Natus Vincere capped off their run at the StarSeries i-League Season 7 on Sunday with a sweep of Fnatic in the grand finals to capture the championship and go home $250,000 richer.
For their efforts, the runner-ups, Fnatic, will pocket $80,000. Meanwhile, tied in third-fourth place are NRG eSports and Renegades, who each will receive $30,000. Finally, Team Vitality, North, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and ENCE, will round out the top 8, and will all be compensated $15,000 each.
Natus Vincere’s win at StarSeries i-League Season 7 is a much-needed return to form for the CIS-based powerhouse. Although their form has not really fallen that much lately, there have been ramblings that the roster is closer to reshuffling more than ever. However, this win should serve as validation that, while inconsistent, this current lineup still has what it takes to win tournaments against top-tier competition.
Natus Vincere’s win at StarSeries i-League Season 7 will also serve as their first trophy finish since the BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen back in November of 2018.
StarSeries i-League Season 7 Grand Finals Recap
Considering the form that both teams displayed throughout the tournament and the fact that each team prefer to play different maps, most expected the series between Fnatic and Natus Vincere to go down the wire. Instead, it was all Natus Vincere right from the get go.
The first map of the match was on Mirage, which was Fnatic’s pick. Both teams would exchange rounds for the majority of the match. However, Natus Vincere’s collective effort was simply too much for Fnatic to handle. Denis ‘electronic‘ Sharipov had himself a good game was the finished on top of the kill count. Meanwhile, Oleksandr ‘s1mple‘ Kostliev played the unusual second fiddle in Natus Vincere’s 16-13 win.
On Natus Vincere’s map pick in Dust2, it was electronic who, once again, led the way for Natus Vincere. He had a 1.46 rating for the map and was extremely efficient overall. Surprisingly enough, s1mple was near the bottom as he finished with an uncharacteristically low 1.04 rating.
For Mirage, Egor ‘flamie‘ Vasilyev was the star for Natus Vincere with a 1.70 rating.
All in all, Natus Vincere proved at the StarSeries i-League Season 7 that they’re trying to shed the label that they are a one-man team. Even if s1mple ended up taking home the trophy based on his performance throughout the entire tournament, the entire team stepped up when it counted the most to help give s1mple some much needed help.
Hopefully, they can continue displaying this kind of form in future tournaments. If that happens, then Astralis might finally have a real threat to worry about.
What’s Next after the StarSeries i-League Season 7?
Following the wild ride that has been the StarSeries i-League Season 7 in China, CS:GO fans can now turn their attention to a busy slate of top-tier tournaments for April and May, starting with the BLAST Pro Series: Miami on April 12-13.
The American and European LAN Finals of EPL Season 9 are also set to kick off on April 12 and will run through May 23. Meanwhile, IEM Sydney 2019 is scheduled to run from April 30 to May 5, and will also feature top-tier teams such as Team Liquid, Fnatic, FaZe Clan, and MiBR.
What do you think of Natus Vincere’s win at the StarSeries i-League Season 7? Do you think they’ll keep playing as well as a team? Or will it be a mere one-off thing as the team goes back to relying on s1mple to carry them to a win? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.