After a brief period without collecting any fresh hardware, the Natus Vincere CS:GO roster is back to its winning ways with a grand finals victory over Team Vitality today at the BLAST Spring Finals, the team’s first of 2022.
NAVI looked in championship form starting the series on Mirage, jumping out to a significant lead on their T-side despite losing the half’s pistol round to Vitality. Vitality struggled to find answers to NAVI’s offense, letting the lead balloon to 9-1 before Magisk and ZywOo helped put some rounds on the board, reducing the lead to 10-5. A Perfecto 4K in the pistol round boosted the NAVI lead some more, and Vitality couldn’t find almost any easy entries onto either site, leading to a NAVI victory on Mirage, 16-8.
Vitality looked poised to run away early on their Overpass pick after taking the first four rounds of their T-side, but NAVI bounced right back thanks to some big rounds from last year’s most impactful rookie in b1t. NAVI answered Vitality’s first four rounds with 11 straight CT rounds, punctuated by some impressive plays from Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev. B1t went big again on the T-side, with electroNic leading by example as well, as NAVI rolled over Vitality on Overpass, 16-5, to claim the series and the trophy.
After an overwhelmingly dominant end to 2021 punctuated by a Major title at PGL Stockholm, NAVI’s quest to add more trophies in 2022 had fallen short early on, with a handful of close finishes, including a grand finals loss at the PGL Antwerp Major to FaZe. Then the surprising departure of long-time IGL Boombl4 raised questions about the roster’s future, especially with the superstar s1mple himself considering taking extended time off from the game.
Heading into the BLAST Spring Finals in Lisbon, NAVI opted to bring on former MAD Lions starter sdy as a stand-in/trial player and moved electroNic to the IGL role. An opening loss to OG in groups put NAVI on the brink of elimination, but they survived to reach playoffs, then won rematches versus FaZe and OG to reach the grand finals.
The grand finals loss certainly stings for Vitality, but the Danish-French star-studded roster can take consolation in reaching their first semifinal and grand final since the transfer of Magisk and dupreeh from Astralis.