Day 2 BLAST Premier : Spring 2020 Regular Season – Group B
s1mple shines as Na`Vi send Astralis to BLAST Showdown
The Russian team picked up the pace after a shockingly poor display on Train and responded in style with a convincing victory on Nuke, Astralis’ home turf, before completing the reverse sweep in an epic Inferno clash that went the full distance.
Astralis sought a response to Friday’s dismal performance against Complexity but could not contain the firepower of Na`Vi’s star duo. Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and Denis “electronic” Sharipov carried the team even during some tough moments, with the Ukrainian prodigy, who recently returned to AWPing duties, capping off a fantastic performance with a 30-bomb on the final map.
“It feels insane,” s1mple said after the match. “It’s a new roster and a big victory for us. Everyone stepped up and the communication went to a higher level.”
Much to everyone’s surprise, Astralis leave London without a single victory and with much to work on ahead of IEM Katowice, later this month. The early exit also adds the burden of an extra tournament to their calendar as they will have to fight for survival in the BLAST Premier Spring Series through the Showdown tournament, a last-stage qualifier that will be held in June.
Astralis opened up the action with an impressive pistol round, only to be surprised by the Desert Eagle of s1mple in the following round. The Ukrainian’s moment of brilliance set Na`Vi up for a 3-1 lead, but the joy would not last long for the team’s supporters: Astralis took control of proceedings once they put a double AWP setup in place and won all but two of the remaining rounds of the half.
With 70 per cent of Na`Vi’s frags in the first half having come from either s1mple or electronic, things looked bleak for the CIS giants as they headed to the CT side, and nothing changed after the break. One round was all they muster – and that was in a 1v1 situation which Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth practically threw away – as Astralis continued their domination, putting the game to bed in a 2v4 situation to rub further salt into their opponents’ wounds.
Natus Vincere made the most of their CT side start on Nuke and began to build a solid learn from an early stage on the back of a quad kill from s1mple in the pistol round. Any round won by Astralis was quickly countered with a round by Na`Vi, who cruised to an 8-2 lead. Nicolai “device” Reedtz then pulled a rabit out of the hat with two entry kills with an SG in a low buy round, powering the Danish team to finally go on a winning streak, but Na`Vi came fighting towards the end of the half to bring the scoreline to 10-5.
Now playing on the CT side, Astralis picked up a much-needed pistol round, but just like on Train, Natus Vincere hit back immediately after. With electronic leading the charge, the Russian team continued to expand their lead even further and, after a highly-contested period in which rounds went back and forth, finally locked down the map.
A beautiful A hold from device and Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen in the pistol round marked the beginning of a solid run from Astralis in the early stages of Inferno. Na`Vi quickly found themselves chasing a 5-1 deficit, but with some of those rounds having been extremely close, the Russian team were able to reset the CTs’ economy after winning a round through brute force thanks to two Desert Eagle headshots by Egor “flamie” Vasilyev.
Na`Vi continued with that momentum and eventually restored parity at 5-5 following a great clutch from s1mple on the B site, but Astralis gathered themselves and went into the break up by three rounds.
The Danish team came out of the break with renewed impetus and brought the scoreline to 13-6 after a great start to the second half. It looked like Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander’s troops had the game in the bag, but Natus Vincere kept a water-tight defense for the remainder of the half and went on a dream run, hammering the final nail into Astralis’ coffin thanks to a stunning trio of kills from electronic in pit in the decisive round as the Danes tried to push for overtime.
|Natus Vincere||K – D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev||74 – 42||+32||90.5||1.47|
|Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov||66 – 56||+10||101.2||1.28|
|Egor ‘flamie’ Vasilyev||49 – 46||+3||68.8||1.04|
|Ilya ‘Perfecto’ Zalutskiy||37 – 46||-9||55.5||0.85|
|Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov||40 – 58||-18||56.7||0.84|
|Astralis||K – D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Lukas ‘gla1ve’ Rossander||60 – 50||+10||85.6||1.18|
|Nicolai ‘device’ Reedtz||63 – 57||+6||83.2||1.18|
|Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Højsleth||43 – 52||-9||67.7||0.90|
|Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif||48 – 52||-4||62.2||0.90|
|Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen||34 – 55||-21||59.6||0.75|
Complexity breeze past Vitality to advance to BLAST Premier Spring Finals
With confidence sky-high off their triumph against Astralis in the opening round, Complexity stunned Vitality looking even more convincing as they clinched a spot at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals — with the group’s final still ahead of them — undefeated.
The so-called juggernaut surprised everyone after having been far from impressive in their online efforts in the first month of the year, breaking a 0-5 losing streak on Inferno with a dominant showing on the map in the series victory against the Frenchmen.
The loss puts Vitality into the lower bracket final, where they will play for the second Spring Finals spot up against Natus Vincere — a matchup they had already won once in the group in a convincing manner in the opening round.
Mirage was the first map of the series and it was the team who picked it, Complexity, who got off the line first as they were leading 4-0 on the back of a couple of A splits. Vitality quickly equalized things after defending the next two A attacks, but individual performances from William “RUSH” Wierzba and Valentin “poizon” Vasilev saw the European-American mixture pull away again and eventually come away with the better half at 9-6.
A messy pistol round went the way of the underdogs, as well, and Vitality were soon in trouble despite picking up three in a row with guns in hand. Two saved weapons were enough to swing the tide again in favor of Complexity, who then came out on top of a couple of close retakes en route to a 16-10 victory.
The onslaught continued on Inferno, where Benjamin “blameF” Bremer’s side lost the opening pistol as CT but quickly turned things around thanks to Owen “oBo” Schlatter’s Deagle play in the second-round forcebuy. Complexity put together a dominant defense from that point on with everyone chipping in, while Vitality struggled to break through, winning just three more rounds — two of which were 1v3 and 1v4 clutches from Cédric “RpK” Guipouy and Richard “shox” Papillon, respectively.
The French side clinched the second pistol round, but yet again lost the following antiforcebuy, with Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke finding a key timing and a triple-kill there to make sure Complexity seal the deal without any trouble at 16-5, 2-0.
|Vitality||K – D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut||33 – 34||-1||68.8||1.03|
|Richard ‘shox’ Papillon||28 – 35||-7||61.6||0.82|
|Cédric ‘RpK’ Guipouy||23 – 39||-16||49.9||0.76|
|Dan ‘apEX’ Madesclaire||20 – 36||-16||67.7||0.70|
|Alex ‘ALEX’ McMeekin||21 – 38||-17||59.1||0.67|