Natus Vincere once again completed a successful campaign, winning their first tournament in 2022 by defeating Team Vitality in the BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2022. With the 2-0 win over the French Vitality side, NAVI continued their dominance and as such their incredible story deserves to be highlighted.
NAVI's streak of reaching at least the playoffs since October 2019 continued in the BLAST Finals. One of the most successful teams in the recent CS:GO era, NAVI also has one of the best players in the history of the game: s1mple. With 20 MVP awards, he has surpassed dev1ce's legacy and set a new record. Watch Luckbox's tribute video for their success in Lisbon below:
NAVI's history prior to the BLAST Finals
2021 was the perfect year for Natus Vincere: they won eight different important tournaments, including one Major. They also finished second at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2021 and won the BLAST Premier Fall Finals 2021 to eventually win the BLAST Premier World Final 2021. However, 2022 was not so good.
Especially after the conflicts in Ukraine, NAVI's performance started to decline, with unexpected results in BLAST Spring Groups and IEM Katowice. In April, they did not make it past the quarter-finals in the ESL Pro League. Nevertheless, they made it to the grand final of the PGL Major Antwerp 2022, where they were defeated by FaZe Clan.
Before the BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2022, NAVI benched their IGL Boombl4 due to some issues. He was replaced by sdy, a player on loan from MAD Lions.
BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2022
NAVI's BLAST Finals run started in Group B, against OG, ENCE and BIG. Although they started with a loss to OG, Natus Vincere managed to defeat BIG and enter the playoffs as third in the group. Their opponent was FaZe Clan, the rematch of the PGL Major Antwerp 2022 Grand Final.
NAVI started with a good performance against FaZe on Dust II. After a 13-2 first half they secured a 16-6 win and moved on to Inferno. The score was similar on Inferno with a16-1 final score that secured the semi-final for the Ukrainians. s1mple's 46-21 performance was remarkable.
Now, it was time to get revenge from OG. After a 16-9 win on Dust II, NAVI narrowly lost 16-14 on Inferno and OG took it to the decider. electroNic scored 35 kills on Mirage to secure his team the win and ticket to the grand final.
Grand Final in Lisbon
NAVI's next challenger was Team Vitality. VIT had a similar result to NAVI in the group stage, followed by defeating ENCE 2-0 before taking on G2 in the semi-finals. After an incredible series against them, they secured a 2-1 win to book their place in the final.
To pick the maps for the grand final, NAVI began by banning Vertigo and Vitality banning Ancient. NAVI chose Mirage as their first map and Vitality chose Overpass. After NAVI banned Nuke and Vitality banned Inferno, Dust II was left as the decider map of the series.
The Ukrainian duo of Natus Vincere showed their strength on Mirage. NAVI started with a 10-5 advantage on the T side and finished the game with a 6-3 in the second half, 16-8 in total. Thanks to the performances of b1t with 21-15 and s1mple with 23-15, NAVI won the map with ease.
On Overpass, Vitality should have been much more confident as it was their choice. But NAVI utilized the CT side incredibly well to secure an 11-4 advantage. electroNic was showing off with 26-10 while NAVI finished the map 16-5 to win the series with two very quick wins.
After the series ended, s1mple was named MVP of the BLAST Spring Finals. This was his 20th MVP award. Until now he shared the record with dev1ce (19 times), but thanks to his performance in Lisbon, s1mple now sits at the top of the table.
This championship at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals marks not only s1mple's victory or another win for NAVI, but also their comeback. They have not been able to win anything since the start of 2022 and this will be a big relief for them, especially after losing PGL Major Antwerp in the finals.
Same goes for s1mple: BLAST Finals also marked his comeback. Although he performed quite well, he was able to lead his team to the championship with 88 K-D difference and 1.51 K/D overall. According to HLTV Rating 2.0, s1mple definitely deserved the MVP award with a rating of 1.37 with G2 NiKo coming in close at second place with 1.29.
NAVI has written an incredible success story and they will continue to write even better stories.
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