Vitality end NAVI’s 20-run streak on Nuke to push the champions all the way.
NAVI proved why they are the best in the world as they dug deep to edge out a resilient Vitality to take the BLAST Premier Fall Final 2021.
With the Fall Final win, NAVI now have been on an incredible run since July, having won the IEM Cologne, ESL Pro League Season 14, Intel Grand Slam Season 3 and the PGL Stockholm Major in that time.
Riding on the coattails of s1mple and bolstered with strong performances from B1T and electronic, the CS:GO world is witnessing the ‘NAVI era’ now. With his seventh MVP award of the year in the bag, s1mple seems to be playing on a level different to the rest of the world. It won’t be long before he chases down device‘s MVP record.
For Vitality, a second-place finish is more than what they would have hoped for coming into the tournament. A roster that knew this was their last LAN tournament together will be proud of the performance they put in.
Home heroes Astralis, who were playing their first tournament with the new roster, took third place with some brilliant play, something that they will be proud of going ahead.
For the CS:GO community, next up is the IEM Winter 2021, boasting of the world’s finest, which gets underway from December 2, 2021. NAVI, on the other hand, will next be in action in the BLAST Premier World Finals, which starts from December 14.
Also Read : Looking at the NAVI journey
Upper Bracket Quarter-finals
Vitality got the Blast Premier Fall Finals underway against a dysfunctional Team Liquid, who were most likely playing their last tournament together with the current roster. The North American team picked Mirage, and although Liquid started well on their map pick, after taking the opening four rounds on the Terrorist side, Vitality came into their own, which saw ZywOo and the in-game leader apEx come to the party, taking 10 rounds in a row to finish the first half 10-5 in the favour of the French. Liquid did manage to string together a couple of rounds on the Counter-Terrorist side by assisted by misutaaa. ZywOo cleaned up Liquid, with Vitality taking the first map 16-10.
Heading over to the iconic Dust2 picked by the French, Vitality started on the CT side and once again rode on the forms of ZywOo and mistuaaa to take the first half 11-4. Veteran shox also joined the party in the second half and Vitality didn’t waste too much time to sweep aside the North American side and take the series 2-0.
The second match of the day was Danish side Heroic up against the old warhorses in FaZe. First up, it was Mirage picked up by FaZe, and their new signing Twistzz put in a strong show with a couple of crucial clutches to keep the team in the game with a 7-8 half going into the break.
FaZe did start the CT half strongly and were 10-8 up, but some poor calling by karrigan and some questionable saves meant Heroic managed to claw their way back. Crucial clutches won by refrezh and sjuush saw the Danes take the first map 16-14.
Heroic started their map pick of Nuke on the T side and seemed to be heading for a third map after rain and Twistzz gave FaZe a 9-6 lead at the halfway mark. FaZe were once again in the front seat with a 12-6 advantage, but a strong comeback from Heroic on the back of stellar performances from stavn, TeSeS and sjuush meant Heroic made the comeback to sweep the series 2-0 after winning Nuke 16-13.
Tournament favourites and Major champions, Natus Vincere, were up against BIG in their first game, and the action got underway on Dust2. NAVI’s in-game leader Boombl4 and rookie sensation B1T proved to be more than enough for BIG, with NAVI taking the opening map 16-4. Such was the dominance of the Ukrainian side, that their talisman s1mple with a K-D rating of 1.07 was the worst on the team.
B1T once again showcased his talent and was bolstered with s1mple joining the party. NAVI continued their winning streak on Nuke with a comfortable 16-11, with little resistance from the German team.
Ninjas in Pyjamas were up against a new-look Astralis for their first game, and although NiP went in as favourites, having a roster change of their own, it was a one-sided show. Astralis, bolstered with the new signings on k0nfig and blameF, started off on Nuke and even though NiP provided some resistance in the first half that saw the score at 8-8 in the favour of the Danes, it was a CT-side whitewash for Astralis with k0nfig going absolutely ballistic, handing the Danes an easy 16-7 win on the first map.
The Swedish team were looking for better luck on their map pick of Inferno, but it was the new pairing of k0nfig and blameF who ran through the Swedes. Even though there was a fight from Plopski, REZ and hampus, Astralis managed to complete the clean sweep with a 19-16 win in overtime.
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Upper Bracket Semi-finals
NAVI were up against a buoyant Heroic side in the first UB semi-final.
NAVI made short work of the Danes in the opening map of Inferno with their old pairing of s1mple and electronic leading them to a 16-11 win. The Danes, though, managed to push the Major champions all the way to a third map, making NAVI drop a map on Mirage with TeSeS, stavn and sjuush managing to take their team over the line with a 16-14 win.
The final map was played on Overpass. The Danes knew this was the only chance they would get to beat the champions. s1mple, though, laid waste to their plans, going 24-6 with some absolutely ridiculous plays to give NAVI a 16-12 victory.
Vitality were up against Astralis in the second match, and first up, it was the Danes’ pick of Nuke.
It was once again k0nfig and blameF carrying the Danes, and it looked like the new pairing will pull them through, but ZywOo and Vitality’s in-game leader apEx brought their A-game to push Astralis to the distance and take the opening map 22-18 in double overtime.
Next up was Dust2, picked by the French, and although they went down on their map pick, the Danes came out all guns blazing with k0nfig and Lucky, who was donning the role of a rifler instead of AWPer, making sure Astralis dominated the French, going 10-0 up. Vitality, though, riding on the back of their talisman ZywOo and rookie Kyojin, managed to make an epic comeback to take 10 rounds in a row to tie it up 10-10.
Vitality seemed to have the match in the bag once they were 14-11 up, but Astralis hung on and managed to take the series to a third map, taking Dust2 16-14. ZywOo and shox made sure there were no more hiccups on Inferno as they took a relatively comfortable 16-11 win.
