IEM Beijing EU: Vitality Pull Off Reverse Sweep for Grand Finals Victory

It really is an incredible story. Natus Vincere, who have now twice stood in the Finals of a big... Fabio | 23. November 2020

It really is an incredible story. Natus Vincere, who have now twice stood in the Finals of a big event during the coronavirus pandemic, have suffered yet another reverse sweep. From an 0-2 deficit, Vitality have won the Grand Finals and are now winners of IEM Beijing EU.

How could Natus Vincere let this happen again? They actually started off great in the Grand Finals and secured two one sided map wins. Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev pulled off above 2.0 ratings on Nuke and Dust2, whereas Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut didn’t really get into the game at all. The duel of the giants seemed to be decided already and NaVi were looking straight at their first big trophy since the start of the online era.

But s1mple’s colleagues managed to screw this one up. On the following three maps, they were hardly recognizable, particularly Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy and Egor “flamie” Vasilyev broke in completely. Even though s1mple managed to retain his level and continued to get frags, he was unable to fill the void left by his mates. Vitality got round after round and the Frenchmen finally woke up. ZywOo, Richard “shox” Papillon, Navil “Nivera” Benrlitom and Kévin “misutaaa” Rabier fired from all cylinders and took the CIS team down effortlessly.

Not only did NaVi have to endure a reverse sweep, but also these shameful three maps. There, they weren’t even competitive and stood no chance against a Team Vitality that was just one step ahead all the time.


Obviously, the NaVi players are not able to compete on s1mple’s level. Granted, they don’t really need to do that, but they failed to even support him in this Grand Finals. Boombl4 and flamie combined had fewer kills than s1mple, meaning that he effectively compensated for the weak output of two players.

This was completely different in the Vitality camp. On the first two maps, the players failed to put up a decent performance, but afterwards ZywOo kicked into a higher gear and the entire team supported him. In between, Nivera and shox were the top fraggers, giving him a much needed break – something that s1mple never got. Much more important, however, is the fact that the Vitality players never became a burden. If even Cédric “RpK” Giupouy can post 1.44 ratings and better, then the team is obviously functioning well.


BLAST Showdown will kick off in a few days. Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, FURIA, and MIBR will compete against European teams. Even though the likes of Vitality, Astralis and Natus Vincere aren’t attending, IEM Beijing EU has proven that the rest of the teams is not to be underestimated. Aside from their loss to Vitality, Complexity have put up a fantastic show. Justin “jks” Savage is growing into this team more with every match they play. The results show that Complexity massively benefit from this.

The Tier 2 and 3 scenes have seen an enormous increase in quality, at least in comparison to their North American colleagues. A team like Chaos would hardly stand a chance against Complexity or mousesports. Even for Liquid, MAD Lions will already prove to be a tough challenge.


However, lots of teams have shown massive deficits throughout IEM Beijing EU. Leading the pack in that regard is Astralis, who haven’t found their way back to the top after the return of Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth. The old core of the team is struggling and the departure of Patrick “es3tag” Hansen has shown just how much he held things together there. Astralis are miles away from the level they held when they achieved their very own reverse sweep over Natus Vincere. Now, they just hand 9-16 losses to s1mple and his men.

Fnatic have also been dealt quite a few blows recently. During DreamHack Open Fall, they went out much too early, and in ESL Pro League, they didn’t even make playoffs. At least they have reached the Semis of IEM New York EU, albeit with a much less impressive playing field. Unfortunately, mousesports still can’t deliver decent results. Rumors indicate that Finn “karrigan” Andersen may be on his way to FaZe Clan alongside Robin “ropz” Kool. So the future of this team is in the air. But even if the roster were to remain the same, their recent placements don’t really inspire a lot of confidence in their redemption anymore.