ESL Pro League: Natus Vincere and FaZe in semifinals

ESL Pro League: Natus Vincere and FaZe in semifinals

25. March 2023 by Andrew Williams

Top two teams FaZe and Natus Vincere have moved on to the semi-finals after defeating FORZE and Heroic respectively. FaZe won 2-1 over FORZE at EPL 17 (Inferno 16-13, Overpass 14-16, Mirage 16-6) to secure a spot in the top four. Natus Vincere defeated Heroic 2-0 (Anubis 16-13, Inferno 16-8) in the ESL Pro League S17 quarterfinals. FaZe will face Natus Vincere today and try to prevail against the Ukrainian top team as well.

FaZe vs. FORZE

On map number one both teams started with blazing guns, not giving an inch. Aleksandr “shalfey” Marenov and Evgeny “r3salt” Frolov did their best to keep their team afloat, but FaZe still managed to take a temporary lead towards the end of the half. Robin “ropz” Kool in particular shined on Inferno, scoring several multi-kills while helping his team to a 9-6 lead at Halftime. After the switch FaZe and especially ropz started to run away with it and dominated more and more winning 16-13.

The second map was Overpass which should turn out to be even closer! FORZE surged right ahead, but FaZe caught up and managed to gain a lead. A late comeback by the Russians allowed them to make it 6-9 by the break. After the change of ends, FORZE was on the attack and didn’t give FaZe too much room to maneuver after they overtook them. It continued to go back and forth, but in the end FORZE narrowly edged out FaZe 16-14. The game went to the decider, Mirage.

Helvijs “broky” Saukants and Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken were the surprise on Mirage and really stepped on the gas. The Latvian sharpshooter won an outstanding 1v3 clutch in the seventh round that turned the momentum in FaZe’s favor and led to a 6-3 advantage. FaZe had the edge from that point on, taking a lead into the first half and then easily dominating the second half as well. FaZe won the map 16-6 and the series 2-1.

Natus Vincere vs. Heroic

On Anubis Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev of Natus Vincere opened the map with a 1vs3 clutch in the Pistol to give his team a 6:1 lead. Heroic didn’t let it get them down and managed to keep up. At halftime, they were only one point behind NAVI and the score was 8-7. In the second half, NAVI won the second Pistol on the map to get off to a fast start, with s1mple again helping his team to a 12-8 lead. Heroic equalized at 12-12, but didn’t really advance from there. Natus Vincere won the map 16-13.

Heroic surged ahead 4-1, on Inferno but Natus Vincere was ready to catch up. s1mple took out an A attack and Natus Vincere took a 7-4 lead. The Danes came back near the end of the half and cut the deficit to just one goal by halftime. In the second half Heroic had no more chance. Natus Vincere lost only one round in the entire half on their way to victory, but needed Denis “electroNic” Sharipov and Valeriy “b1t” Vakhovskiy to save them with their respective 1vs2 fights in the early rounds. Natus Vincere won with a solid 16:8 victory to advance to the semifinals of the CS:GO event.