After over a week of Starseries i-League Season 7 CSGO action in Shanghai, China, the event finally came to an end. Starseries brought to us 39 best-of-three (bo3) matches, and it ended with Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) taking on fnatic in a rarely seen final with a best-of-five (bo5) format.
After the match veto, the maps to be played in order were Mirage, Dust2, Inferno, Nuke, and Overpass. Na’Vi were relentless and needed only three maps to close things out in Shanghai.
Best of five may as well have been best of three
Na’Vi was quick to steal the first map, which was fnatic’s pick. After a dominant presence by Denis “electronic” Sharipov and Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev, Na’Vi snatched the map 16-13 despite the half going in favor of the Swedes 8-7. However, Na’Vi’s early counter-terrorist side lead of 13-8 was too much for Jesper”JW” Wecksell and co. to deal with.
Na’Vi continued their successful mojo into the next map, Dust2. This time, electronic was joined by Ioann “Edward” Sukhariev and Egor “flamie” Vasilyev at the top of the table while s1mple would take a breather. Yet again, the half-finished 8-7 for fnatic. However, s1mple’s 3k on the pistol after half switch propelled Na’Vi to an easy victory on Dust2 with a 16-11 score. This put s1mple’s team in need of 1 more map victory to seal the deal.
Inferno started out quite similarly. Amazingly, the half ended yet again at an 8-7 score for fnatic after the Swedes strung together 7 rounds in a row and won the first pistol. Yet, Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson’s squad had significant trouble in remaining consistent after side switch. Their ct-side crumbled again as Na’Vi took control of things as terrorists to quickly end the matchup with a 16-10 score. Flamie ended the series with a wonderful quad kill.
After a disappointing exit at the IEM Katowice Major, fnatic looks much better overall. While KRIMZ played phenomenally at the Starseries final, the rest of his team was a little lackluster. Simon “twist” Eliasson especially was a disappointment, and we’d come to expect a little more out of JW. Despite that, if fnatic continues to play on such a level, we may see them achieve great things in 2019.
On the contrary, Na’Vi looked dominant not only in the final but also throughout the tournament. Even with some controversial internal problems that are not fully clear, s1mple’s team managed to play on and got revenge against ENCE after the IEM Katowice upset and brought it all the way to take home the trophy. Hopefully, Na’Vi can become one of the contenders this year to challenge the throne, which is currently occupied by none other than Astralis.
What do you think of Na’Vi’s form at Starseries? Let us know in the comments below.