Na’Vi has won their first-ever IEM Katowice trophy after an astonishing 3-0 series over G2 Esports. Natus Vincere takes home $250,000 USD, a point on the Intel Grand Slam Season 3, and Pro Tour points. The best part of this reward is that they came into the tournament shakey, but as the tournament progressed they became unstoppable. Let’s look at how they got there.
Natus Vincere’s Grand Final was something else. The results of the series were reminiscent of the Na’Vi in 2018. Only this time, Na’Vi is the team that can come together and work as a unit. Back then, Na’Vi relied on Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev to carry the game. However, S1mple was hard carrying on the AWP at points, his team also stepped up alongside him.
For once, the S1mple show wasn’t just him in the limelight. Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov had a fantastic Nuke, gaining 28 kills in the CT half of Nuke. Egor “flamie” Vasilev also had great highlights in the series, dominating Nuke’s ramp and snowballing on Mirage. Honestly, when an IGL has the highest ADR in a map, you know the team is on fire.
Some other great highlights to note on the series is the round results. On both of G2 Esports maps: Nuke and Mirage, Na’Vi opened the maps 14-1. This is simply unheard of. Na’Vi’s new guy, Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy managed to go deathless on Mirage as well. Just wow.
Dust II was a close map in terms of round wins, however, that has as a story that needs explaining. G2 was up 7-2 before Na’Vi came online. By the end of the map, it was a 16-13 victory. Even when G2 found a way back in, Na’Vi was just one step ahead when they figured it out.
With these match highlights over, Natus Vincere won the series 3-0 and crushed a G2 Esports who themselves were sure-fire all tournament. When you put it in that context, Na’Vi in the IEM Katowice Grand Final was otherwordly.
After having a slow start to the tournament, Natus Vincere became something else. As Na’Vi faced defeat and shakey Inferno strats against Fnatic, and a close battle with FaZe Clan, the rust had worn off. Whilst their group was a beating, the playoffs turned them into the ironman of the playoffs.
The first series was against Team Liquid, and it was close. Na’Vi won Dust II 16-11 and Mirage 16-13. This also marks the first series Na’Vi has won against Team Liquid since 2017.
Moving on in the tournament, their final form was first seen against Astralis. The tactical genius in Astralis tried so hard to outsmart Na’Vi, but it really didn’t matter. Na’Vi worked it out and landed their shots all series. Na’Vi ended up taking both Dust II and Nuke 16-5.
With the stark contrast in results throughout the tournament, it is clear the infrastructure in the team has determined what they needed to do. Finally, Na’Vi looks like the giant they were always meant to be. With IEM Katowice out of the way, we must wonder what is next in store for their incredible looking Na’Vi.
Feature image via ESL