BLAST Premier: World Final 2021 Recap Day 5

The prophecy is true! The matches are twisting themselves and defying the odds to fit into the CS Gods’... | 19. December 2021

The prophecy is true! The matches are twisting themselves and defying the odds to fit into the CS Gods’ games. But before getting into that, let’s have a short recap of how we got here. In the Upper Bracket, Gambit defeated Liquid to reach the UB Final, whereas Vitality brushed off G2 to do the same.

After that, in the Lower Bracket, NaVi defeated an unrelenting G2. On the other hand, Liquid dismantled Astralis 2-0, to set up a refixture with NaVi. With two crucial matches in our sights, and a pattern everyone was keeping an eye on, Day 5 did not disappoint, as we saw some great CS. Here’s what happened!

Gambit vs Vitality

In the Upper Bracket Final, the CIS side faced the high-flying Frenchmen. The odds were stacked against Gambit, as Vitality seemed unstoppable at the moment. The first map was Gambit’s Vertigo.

After a good T side start where they got into a 6-3 lead, Gambit lost 6 in a row. Vitality nailed their mid-round execution. The Frenchmen knew how good Gambit is in late rounds as Terrorists, so they didn’t allow them that luxury. After a masterful pistol round, Vitality took the lead 10-6. But they completely fell flat later, as Gambit had full control as CTs, as ax1le made some excellent reads. Gambit went on to win the map 16-13. Gambit’s bottom fragger was their highest rated player, and that sums up the map for Gambit.

The second map was Dust2, a Vitality special. Both the halves went eye-to-eye, and both teams were spectacular in what they did. Gambit could’ve crossed the finish line had it not been for zywOo’s crazy Deagle ace, but eventually, the match went to overtime. Gambit had to rely on individual prowess a little more here, but they got the job done. Gambit have avenged their IEM Winter loss to Vitality, and have progressed to the Grand Finals.

NaVi vs Liquid

The rematch of the first Global Final match was about to happen. NaVi locked horns with their kryptonite, as s1mple looked to avenge his team’s early defeat. NaVi picked Dust2 to begin with. But the boys in yellow had a poor T side first half, losing it 9-6. Liquid won the following pistol round to make it 10-6 in their favour, and it really looked like the map was slipping away for NaVi.

But a magical scout round from s1mple kickstarted an amazing defense. NaVi won 10 rounds in a row, focusing highly on the mid push. They exhausted their playbook for pushing mid, and the creativity was fun to watch. Even in man-down situations, NaVi presented a perfect balance of star fragging and picture-perfect reads. Eventually, they won the map 16-10 with plays that no team in the world can counter.

The next map was Liquid’s Inferno. NaVi had lost 2/2 matches they had played here. NaVi put up a good CT half winning it 9-6. NaVi’s deficiencies on Inferno had lain on their T side so far. But heading into this match, they had fixed their biggest issue: Banana control. NaVi literally won the second half due to their superior Banana control, coupled with excellently reading plays surrounding Banana. It was fascinating to watch the best team in the world mold and refine themselves on such short notice. s1mple put on a 33 kill performance, and I am speechless.

“The undertaker sent the dead team packing”, Alexandr Kostyliev flaunted his tongue in the post-match interview. Also, s1mple knifed Grim.

With that, Liquid has been eliminated. This tournament was the last of this team together, as they are set to disband. It was evident against NaVi that Liquid was not as chilled out as they were so far in the tournament. They were taking it upon themselves to defeat this NaVi side again, and that led to their downfall.

NAF is the only player who has been confirmed to stay with Liquid, as the futures of the rest of the players remain mired by mystery. The once-great-team that conquered the world in 2019 will no longer be together. But the memories will stay, and these men have irreversibly etched their way into the history books of CS. That’s not to say that there was no banter, though!

Vitality faced an unexpected 2-0 loss to Gambit. The Frenchmen had beaten them in IEM Winter 2-1, and it looked like they would again. But that would mean the pattern would break, so of course that didn’t happen. NaVi will now face Vitality in the LB Final, just like in 2020. NaVi is tactically and mechanically astute to defeat this Vitality team, but more importantly, the prophecy favours them.

Everyone loves BLAST and their high-quality production. But there is one glaring issue. The LB Final and the Grand Finals are consecutive. There is no time for the LB Final winner to recover and fix their issues before the Grand Finals. This gives the waiting Grand Finalist an unfair advantage. Last year, though, this didn’t really matter to NaVi. They defeated all of Liquid, Vitality, and Astralis within the space of 24 hours, losing only one map in the process.

NaVi are the favourites to repeat these heroics this year. But zywOo’s presence on Vitality means that they can’t be ruled out. If Vitality do somehow beat NaVi, it will definitely be a 2-1 win, not 2-0. That means that an exhausted Vitality will then have to face Gambit again in the Grand Finals. That scenario is a direct win for Gambit. If NaVi beat Vitality though, then we can have a spicy CIS Grand Final.

2021 has CIS’ name all over it. From the raging battles between NaVi and Gambit at the start of the year, to the utter dominance of NaVi in the second half of the year, CIS owned 2021. It would be extremely poetic to see a NaVi vs Gambit in the last CS:GO match of 2021. Cheers to 2021!


Photo credit: BLAST Premier Twitter