Natus Vincere have won the first big CS:GO event of 2021. Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev led by example as he top-fragged in the last match at the BLAST Premier Global Finals to push his team to a win versus Astralis – a match Na'Vi won handily 2-0.
Natus Vincere are no strangers to starting well early in a calendar year. The s1mple-led team won IEM Katowice within the first quarter of 2020, but could not carry that momentum into the pandemic era during which they only won a single title. As we all hope for the end of this agonizing period in human history, Na'Vi too hope that their success will carry on for longer this year.
OMG, what a way to start 2021! Meet your #BLASTPremier Global Final 2020 champions!— NAVI (@natusvincere) January 24, 2021
Massive shoutout to everyone in #navination for being with us! #navination @BLASTPremier @csmoneytrade pic.twitter.com/F8OMO5ARN0
Natus Vincere Are BLAST Premier Global Finals Champions
Astralis were on a roll at the end of 2020 and were well on their way to replicate that form at the start of 2021. The Danes were only stopped by Natus Vincere in the final of the BLAST Premier Global Finals. The only worrying sign for Astralis is the nature in which that defeat came.
The number one team in the world did endure some tough battles on their way to the final. Each of their three victories - against Evil Geniuses, G2 Esports and Team Vitality, filled up the full match format. However, Natus Vincere came through the loser bracket, which should have made the Danish squad favorites, at least in theory.
Na'Vi's loss came in the opener, at the hands of the new-look Team Liquid. The latter enjoyed a decent debut tournament, but could not do a damn thing in the rematch at the loser semifinal stage. After beating Team Vitality in three maps to reach the final, Natus Vincere probably expected an even tougher duel vs. Astralis.
Well... That didn't happen. Danny "zonic" Sørensen's troops were surprisingly lackluster and amassed just 17 rounds on arguably their two strongest maps - Nuke and Inferno. Both teams unveiled their full six-man potential, but it only worked for Na'Vi on the day.
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The victory is certainly sweeter for s1mple as it came just days after he was named the second-best player in the world by hltv.org. A notoriously driven player, there's no way the Ukrainian did not get fueled up by that ranking.
BLAST Premier Global Finals Final
Natus Vincere - Astralis
- 16:12 - Nuke
- 16:5 - Inferno
For their victory, Natus Vincere receive the respectable sum of $600,000. Astralis get a third of that. Both teams will be back in action at another BLAST event - BLAST Premier Spring, starting February 4.