Brace yourselves, Semi-Finals is almost upon us. We have four elite teams going up against each other and with $250,000 on the line, expect them to lay it all down. Now without any further delays, let’s get right into the real deal.
Natus Vincere vs Team EnvyUS
The classic matchup, that contributed towards many legendary matches n CS GO. It is the battle of the super duos, KennyS vs Guardian and Flamie vs Apex. Both were the best at their roles when peaking, admittedly EnvyUS has fallen far from grace now, but if we learned anything from yesterday, it’s that they can still turn up when the stars align.
Na`Vi had a more interesting path to semi-finals, starting off with Starix due to a wrist injury on Guardian, but after the playoffs, it was revealed that the feared sniper was actually given the green light from his doctor. Which allowed him to fly off and join the squad for the quarter-final clash against TyLoo. So far their key players have been Flamie and Seized and doing much of the heavy lifting, with or without Guardian. It shows that Natus Vincere has evolved into a complete team and makes you wonder what could have been if Kovacs was at his best during MLG Major Columbus.
As for Team EnvyUS, their path was a lot shakier at the start. As they struggled to close it out over Faze Clan. However as the tournament went on, their performance saw an upward spike. Apex and KennyS were showing the form of old, winning rounds by themselves. Their impact was so high going deeper into the tournament that even with DEVIL sporting a negative KD ratio, EnvyUS ran over Team Dignitas with a clean 2-0.
So who gets the nod here? In our opinion, it will still be Natus Vincere. While EnvyUS has shown a great return to form with their two superstar players, it simply won’t be enough against a highly structured team like Na`Vi. Even if KennyS and Apex go ham, they will have their hands full with Flamie and Guardian. Which coupled with the superior form of the rest of the CIS squad will make it very difficult. So unless Happy and NBK also show up in spectacular fashion as well, Na`Vi should be making another grand final appearance.
Betting tip: Go with Natus Vincere, they are in prime position to take this one over the French giants
Key players: Flamie and Seized
NIP Gaming vs GodSent
No one really expected an all Swedish sem-finals, but Pronax and co showed up in great fashion. Taking down the likes of CLG and Mousesports, Twist, in particular, came out as the new superstar in the Swedish scene, going head to head against the likes of Niko and Nex and was able to hold his own Not to mention Lekro, the former Publicer member turned GodSent, also performed really well. It was simply a bucket of pleasant surprises for the fans of Counter Strike. It showed that the great Swedish nation still has a lot to offer in the scene.
As for NIP gaming, their run started in grim fashion. As they got destroyed by Dignitas 16-2 on Overpass. However, being the veterans that they are, they bounced back in impressive fashion. Overcoming giants like Astralis and then later their old rivals in Virtus Pro. It wasn’t really that surprising, seeing how they always had an edge over both these squads, but coming from a slump, it was a great showing.
So who wins the Swedish clash? We have to go with NIP. While Twist and Lekro right now are looking capable of being the best players on the server, I doubt they sport the experience necessary to grind out a series like the veterans in NIP. Get_Right and F0rest are slowly but surely returning to form and with Pyth delivering more and more in his role, this should be a victory for the original Swedish legends.
Betting tip: Go with NIP, they have evolved their play a lot thanks to Threat and should be more than capable of closing it out over GodSent.
Key players: Forest and Pyth