Natus Vincere walked away with an easy 2-0 win over FaZe Clan to take home first place in BLAST Premier’s group C, with an unlikely smoke defuse from in-game leader Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov sealing up the game.
Things didn’t start out well for FaZe Clan on Dust 2, with Na`Vi taking an early lead as s1mple and electronic tore apart the pistol round. The rest of the match wouldn’t go much better for FaZe.
Na`Vi didn’t look back, cruising to a dominating 12-3 lead in the first half, but a few mistakes after halftime almost let FaZe Clan back in.
Na`Vi stumbled slightly at the start of the second half, losing six rounds in a row to FaZe’s defense. At one point, the 12-3 lead had slimmed to 12-9 as FaZe Clan almost got back into the map but Na`Vi’s Boombl4 managed a massive double kill in B tunnels to close out the first map 16-10.
Nuke couldn’t have started better for FaZe after going down early to Na`Vi on Dust 2. The international team’s newest member, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken, led the way for FaZe in the final match of his first event with the team. The former Team Liquid player went into halftime having helped FaZe Clan to an impressive, 10-5 CT side with a strong 17-5 scoreline of his own. But FaZe consistently lost to Na`Vi’s game-changing plays on Nuke, as shown perfectly by Egor “flamie” Vasilev’s one-on-three clutch.
Once the teams switched sides, it became clear that FaZe was less drilled on the map’s attacking side. By round 23, Na`Vi had tied the scoreline at 11-11 before grinding out the final rounds it needed for the win. But Blast Premier’s group C did end on an interesting note.
Despite having the bomb down and a two-man advantage with Na`Vi on match point, FaZe left heaven open in a massive mistake that gave Boombl4 the opening he needed. With nothing to lose, Boombl4 snuck through heaven and eliminated Olof “olofmeister” Gustafsson before hopping on the ninja defuse.
Despite how the finals ended for FaZe, the team performed incredibly well considering its recent changes. It was one of the best performances FaZe has shown in months, and Twistzz already looks comfortable in the team’s system.
After the defusal came in and the match wrapped in a 2-0 Na`Vi win, olof revealed that BLAST Premier was his last tournament with FaZe. And while FaZe Clan already seems to have its new fifth lined up in Finn “karrigan” Andersen, olof announced that he “still needed to think a bit more” about his own future plans. It’s unknown if olof will continue to compete, but his individual performances at BLAST showed that he still has the talent and drive for competitive play.
As for Na`Vi, it is once again a proven threat at CSGO’s top level, especially with s1mple and the team’s sixth man Valerii “B1T” Vakhovskyi performing as well as they did in BLAST. In an impressive single map, B1t posted a 1.26 during BLAST Premier’s group C. For his part, s1mple led Na`V from the front at BLAST. The star player ended the finals with just under a 2.0 kill-to-death ratio, a 50-26 scoreline, and a 1.49 rating.
Both teams are scheduled to compete in the upcoming IEM Katowice 2021 play-ins for a chance to face off against CSGO’s top teams for the coveted IEM Champion title starting on February 16.