Photo via EPICENTER

Natus Vincere comes back from a map deficit to take their opening match against FaZe Clan.

MAP 1: Nuke (FaZe Clan’s Pick)

NaVi kicked off their IEM Katowice 2020 campaign with a pistol round mauling. Boombl4 stabbed Olof down the vent thus dropping the bomb after rain and coldzera met a bullet to the face, forcing NiKo and broky into a 2v4 situation which they were unable to convert. NaVi cleaned up a 2nd round eco from FaZe as we met a technical paused before the 3rd commenced. While the momentum quickly shifted towards NaVi for the initial seconds in the 3rd but cold along with rain picked up the scattered pieces and got FaZe Clan’s first round on board. NaVi got back on the board in the following round. FaZe found time against them on multiple occasions which cost them few extremely close rounds. The next round for FaZe came in the 8th round when they managed to fake their presence in outer and they rush into a fully stacked A site to bringing the score 6-2 favoring the CIS squad. NaVicame back with an eco victory as electronic took down two fully equipped players with a P2000 and the round was nothing short a disaster for FaZe. But FaZe were quick to find their footing in the remaining rounds of the first half. electronic was like a raid boss during these rounds, getting multiple kills on several occasions forcing FaZe to reevaluate their situation. FaZe managed to get themselves a turn of events from how things kicked off, as they won the T side of Nuke with an 8-7 scoreline.

FaZe managed a successful retake in the pistol round with the help of a kit on broky which allowed them to take their time to take back the site. FaZe cleaned up a 2nd round force buy from NaVi after they managed to run down the clock before the Russians could punch in the digits in the 3rd round, thus hitting the double digit mark. NaVi managed to damage the economy of FaZe as they won the first buy round of the 2nd half but FaZe’s deagles yielded the results as cold, NiKo and rain popped heads to bring the eco to them and the score stood 13-8 favoring the Europeans. FaZe Clan took a phenomenal gamble in the 24th round, after losing NiKo in outer, FaZe stacked 4 of their players in the upper bombsite and NaVi walked right in, only to get smashed by a rock-solid defense, thus reaching map point while NaVi were still at their 9th round. broky showed up in aces in the final round after clutching a 1v2 against Boombl4 and Perfecto, he managed to take down Boombl4 with a quick flick and being aware of Perfecto’s position, he managed to stick the defuse at an off-angle, the molly was a little too late from Perfecto as broky held the defuse all the way through to bring in their map pick home with a 16-9 scoreline.

MAP 2: Dust 2 (Natus Vincere’s Pick)

Like Nuke, Natus Vincere started their map pick with a pistol round win and they had the answer to the Euro-Latin American defense until the 4th round. FaZe Clan hit the board in 4th round after having their Deagles caused massive damage to NaVi in the 3rd. They leveled the scorecard in the following round continued their momentum until the 10th round where NaVi found themselves back on the board. FaZe answered back with a successful retake of the A bomb as the flask from coldzera and broky were instrumental in backing up the A defense. NiKo was up to his usual tricks, hitting flashy shots but odds were against them as they lost rounds even after getting important frags. FaZe found themselves on eco in the final round of the first half which was brought down close yet again as rain picked up two headshots after coldzera got one of his own as the half concluded 8-7 yet again favoring the Russians.

FaZe Clan came in all guns blazing on their T side, as they leveled the score with a well-precedented B rush, as NiKo and broky got two frags each. The lead came in for FaZe in the second half with a fairly clean 2nd round victory against pistols and a scout on s1mple. NaVi got close to winning in the 19th round where they were at a man advantage in a B site retake with NiKo stationed in the platform with a Krieg and broky beside the bomb with an AWP. NiKo managed 1 kill and was traded by the 2nd player in the tunnel, while broky picked up electronic with the CZ, he failed to get s1mple, but he had bought enough time by then that s1mple had to leave the defuse and was unable to save his sniper. s1mple was dialed into the game in the second half after the first didn’t quite work for him to the extent he would love. The momentum soon swayed towards NaVi as they won back to back rounds as the leveled the score 13-13, while the 26th round saw NiKo and coldzera bring a 2v4 to a 1v1 with merely deagles. In the following round FaZe bombarded the A bombsite with a 3K from NiKo and later got knife onto flamie while he running away to save. NaVi took an economic gamble in the 28th round, hoping to hold FaZe back from reaching the map and series point and it perfectly worked out for them, as s1mple’s came alive with a 3K with the AWP and things were equalized once again, as both teams shared 14 rounds each. FaZe failed to answer their defense in the following two rounds. The final round of the second map saw FaZe force a catwalk rush with an AWP, AK, two deagles and a Galil, while they were successful for the most part, perfecto was able to make up for his mistake from over at Nuke with a crucial clutch against broky and olofmeister preventing any overtime action in Dust 2 as things go over to Overpass for the decider.

MAP 3: Overpass (Deciding Map)

NaVi were quick to a split towards B in the first round, and forced FaZe into a retake, which they were successful in as a couple of swift headshots came their way on the retake. NaVi forced into two consecutive rounds after the pistol round but they had nothing but economic damage for the showing. The first 4 rounds came in for FaZe with simple textbook Counter Strike, while 5th round witnessed the first proper gun round of Overpass which again went in favor of FaZe. NaVi had their backs against the wall in the round when they called for a tactical timeout after being 6 rounds behind FaZe. The tactical timeout worked out for them, as NaVi were on the board in the 7th round. FaZe were back on board in the 10th after NaVi managed to stitch together 3 rounds, they had a solid defense in B bombsite where the execute from NaVi faced a swift shutdown. FaZe weren’t given any ground to stand on during the midrounds, it was the final two rounds where they were able to put up digits in the scoreboard as the first half of the final map concluded 9-6 favoring the Europeans.

FaZe opted for a B rush on the start of their offense and they walked right into the stack, where flamie grabbed a 4K to shut down the players coming out of monster. The first gun round was yet again shut down by the NaVi SMGs. FaZe had no answer to the NaVi defense as they kept on going towards the B bombsite. FaZe’s next round came when NaVi were already on 14, a late rotate towards B got them a plant while they had to survive through a solid retake attempt to bring home the round, as FaZe hit double digits. As FaZe were back on the board, NaVi managed to shut down two consecutive B pushes to bring the map home.

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