BLAST Premier : Spring 2020 Regular Season – Group B
Vitality beat Na`Vi in BLAST Premier Group B opener
The Frenchmen have stepped into the year on the right foot after a nearly two-month-long break from official competition since their title-winning run at EPICENTER at the end of last year, extending their winning streak against Natus Vincere’s core to 3-0 in matches.
Na`Vi, on the other hand, had been warmed up from this week’s run to the grand final at ICE Challenge but were still unable to contend with Vitality at their second tournament with Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy, conceding the convincing series 0-2 on Inferno and Dust2.
Vitality picked Inferno and got off well, with Alex “ALEX” McMeekin’s Deagle 1v3 in a third-round halfbuy kicking off a five-round streak for the French side on the offense. Although they kept up the pressure with consistent banana control, the wave started turning when Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov stepped up to the plate with several key plays.
Ending the first half with 23 kills, the in-game leader single-handedly made sure Natus Vincere stayed in contention with seven rounds to their name by the end of halftime. The second half proved difficult for them, however, as only 1v2 heroics from Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Egor “flamie” Vasilyev kept them in the game, but a 1v3 clutch going the other way — courtesy of Cédric “RpK” Guipouy — ensured match point for Vitality and soon a 16-12 triumph.
Dust2 saw Na`Vi do what Vitality had done to them at the beginning of Inferno, with the Frenchmen picking up the pistol round but falling short in the first gunrounds, where s1mple’s team’s offense ruled on the way to a 6-2 lead. But just like on the opening map, the half ended up being the closest possible thanks to a double-AWP setup between Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut and Richard “shox” Papillon, which helped them close it with five in a row.
2019’s best player added a huge multikill to his name to start off the second half, where Na`Vi could only pick up two more rounds before another winning streak from Vitality, featuring a 1v3 clutch from shox, put the series at an end at 16-9, 2-0.
|Natus Vincere||K – D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov||48 – 40||+8||99.9||1.27|
|Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev||41 – 31||+10||78.7||1.24|
|Ilya ‘Perfecto’ Zalutskiy||23 – 39||-16||47.3||0.73|
|Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov||22 – 41||-19||55.3||0.72|
|Egor ‘flamie’ Vasilyev||23 – 41||-18||54.4||0.64|
|Vitality||K – D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut||45 – 30||+15||92.3||1.45|
|Cédric ‘RpK’ Guipouy||44 – 30||+14||74.8||1.21|
|Richard ‘shox’ Papillon||41 – 30||+11||75.3||1.21|
|Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire||31 – 29||+2||77.2||1.19|
|Alex ‘ALEX’ McMeekin||31 – 38||-7||73.0||0.92|
Complexity stun Astralis on day one in London
The No.1 team in the world began their first match of the year brightly then dulled as they were outfought by a true juggernaut in this two-map series. After a lively start to the series, Astralis, who were returning to action after an almost two-month break, showed signs of rustiness against a fired-up Complexity side and now find themselves staring at elimination as they prepare to face Natus Vincere in Saturday’s losers’ match.
Complexity’s players were on point throughout the series, especially Owen “oBo” Schlatter and Valentin “poizon” Vasilev, with the Bulgarian winning all 11 AWPing duels against Nicolai “device” Reedtz. After being humiliated by PACT in the second Europe Minor qualifier, they seem to be improving on all fronts and even had the audacity of laying a Vertigo trap in the veto, which Astralis fell right into.
Benjamin “blameF” Bremer’s troops started the game with such intensity that one had to wonder whether they had a backup plan for their map, Dust2. As the scoreboard showed 5-0 in Astralis’ favour after a series of dominant rounds from the Danes, BLAST’s official betting partner decided to slash the team’s odds to 1.00, a sign that the series appeared to be a foregone conclusion.
And then Complexity woke up. They began to ruthlessly prise the Astralis defense apart after blameF decided to slow things down, with the team taking an impressive nine rounds into the break.
The second half kicked off with a massive quad kill from Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke, who denied a mid-B split from Astralis. That round brought a smile that beamed from ear to ear on the Danish player, something we had not seen from him in a long time, and Complexity continued to steamroll over their stunned opponents, quickly hitting map point. A late comeback attempt from the Danish team was cut short, bringing a surprising conclusion to the opening map of the series.
Astralis came out the brighter of the two sides on Vertigo – a map that the current Complexity roster had purposely avoided in the qualifiers – and raced to a 3-0 lead before their opponents finally found their footing in the game. The European mixture eventually went ahead 4-3 following two great rounds from oBo, who displayed no signs of stage fright in this high-octane match, but Astralis gathered themselves and ended the half up by three rounds.
After switching over to the T side, the Danish team further added to their lead, but Complexity responded with Deagles in hand and a great HE grenade from oBo. With momentum once again in their favour, they enjoyed a spell of dominance as poizon kept Astralis’ players at bay with his AWP. k0nfig, too, had something to prove with the ‘Big Green’ and came into the action in the final stages of the game with some impactful kills to help defeat his compatriots.
|Astralis||K – D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif||47 – 43||+4||91.0||1.16|
|Nicolai ‘device’ Reedtz||40 – 42||-2||75.7||0.97|
|Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth||30 – 38||-8||67.5||0.94|
|Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander||31 – 41||-10||60.8||0.87|
|Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen||26 – 35||-9||52.9||0.72|