Natus Vincere defeated ENCE 2-1 in their opening game of IEM Katowice 2022 to advance to the upper bracket semis of the Group Stage. They started off on the right foot on ENCE's map pick, Mirage, but on their own pick of Nuke, a map that they had lost just thrice with this roster, NaVi were handed their biggest loss ever with a 16-4 score. Overpass went the full distance as NaVi were able to survive a 1-9 start to win 16-14.
- ENCE removed Inferno
- Natus Vincere removed Vertigo
- ENCE picked Mirage
- Natus Vincere picked Nuke
- ENCE removed Dust2
- Natus Vincere removed Ancient
- Overpass was leftover
MAP 1: Mirage (NaVi 16-8ENCE)
It was a belter of a start for NaVi on Mirage CT side to kick things off. Almost a given at this point, s1mple popped off supported well in-toe by IGL boombl4. The duo got 32 kills combined to give NaVi a massive 12-3 lead at the half.
On the T side, NaVi looked all set to take the map as they had 12 match points at 15-3. But spinx and company didnt bow down so easily and they did defend 5 rounds straight.
NaVi needed only won and they did so, courtesy of a s1mple clutch to win 16-8.
MAP 2: Nukes (Navi 4-16 ENCE)
Nuke has been NaVi's go-to map for almost a year now after the added b1t for flamie and they have been the best Nuke team by far. But nothing had prepared us for what we were about to see as NaVi's T side felt absolutely flat in front of ENCE. The whole ENCE side fragged out, led by AWPer hades as he went 14-3 on the CT side. NaVi got a taste of their own medicine as ENCE ended the half 12-3, reminding us of the Nuke of old.
After switching sides, NaVi lost the pistol and won the force buy to see the score at 13-4. But the CIS squad couldn't do anything more after it as ENCE closed it right back down with a 16-4 win, handling NaVi their biggest Nuke loss.
MAP 3: Over pass (Navi 16-14 ENCE)
NaVi started off Overpass the same way Nuke had ended. They looked deflated and the T side of Overpass was a menace. s1mple went 0-6 while maden was 14-1 and ENCE took a 9-1 lead on the CT side. But an inspired performance from Perfecto helped NaVi bounce back and take a respectable 5-10 half time score.
In their element on the CT side, NaVi showed no signs of lacking. s1mple started fragging out, and so did the rest of NaVi while Perfecto was still popping heads. They let ENCE get only 2 consecutive T rounds, but that couldve been costly as it was towards the end. But a flawless last round helped NaVi close the map 16-14.
NO LOWER BRACKET SCARE FOR NAVI
Far from being at their best, NaVi still avoided the lower bracket and advanced to the UB Semis. They will face FURIA for a spot at the UB finals, wherein they will vie for a semis or a quarterfinals playoff spot.
ENCE dropped down to the lower bracket and will play Astralis who had lost to FURIA yesterday.