NaVi continues their good run by winning ESL One Cologne
Natus Vincere have just recently won the ESL One Cologne 2018 and have once again proven to the scene that they are currently one of the best, if not, the best CS:GO team in the world. The Ukrainians are going home with a well-deserved $125 thousand and will have the bragging rights of being the winners of this very prestigious tournament that took place in Germany.
The victory at the ESL One Cologne is the third successive big tournament win that s1mple and co have managed to achieve as they also recently triumphed at the CS:GO Asia Championships and at the StarSeries i-League Season 5. In Cologne, they left teams such as BIG, Astralis, FaZe clan and fnatic behind and enjoyed a rather easy ride to the title, with the exception of a tricky encounter against Astralis in the semi-finals. The Danes were one of the favorites to win the event in Germany and expectedly so the biggest hurdle that Natus Vincere had to overcome.
The Ukrainians’ road to the final started with an unforeseen defeat to G2 in the opening match of the tournament. This meant that NaVi had to take the more difficult path towards the playoff stage and had to battle it out in the lower bracket of their group in an attempt to get to the quarter-finals. And so they did. The defeat to G2 was the only one that they suffered in Cologne as they went on a winning streak which took them to the final. This included victories against Gambit, Cloud9, ENCE, fnatic and Astralis.
In the final match, which was played in a best out of five format, NaVi played against the German outfit BIG. The Germans had an equally impressive tournament as NaVi and they had a lot more incentive for victory as they were playing on home soil and were supported by their home fans. However, the final was pretty much a one-way street in which BIG managed to steal only one map from the victorious grasp of NaVi. But these days even that can be considered as a success against an efficient killing machine such as the Ukrainian side.
The first map was Overpass and in it NaVi established its dominance by winning 16-10 and being in control throughout the map. They were convincing both before and after the break and could have easily taken the map with an even bigger winning margin. This emphatic result stirred BIG to produce a comeback and to try to turn the match around. They chose Dust 2 as their choice of playing field and surely enough they managed to level the score by taking this map 16-11.
Unfortunately for the home crowd though, this was all that BIG could muster as they lost the next two maps quite convincingly. They lost 16-10 on Train and then lost 16-8 on Inferno, which was their pick for a map. This meant that NaVi finished the match as winners in only four maps and never had their victory put in question.
As we’re very used to, Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev won the MVP award at ESL One Cologne as he had a fantastic 1.26 rating in the final against BIG and a 1.37 rating in the whole tournament. This is his third highest rating this year after a stellar performance at the DreamHack Masters Marseille where he had a staggering 1.52 and after the StarSeries i-League Season 5 where he dominated with a rating of 1.40.