Natus Vincere has knocked Fnatic out of ESL One: Cologne 2018 following a match that saw the team's incredible firepower make all the difference.
Na’Vi and Fnatic met in the first quarter-final of the $300,000 ESL One: Cologne event for the somewhat questionable reward of facing the dominant Astralis in semi-finals on July 7th.
Both teams walked into the packed Lanxess Arena looking confident. In fact, Fnatic were so confident that they allowed Overpass through during the veto, despite losing to FaZe Clan 16-1 on the same map just 24 hours before.
Fnatic actually opened up with an emphatic pistol round victory but Na’Vi bounced back immediately and quickly started to race away to a commanding lead.
The Ukrainian side rarely broke stride throughout the remainder of the first half and held an impressive 12-3 lead before switching to the T side of the map with Egor ‘flamie’ Vasilyev topping the scoreboard.
Fnatic once again took the pistol round as the second half got underway but it quickly became a case of déjà vu when Na’Vi nounced right back with a devastating force buy in the second round to regain control.
The rest of the map should have been a mere formality but the Fnatic players seemed to suddenly find their form and started to grind out rounds.
Unfortunately for the Swedes it was too little, too late, and Na’Vi eventually secured a 16-12 win to a take the 1-0 lead in the best of three series.
Next up was Fnatic’s map choice, Train. Despite the first map loss, the Swedish team’s ability to mount something of a comeback on Overpass should have left them feeling like they were still in the game.
However, a stunning CT pistol round from Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev saw Na’Vi get right back into the driving seat and begin to build a lead.
The Fnatic players did manage to put up more of a fight on the T side of Train than they did on Overpass but the firepower of Na’Vi was still too much to handle as the Ukrainian side secured an 11-4 lead by halftime.
Fnatic looked like they were going to keep their hopes alive with a pistol round win after switching to the CT side but Na’Vi once again embarrassed them on their anti-eco.
This time around Fnatic was able to rally before Na’Vi reached match point but it was still not enough as seemingly every clutch round went in favor of s1mple and company.
Eventually Na'Vi secured the map win with a score of 16-10. They will now move on to face Astralis in the first semi-final match on July 7th.