A couple of months ago, Natus Vincere looked ready to completely take over the global Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene after their victory at IEM Katowice 2020. In the ESL Road to Rio, they aren’t looking nearly as strong.
Natus Vincere now finds itself with a 2-2 record in the CIS region’s group stage. That second loss came after a shock defeat at the hands of Syman Gaming.
NAVI TOP1 kek ggwp @symangg
it feels like we’re afraid of opponents, not them
— Sasha (@s1mpleO) May 8, 2020
The series against Syman Gaming started inauspiciously for Na’Vi as Syman sprinted its way to victory. The game started off competitive, but Syman broke off 12 straight to close the game quickly.
In a familiar refrain for Na’Vi fans, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev stepped up huge in game two. In a back-and-forth showdown on Dust 2, s1mple’s 35 kills was the difference maker en route to a 16-14 victory.
Syman bounced back in game two and jumped off to a 9-1 lead on the T side on Train. Though that’s often a death knell, Na’Vi managed to bridge the gap and nearly mount a rally. The door was closed on a comeback when Na’Vi messed up a timing play badly, getting forced into a bad rush that ended the game 16-12.
That 2-1 loss to Syman Gaming puts Na’Vi in an awkward spot in the Road to Rio CIS group stage. All six teams in the group currently have a 2-2 record, with Na’Vi’s wins coming over pro100 and Espada, and its other loss coming from Virtus.pro.
Na’Vi will look to finish the group stage above .500 and avoid a potentially problematic early elimination with a series against Hard Legion Esports.