NAVI without s1mple still dominates their first pro-Counter-Strike 2 match at IEM Sydney 2023

Jeremy Gan
jL drops a 30 bomb in NAVI's frist CS2 match

A NAVI without s1mple has dominated their first ever pro-Counter-Strike 2 match at IEM Sydney, with a 30 bomb by Justinas “jL” Lekavicius.

IEM Sydney 2023 has kicked off with its first Bo1 matches, with VERTEX and MOUZ alongside NAVI and Apeks making history as the first CS2 pro matches played on LAN. 

However, NAVI had a few setbacks. Their star AWPer and arguably the best player in the world, Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyljev, was unable to attend due to visa issues. This meant their head coach Andrij “B1ad3” Ghorodensjkyj has to stand in for their matches.

Despite the roster complications, the team absolutely dominated their first CS2 pro match against Apeks. 

The stand-out star of the match was jL, whose contribution was felt in almost every single round in Mirage. The rifler who was brought on in mid-2023 dropped the very first LAN 30 kill bomb in CS2. 

NAVI’s jL drops the first 30 bomb in a Counter-Strike 2 pro match

jL got his 30th kill in the very last round of the map, taking down Damjan “kyxsan” Stoilkovski at A site CT from Palace with a well-placed headshot.

The loss was particularly stinging for Apeks, not only because they couldn’t capitalize against a s1mple-less NAVI, but also by the fact jL was an integral player for them last year. 

Despite B1ad3 having big shoes to fill, who hasn’t played a match since 2018’s FACEIT Major qualifiers with FlipSid3 Tactics, he was able to hold his own. 

However, his rating left more to be desired as you might expect, with a 0.44 which was the lowest in the server, even picking up the AWP for the team at times. But it was a good enough performance to secure the win, especially considering NAVI was also playing without a coach. 

However, it wasn’t smooth sailing for NAVI, as they ended the map 13-9 with Apeks threatening a potential comeback to push it through to overtime. 

NAVI will be playing MOUZ for a qualification spot in the IEM Sydney playoffs on the same day, October 16. 

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech