Akuma, a rising Ukrainian team that’s ranked No. 47 in HLTV’s world rankings, swept Russian CS:GO powerhouse Natus Vincere today at the EPIC League CIS 2021, the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament for the CIS teams this year.
With this result, Akuma will face Virtus Pro, another CIS giant, on Thursday, May 27 in the upper bracket semifinal, while Na’Vi will have to battle their way through the lower bracket starting with a series against forZe on Wednesday, May 26. Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev and crew are one loss away from being eliminated from the EPIC League CIS 2021.
Akuma picked Mirage to start the series and completely outplayed Na’Vi, winning the first half 13-2 on the T-side. They didn’t slow down whatsoever on the CT side and quickly closed out the game 16-3. All of their players put up positive numbers, but Sergiy “DemQQ” Demchenko shined the most, finishing with 19 kills and just four deaths. S1mple, on the other hand, had one of the worst games of his career and bottom-fragged for Na’Vi (5-16).
Akuma kept up their momentum and won the first half of Dust II 10-5 on the CT side. Na’Vi were playing better in the second half of their map pick, but Akuma knew how to use their advantage and denied any hopes of a comeback, even though s1mple was doing his part and top-fragged with 27 kills. Akuma’s AWPer Dmitriy “SENSEi” Shvorak stepped up to the task this time and finished the map with a 1.45 rating, ending as the top-fragger of the series (40 frags in two maps).
Losing this series isn’t a total embarrassment for Na’Vi, but their performance on Mirage raises concerns for the rest of the tournament. As for Akuma, CS:GO fans will be curious to see if they can pull more upsets or if today was just a fluke.