Vitality and Na’Vi advance to ESL One Cologne semifinals

Three out the top five teams in the world made it into the semifinals.

Photo via ESL

Vitality and Natus Vincere will continue their runs at ESL One Cologne after impressive wins in today’s quarterfinals.

They were the first teams to prevail in the Lanxess Arena, the cathedral of Counter-Strike. Vitality took down NRG 2-0 to advance to the semifinals and Na’Vi defeated Ninjas in Pyjamas in the following series.

Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut was Vitality’s catalyst from the beginning. The French started out on Dust II with a 6-1 lead and it looked like the game might be over after the first half. But NRG fixed their CT-side setup and gathered four rounds. Vitality didn’t slow down on their CT-side and closed out the game with an easy 16-7 win. ZywOo finished with 23 kills and a 1.69 rating.

The second map was Mirage, NRG’s choice, and they got off to a good start. The North Americans were leading 5-1 until ZywOo had two impressive back-to-back quad kills. Vitality switched to the T-side with a slight 8-7 advantage. NRG didn’t win a single round, though. Vitality had a flawless T-side and ZywOo was still playing out of his mind, doing all of the heavy work for his team.

Na’Vi and NiP started their series on Inferno, and although the Swedes won the pistol round, Na’Vi went on to win six straight rounds after Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev dismantled NiP’s defense with an AK-47 force buy in the second round. NiP could’ve turned the game around in the second half since they won the second pistol too, but they lost two crucial anti-ecos. Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund certainly tried his best, getting a quad kill for NiP in round 24, but Na’Vi won the map 16-12.

Mirage started with Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov, Na’Vi’s new addition, shutting down NiP in the pistol round with three kills. The CIS squad built a 10-5 advantage and all of Na’Vi’s players finished the first half with double-digit kills. Na’Vi claimed the second pistol too when s1mple and Boombl4’s hid behind the same box in the A bombsite and caught NiP off guard.

NiP only grabbed four rounds on their CT-side before getting economically reset after Denis “electronic” Sharipov won a one-vs-two clutch. Na’Vi won Mirage 16-9 in what may have been GeT_RiGhT‘s last match under the NiP banner at the Lanxess Arena. The legendary player couldn’t hold back his emotions in the post-match interview.

NRG and NiP shouldn’t be too disappointed following their losses, however. The North Americans played their first tournament with Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz, who’s trying to implement a different tactical gameplan than what they previously used with Damian “daps” Steele. NiP were in the same situation with newcomer Nicolas “Plopski” Zamora, who just replaced veteran Dennis Edman and was playing in his first major tournament. 

Vitality will face Astralis tomorrow at 8am CT in the first ESL One Cologne semifinal match. Na’Vi will play against Team Liquid next at 11:50am CT.