Natus Vincere are not off to a great start with Denis “electroNic” Sharipov leading the CS:GO team in place of Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhaylov, who was let go by the organization at the end of May due to “high reputational risks.” The CIS powerhouse were upset at the hands of OG today in the opening round of the BLAST Premier Spring Final and will be eliminated from the $425,000 tournament if they lose tomorrow.
This series was packed with back-and-forth action in the last two maps. On top of the change in leadership, NAVI played their first match with stand-in Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev, while OG are attending the event with former Team Spirit AWPer Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov because their original sniper Mateusz “mantuu” Wilczewski is currently ill.
NAVI easily won Inferno 16-7 and it looked like they were set up for a walk in the park, but the individual talent of OG aligned with Nemanja “nexa” Isaković’s calls seemingly caught NAVI off guard on Mirage (16-12) and Ancient (16-13). Adam “NEOFRAG” Zouhar, one of OG’s new signings for the second half of the season, was the highest-rated player of the series (1.13), while NAVI’s star Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev had an off day (-1 K/D ratio and 1.03 rating).
This victory over NAVI puts OG in a good position in the tournament since they’ve already secured a spot in the playoffs and could move straight to the semifinals if they defeat the winner of BIG vs. ENCE tomorrow. NAVI, on the other hand, will play the loser of that matchup and have to win to avoid elimination.