NAVI upset Liquid to win Group B of BLAST Premier Fall Groups

The group stage of the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2022 saw Natus Vincere top Group B by thrashing Team... Shubh | 20. August 2022

The group stage of the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2022 saw Natus Vincere top Group B by thrashing Team Liquid 16:4 in the final match. After unexpectedly losing the first match to Complexity Gaming, the Ukrainian squad rebounded and won three straight games to take first place in the group.

NAVI’s bumpy ride through group stage

NAVI’s journey at the Fall Groups began with the encounter against the American team Complexity Gaming. Despite a valiant effort from fill-in Danyyl “headtr1ck” Valitov, the Ukrainian team was unable to close the map with a victory and got relegated to the lower bracket.  

However, NAVI managed to defeat G2 Esports 16:14 at Mirage in a thrilling lower bracket encounter to stage a stunning comeback. Despite three of NAVI’s players posting more than 20 kills, and Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy delivering multiple clutches, the team barely escaped the disaster. With K/D scores of 29/21 and 23/15, respectively, the duo of Perfecto and Denis “electroNic” Sharipov completely overshadowed the match-saving effort of lya ‘m0NESY’ Osipov, who recorded a K/D of 29-16.

In the lower bracket final, NAVI encountered Complexity for the second time on the same map Overpass. But this time, the Ukrainian team came up with a dominant 16:3 win to redeem themselves from the disappointing setback they faced in the opening match.

NAVI vs. Liquid – Grand Final

Keeping their momentum intact, NAVI came out firing in the Grand Finals against Team Liquid and gained a massive 11:4 lead before the second half. Thanks to Perfecto and Valeriy “b1t” Vakhovskiy’s superb play at Dust2, NAVI secured five straight rounds to a clinch 16:4 victory before Liquid could even attempt a comeback. With this victory, NAVI secured a spot at one of three finals in the Play-in stage. All the other three teams from Group B have also advanced to the playoffs, but their seeding was determined by their results. While Complexity, G2, and Liquid are seeded for the quarterfinal round, Liquid will play directly in the semifinals. 

Danyyl “headtr1ck” Valitov filled in well for the star IGL

Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Natus Vincere’s top CS:GO player, missed the entire group stage of the BLAST Premier Fall Groups due to personal reasons. The Ukrainian organization filled his spot with academy player Danyyl “headtr1ck” Valitov, who played a crucial role in the team’s 3-0 run at the group stage.

This was heatri1ck’s second time filling in for NAVI’s primary team in 2022. Earlier this year, in March and April, the 18-year-old stood in for NAVI’s former in-game leader Kirill “⁠Boombl4⁠” Mikhailov in three ESL Pro League Season 15 matches, helping NAVI defeat AGO, Evil Geniuses, and Complexity. According to HLTV, Heatr1ck recorded an average of 0.97 in the three matches he played for the Ukrainian team.

Header: ESL Gaming and Turtle Entertainment