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Published: May 17, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • The two titans met in a decider match in the 2-2 pool
  • It was a fitting end to FaZe’s redemption arc, following their bad start in the tournament
  • The match went to the full three maps, requiring two overtimes on Anubis

Following a very close match, which became one of the most entertaining encounters in the BLAST Paris Major so far, FaZe continue to the final stage of the event after eliminating NaVi.

FaZe Defeat Natus Vincere

BLAST Premier Paris Major is almost through its Legends Stage, which is deciding what teams will go into the event’s playoffs. Yesterday. FaZe became the sixth squad to secure a coveted spot in the tournament’s final stage after eliminating Natus Vincere following a lengthy match that went into overtime.

This match puts an end to NaVi’s journey at the last CS:GO Major that will be played before the game transitions to CS2. The Ukrainian organization had a disappointing journey in the Legends stage, suffering two losses to Liquid and Monte, which put it in the 2-2 pool and a collision course against FaZe. It was a last-chance elimination series, from which NaVi could not emerge victorious. This also marks the fourth time the Ukrainian team has been eliminated in the group stage of a Major ever since PGL Krakow 2017 when they were eliminated by fnatic with a 1-3 record.

Meanwhile, the match was a great chapter in FaZe’s redemption ark. The team started the Major with a catastrophic 0-2 start to the second group phase. Their respite came when FaZe eliminated 9INE in the 0-2 pool to stay alive in the Legends stage. Through a meticulous grind, the mixed European team made their way to the last-chance match against NaVi and currently stands with a 3-2 record going into the last Champions stage of the tournament.

It Was a Very Close Match

FaZe chose Overpass as the first map of the game, a decision that NaVi made them quickly regret. Ilya “?Perfecto?” Zalutskiy showed excellent form propelling the Ukrainians to a victory on the T side with a 1.85 rating. FaZe came back later in the half courtesy of karrigan’s 1vs2 clutch against Oleksandr “?s1mple?” Kostyliev. However, NaVi made one final push to claim Overpass with a not-very-comfortable lead of 16-13.

“We started to choke, we started to be nervous,” said coach Andrey “?B1ad3?” Gorodenskiy in the post-match interview. “People forgot what to do, threw another smoke, or forgot their roles… that’s very important because when you play against FaZe you have to play at the top of your concentration.”

Unfortunately for the Ukrainian team, its luck had run out, as FaZXe dominated them on the second map, Mirage. All FaZe members except for karrigan displayed a rating higher than 1.30. NaVi regretted choosing Mirage, as their European opponents obliterated them, ending the map with a colossal 16-5 advantage for FaZe.

However, NaVi were not about to roll over again and offered a much stiffer resistance o the final map of Anubis. They managed a close 8-7 ending to the first half and took the initiative in the second one, running away with a 15-9 lead. But just as it seemed NaVi would be going to the Champions stage of the tournament, FaZe’s Helvijs “?broky?” Saukants started tilting the scales the other way.

The 22-year-old’s play gave FaZe enough momentum for the European team to take the match to two overtimes. The teams continued to trade rounds, but it was FaZe who edged out the 22-19 victory on Anubis, with the match becoming one of the closest and most entertaining ones of the Major so far.

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