Natus Vincere, the CIS pride led by Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev, have beat G2 Esports 3-0 in a best of five grand finals at IEM Cologne 2021.
The team to win the last LAN event before the pandemic becomes the team to win the first LAN event back, after 500 days to regain supremacy as they defeat G2 esports in just 3 maps in a Best of 5 Grand Final here in Cologne.
A supposed NAVI era that was cut short when the world went to a halt was reinvigorated today, more than a year and a half later in Cologne no less, the Cathedral of Counter-Strike as the world watched NAVI lift the most coveted trophy in CS:GO, second only to a major.
Fresh off a tournament win in the CIS RMR, defeating their domestic rivals Gambit esports, NAVI hit the ground running in Cologne, not dropping a single series in the group stage, and then not dropping a SINGLE MAP once they reached the playoffs.
They made short work of G2, in a rematch of the IEM Katowice 2020 final, needing only 3 maps just like last time, albeit today’s affair was much closer than what we had back in Poland a year and a half ago.
G2 fought well on every map, and the CIS giants were tested to their absolute core but ‘s1mple’s excellence was too much for them to deal with on Dust2 and Mirage, whereas a team effort on Nuke left them helpless as NAVI took the map from right under their noses.
- Natus Vincere removed Vertigo
- G2 removed Overpass
- Natus Vincere picked Dust2
- G2 picked Mirage
- Natus Vincere picked Nuke
- G2 picked Inferno
- Ancient was left over
The veto for a BO5 was as predictable as one would think, with NAVI banning Vertigo and G2 getting rid of Overpass.
The Russians picked into Dust2 and Nuke, while G2 went for Mirage and Inferno with the latest addition, Ancient, leftover as the decider if needed. It looked to be in NAVI’s favour from the get-go, as they had had convincing performances on all the maps throughout the tournament.
MAP 1: DUST 2 (Picked by: Natus Vincere, Won by: Natus Vincere, Final Score: 16:11)
Going into their map picks first, NAVi looked as comfortable as ever, notching up 5 T rounds as the ‘s1mple’ show already began. But ‘huNter-‘ and ‘JaCkz‘s B site holds held NAVI at bay, preventing them from running G2 over as they traded rounds back and forth to finish the half at 8:7 in NAVI’s favour.
Coincidentally, this scoreline at halftime would feature in all 3 maps of the series, highlighting how close of a series this really was.
Onto the CT side, NAVI had little trouble in pushing G2 aside, as ‘s1mple‘ copped up his 4th ACE of the tournament, the most by anyone at an S-tier event, EVER in CS:GO.
This allowed them to take over the remaining rounds, not letting G2 have any consecutive T rounds, as they ended the map 16:11. ‘s1mple’ posted a rating of 1.80 at the end of the first map.
MAP 2: MIRAGE (Picked by: G2 esports, Won by: Natus Vincere, Final Score: 16:14)
The new G2 would not back down so easily, after a close loss they moved to their own pick of Mirage, to test NAVI’s steel.
A slow start was quickly turned into a respectable T side by the International roster thanks to ‘NiKo‘s entries in both bombsites to quickly turn the tide, again ending the half at 8:7 in the CIS teams favour. Continuing their form, G2 went on a 4 round streak to take the lead with the score at 11:8. But that is where the new boy Valeriy ‘B1T‘ Vakhovskiy stepped up.
His first foray into the upper echelons of Counter Strike was one to remember as he matched ‘s1mple’ stride for stride in kills, and even more so in terms of impact.
NAVI went on a blistering 5 round streak, and despite NiKo’s deagle heroics, it was too little too late as they took yet another map off G2, this time 16:14.
MAP 3: NUKE (Picked by: Natus Vincere, Won by: Natus Vincere, Final Score: 16:13)
Coming to the business end of things, NAVI couldn’t have had it any better as they played a map they had an 88% win rate on, with their last loss on it more than 2 months old.
They again looked fiery as they put 5 on the board to G2’s 0 but insane defences from ‘NiKo’ and ‘JaCkz’ helped G2 finally win out half in this BO5 as they managed 8 rounds on the CT side.
They came in looking to take us to a 4th map at the minimum but eco wins from NAVI completely shifted the momentum, and also put G2 under immense pressure, under which they crumbled. Losing to time, and to pistols was a big factor in tilting them as they could only manage 3 rounds on the T side after the pistol win.
‘Perfecto’, ‘electronic’ and ‘s1mple’ put up 21 frags each to win the map, series and tournament for NAVI 16:13 and 3:0.
INTEL EXTREME MASTERS COLOGNE CHAMPIONS – NAVI
Desperately awaiting their chance to establish an era, NAVI did just that – winning another IEM tournament, versus the same rivals, on LAN, only after a break of 500 days. It doesn’t get any better than this.
They take home $400,000 in prize money, 1800 ESL Pro Tour points and the IEM COLOGNE 2021 trophy to boot as they head into the player break, having fully established their dominance and class.
G2 finish 2nd and win $180,000 as the promising new roster has a bright future ahead, which we shall surely see soon.