map, got rid of Nuke, knowing Vertigo would be banned for them by the CIS squad (NAVI has never played Vertigo in an official). ‘karrigan’ picked into the tactic-heavy map of Inferno, still fresh from their win versus Gambit yesterday. NAVI went with the comfort pick of Mirage, letting Ancient float. Dust2 was chosen as the decider map for the second semi-final of the day.

MAP 1: Inferno (Picked by: Faze Clan, Won by: Natus Vincere, Final Score: 16:7)

A lost pistol round saw NAVI on the back foot, giving up the mandatory 3 rounds before they could come back in with a full-buy. From there on out, it was the ‘s1mple’ show. No matter how many times we say this, the Ukrainian prodigy shows us time after time after time, just what he’s made of. Today was no different as he sent Faze Clan’s T side packing, hitting shots left, right and center to rack up a mammoth 21 kills with just 6 deaths to give his side 10 CT rounds on their opponents map pick. The former world number one continued his tear on the T side, moving about fearlessly as he secured 30 kills in just 21 rounds of play to be a class above everyone else on the server. Good reads on the T side from Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov allowed Faze just 2 CT rounds as NAVI closed out Inferno with a stomp, 16:7.

MAP 2: Mirage (Picked by: Natus Vincere, Won by: Natus Vincere, Final Score: 16:7)

A community favourite, Mirage was on the cards next, with NAVI on the T-side this time around. But T or CT, it seemed to matter little for the Russian/Ukrainian squad as they continued to wreak havoc on the server. The #2 team let the international roster have just 2 rounds of the first 12, as the duo of ‘s1mple’ and ‘electronic’ did not let up one bit after Inferno. Credit has to be given to IGL ‘Boombl4’ and coach ‘B1ad3’ for turning NAVI’s T sides into their strength as they secured 11 rounds to end the half at 11:4. With already very little room to play, Faze tried their best to turn things around on the T side, but multi–kills from the above mentioned dynamic duo would not have it. Faze managed 3 rounds on the T-side as NAVI secured yet another 16:7 win, to win the series 2:0.

A GRAND FINAL FOR THE AGES?

NAVI will play G2 esports in the Grand Finale of IEM Cologne 2021 in a Best of 5 series, to be crowned champions and take home $400,000 in prize money and 1800 ESL Pro Tour points.

Faze go home in 3-4th place, alongside Astralis, not at all disappointed with their finish as they look to polish this new, promising roster a little more for the events to come.

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