Lower Bracket Rounds 1 and 2
FaZe were up against BIG and it was Dust2 up first.
rain and Twistzz made sure FaZe took an easy opening win, beating the Germans on their map pick 16-11. karrigan, broky and rain made sure FaZe didn’t need to go to a third map, wrapping up the series on Inferno with a 16-9 win.
Team Liquid, who knew changes in the roster were inevitable, knew it could have been the last time the roster played together as they faced Ninjas in Pyjamas.
NiP took their map pick of Inferno 16-13 with device stepping up for the Swedes. The North Americans, though, showed incredible resilience and courage to fight back on Mirage with NAF, Stewie2K and their veteran in-game leader Fallen rising up to the occasion just at the right time for the North Americans to take the map 16-4.
Liquid took that momentum into the final map on Overpass, and even though device and NiP’s latest signing es3tag tried to see the Swedes through, NAF, Stewie2K and EliGE made sure the ride wasn’t over for them, picking up the series 2-1 with a 16-11 win in the final map.
Lower Bracket Round 2
Astralis faced FaZe and the Danes rode on blameF‘s incredible 30 kills in the opening map on Mirage to take FaZe’s map pick 16-10. rain, karrigan and the old warhorse olofmeister helped FaZe blow Astralis on their map pick, taking the second map 16-5. In the decider on Dust2, Astralis saw strong performances from k0nfig, blameF and Lucky, who was proving out to be a terrific clutch player, helping them take the final map 16-9.
Heroic faced Team Liquid in the final game of the Lower Bracket. Liquid seemed to have been reinvigorated after their win against NiP and blasted away on the opening map, taking their own map pick 16-12 with EliGE and NAF once again putting in strong performances for the North Americans. The Danes, though, in front of their home crowd, gave the fans something to cheer for, taking Nuke 16 -13 with TeSeS and stavn standing out.
In the decider on Inferno, Heroic rode on the back of some genius calling from their in-game leader cadiaN to brush aside Liquid 16-12 to set up an all-Danish matchup in front of the Copenhagen fans.
Upper Bracket Final
It was the mouth-watering clash of NAVI against Vitality in the UB final, with two of the world’s greatest in s1mple and ZywOo up against each other.
The action got underway on Vitality’s pick of Inferno, but the French could barely put the rounds together as s1mple turned on the heat, dropping an incredible 28 kills in 23 rounds to give NAVI and 16-7 win in the opening map.
On their map pick of Nuke, on which they were on a 19-win streak, Vitality didn’t prove to be much of a challenge; electronic and B1T put in strong performances that saw the Ukrainian side through to the final after taking the second map 16-6.
Lower Bracket Round 3
It was an all-Danish matchup in front of the crowd at the Royal Arena: one couldn’t have asked for anything better.
The action got underway on Astralis’ pick of Mirage, which they had now resorted to after the arrival of the new signings. Heroic, though, started off strong, and with their in-game leader cadiaN and stavn putting in a stellar show, the ‘least favourite’ Danish team were up 15-10. Astralis, however, managed to mount a tremendous comeback riding on the back of multiple clutches from their rookie Lucky and the Clutch Minister himself Xyp9x to take the first map 19-15 in overtime.
k0nfig and gla1ve, who had now taken up the role of AWPer along with his existing duty of in-game leader, made quick work of Heroic’s challenge on Nuke, with Astralis taking the second map 16-4 to set up a clash with Vitality for a place in the finals.
Lower Bracket Final
Vitality were up against the home heroes Astralis to fight for a spot in the finals.
The action got underway on Nuke, where Vitality started strongly with ZywOo and misutaaa leading the French charge. Vitality were up 12-7, and it was looking more and more likely that the French would take the Danes’ map pick, but k0nfig and Xyp9x brought out some strong performances to see the Danes come back and take their map pick 16 – 12.
There was no stopping ZywOo on Inferno, and even though k0nfig fought a lone battle, coupled with shox stepping up, Vitality took their map pick 16 -11 to send the series to a third map.
It was Mirage that was the series decider, and the with the crowd against them, the French seemed to feed off that hostility and rode on some tactically brilliant calls from their in-game leader apEx to rout Astralis 16 -7 to set up a final date with NAVI and ended the new-look Astralis’ dream run, much to the disappointment of the majority of the fans at the Royal Arena.
Even before the start of the final, Vitality’s in-game leader apEx said that he would expect his team to go out there and play fearlessly and enjoy themselves.
The French raised quite some eyebrows even before the action got started when they picked Mirage as their map pick, as they had generally only picked Inferno and Dust2 as their own picks throughout the tournament.
Having started on the T side on Mirage, Vitality had a decent first half, finishing 6-9. The French, though, had no answer to s1mple, who ensured they took the map comfortably, with the world no.1 dropping an incredible 36 kills alone inside the 30 rounds to help his team take the opening pick 16-12.
It seemed like the grand final would be wrapped up inside two maps, as next up was Nuke, NAVI’s pick, and a map where they were on a 20-run unbeaten streak.
Vitality, though, did exactly what apEx had said they would do. They came out playing some fearless and bold Counter-Strike. The tried-and-tested trio of ZywOo, apEx and shox ran through the NAVI defence, handing the Ukrainians a 16-6 defeat. Vitality’s fearless brand of Counter-Strike was evident in the fact that their talisman ZywOo zeused s1mple in an eco round for the French. The battle between the world’s greatest was truly on.
NAVI were taken aback by the thrashing they received on a map they had dominated for months, and the champions used that to fire themselves up and come out all guns blazing into the series decider. There was absolutely no stopping s1mple and electronic on Inferno. Coupled with some important clutches from Boombl4 and Perfecto, NAVI took the final in a dominating fashion, winning the final map 16-7.