Natus Vincere are through to the semi-finals at MLG Columbus after moving past Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-0 (16-9 on Inferno and 16-10 on Mirage).
The series kicked off on Inferno, and the story about the opening six rounds was all about Na`Vi’s great defensive setup inside the A site. Time and time again, NiP were left frustrated while trying to enter the site, and they had to rely on a 1vs2 clutch from Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg to finally claim a round.
The Swedes would be able to make it two in a row, but then Na`Vi regained control of proceedings and went on a fantastic run that saw them close out the half with a commanding 13-2 lead.
In the second half, NiP looked the livelier of the two sides during the early stages, winning seven of the first eight rounds, with Adam “friberg” Friberg leading the charge. Na`Vi were struggling to build up their bank, but then Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács did what he does best as he paved the way for his team to win the round with two crucial AWP kills, putting the CIS team on map point before Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev applied the finishing blow in a 1vs2 clutch.
Na`Vi carried their momentum into the second map, Mirage, and strolled to a 5-0 lead after a flying start on the Terrorist side. NiP then picked up a round but they were unable to build on them, getting reset and being forced to call a timetout. The move paid off as NiP turned a 1-6 deficit into a hotly-contested 5-7 scoreline, displaying great synergy in two eco rounds, but Na`Vi strung the last three rounds together to take a five-round lead into the break.
It was more of the same in the early stages of the second half as Na`Vi picked up four rounds in succession to get dangerously close to match point. With no margin for error, NiP still tried to find their way back into the game and won five of the next six rounds, but Na`Vi remained calm and collected and sealed a 16-10 victory that puts them through to the last-four stage.
Astralis just beat fnatic 2-0 in the quarter-finals in Columbus and advanced to the semi-finals (16-10 on de_overpass, 16-5 on de_cache).
The second quarter-final at MLG Columbus 2016 featured the world’s number one ranked team, fnatic and the third ranked squad, Astralis as they met earlier in the bracket than expected. fnatic’s loss to Liquid in the Group B winners’ match was the reason for this but they managed to knock out FaZe to advance. Astralis, on the other hand, placed first in Group C after beating Gambit and CLG.
The first map was de_overpass which was picked by Astralis and Nicolai “device” Reedtz’s triple-kill in the pistol round ensured the first round for the Danes. René “cajunb” Borg & Reedtz closed off the A-site and stopped the fnatic rush on the second round and Peter “dupreeh” Rasmussen’s quad-kill meant the Danish team survived the anti-ecos.
Astralis also secured the first weapon rounds although Jesper “JW” Wecksell almost clutched a 1v4. Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson was in a similar situation (1v4) and killed three players but Rasmussen was victorious (5-0). The score was 8-0 when fnatic called for a timeout as Finn “karrigan” Andersen & co. were figuring out everything the Swedes were doing. Right in the next round Wecksell got two entries and fnatic picked up their first round.
The Swedish team picked up three rounds but Astralis answered back by winning a 2v2. Andersen got an ace when his team was on pistols without armor as he grabbed the round with the M4A1-S he saved from the previous round (10-4). fnatic finished the half on a good note as they won a force-buy round (10-5).
After losing the pistol, Astralis was about to win a full eco but Wecksell clutched a 1v3, killing two opponents and defusing the bomb without faking as his opponent didn’t peek to kill him (10-7). The third round of the second half was won by the Danes to make it 11-7 and fnatic forced in the following round but it did not work out (12-7). Reedtz & Borg made it 15-7 by clutching a 2v5 with around 25 seconds left on the round clock, attaining eight map points. The Danes did not allow a comeback and secured their map pick with a 16-10 scoreline. Astralis started on the T-side and picked up the pistolround, alongside the anti-eco ones to give themselves a 3-0 lead. fnatic stopped the B-site rush, getting the first weapon round but the Danish team answered back to make it 4-1 and forced fnatic to eco. Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer got three kills with an AWP to earn his team their second round but Andersen’s team reset fnatic once again (7-2).
Everything went the way of Astralis as they had no trouble rushing into the sites as they finished the half 13-2 ahead. The match ended quickly with a 16-5 final score.
With a 2-0 victory over CLG (de_cache 16-13, de_mirage 16-6), Liquid advance to the MLG Columbus 2016 semi-finals.
The start to the domestic battle that was CLG versus Liquid was a one-sided one on Cache, as the former got off to a quit 5-0 start following the initial pistol round, a gunround and a couple of anti-ecos. The first real chance offered itself afterwards when Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev got a double in mid, but Josh “jdm64” Marzano denied that with a triple in a 2-on-4 for 6-0. The Ukrainian then doubled up on his previous feat and got a quad with an AWP, the only weapon the entire team bought in the round, for their first round on the board. CLG piled on despite good reads by Liquid, as they got to 10-1 before Kostyliev won his team two more rounds with a triple-kill and a double in a 2-on-2. It didn’t seem to be quite enough however, as CLG closed the half with a commanding 12-3 lead. More brilliant play by Kostyliev, who bought a Desert Eagle in the pistol round and got two one-shots with it, pushed his team to 12-6 and slowly but surely 12-9 after a couple of gunrounds and ecos. A double from the same player at 12-10 helped even it out, at which point CLG looked destroyed. After Spencer “Hiko” Martin and Jonathan “EliGE” Jablonowski won a 3-on-5 and got their first lead on the map, Tarik “tarik” Celik and Marzano stepped up to the plate with doubles in a double-AWP setup. However, that didn’t rattle Liquid at all, as they powered to 13-1 as Terrorists, and a 16-13 victory on map one. Mirage was an entirely different story at the start as despite heroics from James “hazed” Cobb in the pistol round, CLG couldn’t take more than the pistol in the first five rounds as Jablonowski’s triple in a forcebuy put them on the back foot. Another round for Faruk “pita” Pita’s team was traded for four more on the side of Liquid, who reset their opponents economy at 5-2 and powered to an 8-2 lead after a 2-on-2 clutch win. Marzano’s entry on Eric “adreN” Hoag then helped his team move around the map more freely, giving them one more round, but once more it was only one as Kostyliev shut them down with a triple, including a knife kill.
Towards the end of the half CLG were able to abuse gaps in Liquid’s B defence and got two much-needed rounds for 6-9 as Terrorists. Everything went downhill from there however, Liquid won the second pistol and both anti-ecos for 12-6 and piled on some more. A teamkill from Marzano, as well as a smart fake allowed Liquid take their 14th round, which was soon turned into a 16-6 win on map two, securing them a place in the semi-finals.
One more quarter-final is left to be played, but it is scheduled for tomorrow. Virtus.pro and Luminosity are set to play at 16:00 before semi-finals roll around.