Na’vi beat Luminosity Gaming in a close 2-0 to advance to the semi finals at IEM San Jose. Na’vi won 16-13 on Mirage(LG’s pick) and 19-17 in overtime on Overpass(Na’vi’s pick).
From an analytical standpoint, LG picking Mirage took some brass ones. Mirage plays towards all of Na’vi’s strengths — all of them. It’s suited to execution, it’s sniper friendly and it allows for a lot of creative strategy. The problem for LG is that those happen to be their strengths as well. LG has oft been compared to Na’vi in their methodical play, set execution, explosiveness and, of course, their signature awper. It’s what made for such an exciting match, now and when they met at DreamHack Open: Cluj-Napoca. Mirage started in LG’s favor with FalleN picking up a crowd exciting 3k and no one on their team dying. LG would go on to win the next five rounds though they would be contested through every one of them. When Na’vi did win a round, they still lost all their living players to the bomb. Economy management was tough for both teams as the momentum swung back and forth. Na’vi matched their opponent’s winning streak of six before, of course, LG snapped theirs. The half would end 9-6 in LG’s favor, but Na’vi won the pistol dominantly. Na’vi would go on to bite chunks off rounds off at a time, breaking LG’s economy a couple of times on their way to the win. Seized led the team in overall frags at 25, but he was one of three players on Na’vi who posted 20 or higher. On the Brazilian team, FalleN dropped a 30 bomb with a positive kill/death ratio of +14, and they lost. He had two other team mates who posted 21 and over. Those numbers should demonstrate how close this map and this match were.
Overpass was just as competitive. Na’vi grabbed the pistol on T side on an A push. They ran into trouble as LG bought up in round 2 but failed to capitalize with their utilities. They did win their first rifle and battled their way to an 8-7 half in their favor, but on a CT favored map, 8-7 didn’t seem like enough. Cold came alive on the T side, with the stronger weapons of course. Rounds 12 and 13 saw him grab a triple kill and a double kill plus assists. Cold’s play has become increasingly interesting since their impressive showing at DreamHack: Cluj-Napoca. But it wasn’t just colzera that battled back to reach overtime, three other members had over 20 kills, including 29 by falleN. But they lost two of their T rounds and lost to a push on A to finish the match. Guardian grabbed several multikills and was critical of his team’s performance as a unit in the post match interview. Na’vi felt and looked like a team, but worst case scenario they were five guys dropping 19 or more frags on Overpass, so that’s not so bad.
Natus Vincere face the winner of Team Liquid vs Virtus Pro in the semi finals Sunday.