Natus Vincere played their first best of three series in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ESL Pro League Season 16 playoffs and experienced several technical issues on the third map, Overpass. Although the map was interrupted a number of times, the Ukrainian team got the better of their opponents, Heroic.
The teams were in a tie after the first two close-fought maps, NaVi winning Mirage by a 16-14 scoreline and then Heroic forcing a third map, having won Inferno by the same scoreline. NaVi ended up closing out the series decisively on Overpass with a 16-7 score despite being plagued by long delays coupled with technical issues.
The highest rated player of the series was NaVi’s Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, but Casper “cadiaN” Møller from Heroic was closely on the player’s heels on Mirage.
Heroic started Mirage in the lead after winning the pistol round and surpassed NaVi by 9-1. CadiaN certainly shone on this map and outperformed s1mple in a number of AWP duels. NaVi did not let up and scored more rounds after Denis “electroNic” Sharipov won a 1v2 clutch round.
The player was able to destroy Heroic’s economy using that round, and the team could not recover for the rest of the map’s half. Despite NaVi’s five-round streak, the team ended the half lagging behind Heroic with a 9-6 score.
Heroic started the second half by winning the first gun round as well as the force-buy wars. NaVi were unable to do much, and their opponents managed to get a 13-9 lead in no time.
Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy stepped up for the Ukrainian team via his heroic B defense, and the score moved to a 14-14 tie. NaVi ended the map at 16-14 after securing five rounds in a row and proceeded to Inferno.
The first half of Inferno saw NaVi successfully put an end to Heroic’s aggression. The team managed to negate their opponents’ pistol-round win by reaching a five-round win streak, which s1mple started using some impressive scout shots. The Ukrainian team remained in the lead until halfway into the map.
NaVi were ahead in the second half of the map, but Heroic caught up to the team quickly. Both teams went on to trade round wins after facing some unfavorable situations.
Heroic finally got ahead on the map after Jakob “jabbi” Nygaard got a triple kill on Banana and began the team’s four-round streak. Inferno ended with Heroic as the victor with a 16-14 scoreline. S1mple notably dropped 28 kills on the map due to his team’s strong showing on the CT side.
Overpass was the last map of the series and the decider. However, the first few rounds were marred by long pauses relating to technical issues. The problem was mostly from NaVi’s end, as several of the team’s players could not play due to the difficulties they were facing.
After the crashes took place, the series resumed at 5-3 with NaVi in the lead. S1mple widened the gap by 7-3 after getting four kills in two rounds. Despite the Ukrainian team’s previous difficulties leading to the two-hour delay, Heroic seemed to be the one having issues and could only win the last two rounds. The team lost the first half of the map to NaVi, 10-5.
NaVi continued their lead in the second half after Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev used a triple kill to secure a second pistol round. Heroic won just one more round before NaVi closed off Overpass with a 16-6 scoreline and won the six-hour series 2-1.
Due to the win, NaVi will progress to the ESL Pro League quarterfinals to face off against G2 on Friday. Heroic, on the other hand, will continue to prepare for the team’s participation in the upcoming RMR, which will kick off on October 4th.