Na`Vi brush past NRG to win StarLadder i-Series Season 5 in Kiev
On one half of the Grand Final of StarLadder i-League Season 5 was plucky North American team NRG, who reached their first LAN final in their first playoff appearance having started the event with a 0-2 record. The other was home favorites Natus Vincere, who with Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev under their belt were looking frightening, even after a 3-2 group stage record.
The maps the two were set to play were Overpass, Mirage and the potential decider, Nuke.
Overpass began with Na`Vi in control, taking the first seven rounds in a row to take the lead. NRG managed to start a comeback in the remaining rounds of the half, with Ethan "nahtE" Arnold doing his part, managing to see themselves only just behind at 8-7. But the second half was all Na`Vi, with Denis "electronic" Sharipov and s1mple controlling the required bombsites to prevent NRG entry to be able to claim a 16-8 win.
Mirage was next, and s1mple was around to flashily ruin NRG's hopes and dreams. The story was similar to the first map, a close first half, this time at 9-6, followed by a dominant second half performance from their opponents. Egor "flamie" Vasilyev helped lead the line for Na`Vi this time around, eventually numbering 27 kills with a 120.4 ADR. An ace from Tsvetelin "CeRq" Dimitrov helped stave off the inevitable, a fate which was delivered by P250s and a Zeus... from Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko.
|NRG||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Ethan 'Ethan' Arnold||35 - 38||-3||80.0||74.5%||1.05|
|Jacob 'FugLy' Medina||28 - 39||-11||77.7||70.2%||0.89|
|Vincent 'Brehze' Cayonte||28 - 37||-9||69.2||70.2%||0.83|
|Tsvetelin 'CeRq' Dimitrov||25 - 35||-10||55.1||59.6%||0.76|
|Damian 'daps' Steele||24 - 34||-10||65.8||55.3%||0.72|
|Natus Vincere||K - D||+/-||ADR||KAST||Rating 2.0|
|Oleksandr 's1mple' Kostyliev||43 - 32||+11||98.1||85.1%||1.47|
|Egor 'flamie' Vasilyev||42 - 26||+16||93.6||80.9%||1.45|
|Denis 'electroNic' Sharipov||40 - 27||+13||86.6||80.9%||1.44|
|Danylo 'Zeus' Teslenko||30 - 23||+7||64.4||80.9%||1.15|
|Ioann 'Edward' Sukhariev||28 - 33||-5||66.2||61.7%||0.96|
This sees Na`Vi pick up their first trophy since DreamHack Open Winter 2017, having narrowly missed out at DreamHack Masters Marseille and the previous StarLadder i-League season. NRG claimed the second place prize of $50,000 and can hold their heads high, having proved there is more talent on those North American shores.