BLAST Lisbon rocked. It was exactly what the non-Major and non-Cologne/Kato events should be: banging crowd, banging upsets, and no best of fives. Looking at you EPL.
After losing to G2 in groups, FaZe found themselves in a quarter-final against NAVI. And it was then that NAVI reminded everyone just why every team and their nan was creating a superteam in the winter.
1.80 Rating for s1mple, 1.63 for electroNic, 1.48 for b1t. And just seven rounds for FaZe. You heard that right — SE7EN. FaZe found out what was in the box, and it wasn’t pretty.
After a 13-2 T-half on Dust2 (that became a 16-6) NAVI then 16-1’d FaZe on their map pick of Inferno.
The quarter-final began at 4:30 local time. FaZe were eliminated at about 6:45.
We knew post-Major-win blues were a thing but Jesus wept FaZe are starting to look like the stars of Avatar 2*.* If they still want that era, they’re gonna need to look a hell of a lot better than this at R̶o̶o̶b̶e̶t̶ ̶c̶u̶p̶ IEM Cologne.
It was all very 2021, and it became even more 2021 when Vitality beat not one but two top 10 teams. The first of those wins, against ENCE, showed what this roster was supposed to be: a competent supporting cast for ZywOo. On map one, apEX dropped a 1.44 Rating and then dupreeh bested him on Nuke with a 1.50.
As for ENCE, Spinx has not seemed the same since returning from COVID, which makes it hard to decipher whether he’s been figured out or if long COVID is rearing its ugly head. We dont have time for a full hit piece, so he and ENCE get the benefit of the doubt. This time.
After that 2-0 win, Vitality were faced with G2 for dupreeh and Magisk’s first match in front of a crowd since 2019. And boy did this one deliver.
Normally a rivalry of which over-expensive team can flop harder, this game slapped harder than degster. After 21 kills on the CT-side of Dust2 NiKo forgot how to shoot on T, letting Vitality — on the back of another turbo apEX performance — grab 10 CT rounds to win 16:13.
NiKo was quiet once again on Inferno, but that was mostly because he didn’t see anyone: Aleksib called a perfect T-side, something which is easy to say when entry fragger JACKZ is cracking sites open that easily. 16-8 G2.
Then, the map that might actually be more entertaining than save-ferno: Nuke. NiKo hoovered up heads in a 3v5 post-plant to give G2 an 8-7 lead at the half, and they even won a pistol (meaning carlos had to think of a new tweet format) to make it 10-7.
Then, G2 G2d. At 11-9, they were one gun round away from breaking Vitality’s economy to take control. Naturally, they lost it, as well as the next 5 rounds and the map.
We’ll forgive them for this one, though. Words can’t describe ZywOo sometimes.
And just like that, Vitality were in the final. As were NAVI, who actually lost a map to OG but never looked like losing on the decider of Mirage.
So, was this the time Vitality silenced all their critics? The time they got their Fran-dan-glish clicking? The time they justified apEX saying “YEKINDAR does not interest” them?
No. It wasn’t.
16:8. 16:5. Another boring final in the NAVI era. Wait.
But seriously though — NAVI are scary again.
Even IGLing, electroNic posted a 1.25 Rating in the event. Boombl4 may be gone, but B1ad3 isn’t and he’s making electroNic look like prime gla1ve and MOUZ NiKo at the same time.