NRG Esports eliminated Natus Vincere from the StarLadder Berlin Major, delivering yet another upset to an already wild tournament. NRG made their way to the semifinals on a 2-0 score and will face the winner of Team Liquid and Astralis tomorrow.
NRG were firmly in control of their map pick of Dust II, playing offensive, no-respect Counter-Strike to finish their T half 10-5. While NaVi returned a few rounds on their own T side, NRG’s lead was big enough to buffer for a 16-12 final score and 1-0 lead for NRG.
Mirage started off heavily in favor of NaVi. NRG won the piston round but the CIS squad quickly came back and on multiple occasions reset the economy of the North Americans. The first half finished 10-5 in favor of NaVi and the Berlin crowd looked to potentially a third map in this quarterfinal.
NRG’s own T side on Mirage was fantastic, however, and they won eight of the first nine rounds. In a blink of an eye, NaVi were the ones playing catch-up and only forced an OT after some great flicks by Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostylyev baited a force-buy by NRG which couldn’t close the match point for them. Yet, despite having momentum on their side, NaVi couldn’t equalize the series in OT and some great AWPing from Cvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov put an end to NaVi’s Berlin campaign.
This is only the second major event for NaVi after the acquisition of Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov after the semifinal exit from ESL One Cologne, but nevertheless these are not the results that a marquee organization like Natus Vincere wants to bring home. According to recent reports, NaVi are already looking to replace current IGL Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko and with the Major run now over, it is as good a time to pull the trigger as any.