NaVi picks up their third tournament win in a month!

NaVi picks up their third tournament win in a month!

ESL One: Cologne, a six-day thriller in Germany has come to an end with NaVi winning the title against surprise finalist BIG. NaVi also bested the event’s front-runner Astralis in the first semi-final match, while the home crowd’s favourite BIG got their place in the finale by winning FaZe Clan.

Surprises in the semi-finals

In the best of three semi-finals, NaVi did what not many teams can currently do: they dropped Astralis from the tournament. The Danish had the upper hand only in Nuke, which they had picked and actually won sovereignly 16-6. The other two maps ended 16-13 to NaVi, although in Nuke, Astralis had seemed to get back into their normal groove and had controlled it from the beginning. Some more exciting moments ensued in the third map, Inferno, when Astralis really tried to fight the NaVi juggernaut. They were close to making a comeback, but this didn’t happen, and NaVi advanced to the grand finale.

Along with Astralis, another one of the tournament’s front-runners, FaZe Clan, got eliminated untimely. They faced BIG, the German underdogs in the second semi-final match. After losing to Fnatic, BIG played their way to the playoffs through the B group’s lower bracket. FaZe on the other hand beat Fnatic to earn their semi-final spot, but this time the future could not be told from the past.

BIG’s map pick was Dust 2, which the teams dragged out to overtime. BIG made some mistakes in the first half and lost to FaZe’s half buys but all in all, their game was on point. In the end of the overtime FaZe pushed the throttle and took a meager 19-17 win.

In Train, FaZe’s CT side fell through, and they only had a three-round lead going in to the second half. BIG took advantage of the situation and picked up a 16-13 win, tying the series 1-1. This meant that the spot in the finals was going to be decided in Inferno.

FaZe was struggling even more in Inferno, while BIG’s game looked promising and they had a fair lead even before the second half. Valuable work was done by BIG’s Johannes ”tabseN” Wodarz, who made many crucial plays for his team. The Germans surprised people at home as well as the home crowd, when they won Inferno 16-6 and took the spot in the grand finale against NaVi.

The finale was a disappointment to the home crowd

The best of five finale’s undisputed front-runner NaVi’s game started in an unusual way in Overpass. They looked strong in the beginning, but their game deteriorated leading to mistakes, which cost them many precious rounds. When the second half kicked off, NaVi had a mere one-round lead, but mostly thanks to Aleksandr ”s1mple” Kostyliev, they were able to stretch it all they way to a 16-10 win.

Overpass was followed by Dust 2, where the anxious German home crowd was given a taste of what they were hoping for. BIG won a round while on eco, which paralyzed the Ukrainian team. NaVi did manage to recover their game slightly towards the end, but ultimately BIG equalized the series 1-1 with their 16-11 win.

NaVi’s blunder was soon forgotten, though, as they won the third map, Train, 16-10. Their ”s1mple” and Denis ”electronic” Sharipov, who seem to enjoy themselves at the top of the score boards, kept the ball rolling and sent the game to the fourth and eventually also the last map.

To the disappointment of the German fans, BIG lost what was left of their pace as NaVi won the fourth map 16-8. The Ukrainian team won their third tournament of the summer and took home the $125 000.

ESL One Cologne 2018 results
1st Natus Vincere $125,000
2nd BIG $50,000
3rd – 4th Astralis $22,000
FaZe Clan
5th – 6th Fnatic $11,000
G2 Esports
7th – 8th ENCE Esports $7,500
9th – 12th Mousesports $6,000
13th – 16th. B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape $5,000
Ninjas in Pyjamas
Gambit Esports
Team Liquid

Image: ESL