The FaceIT London Major is currently underway at the SSE Arena, Wembley. With a sold-out stadium attendance of 12,500, it is quite different experience than the group stages. The first semifinals for the London Major are already out with Mibr facing off against Na’Vi. The two teams stomped their quarterfinal matches with almost no competition until Made in Brazill met complexity on Inferno. However, they were still able to manage a good comeback and win the series 2-0. Let’s take a look at the two teams, their strengths and the possible map vetoes.
Made in Brazil
The Made in Brazil roster is definitely showing a lot of improvement with the addition of YnK. Janko “YNk” Paunović brings a very macro-based strategical approach to the team, something that MiBr severely lacked before. The Made in Brazil roster, however, seems to have picked up the pace just at the right moment.
Often in Counter-Strike, we see the top teams not performing up to their peak levels during the Major. The past two Major winners have been totally unexpected teams in Gambit and Cloud9. The best teams often fail at the Major stage, it can just be the nerves that get to them. The expectations of a top team are always high and that pressure can get to an individual player at times. Na’Vi and MiBr both look extremely strong during this major. Made in Brazil have several big names on their roster. Indeed all five of the players are former CS: GO Major winners. Let’s take some time to talk about the players first.
Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo
Fallen is the central aspect of the MiBr roster. The player has been a big brother figure for the Brazilian community. However, his role on this team is exactly what dictates the pace of the game. The earlier version of Fallen would see him make almost impossible plays pushing through smokes, standing the extra second on the Molotov. This is exactly what YNK has inspired in the player. At the London FaceIT major, it seems there is very less pressure pm Fallen. He is able to put a focus on his own gameplay, make those aggressive pushes through smoke to surprise his opponents.
Fallen’s statistics at the FaceIT London Major are very impressive. With a 1.36 KDA so far, Fallen’s performance has seen a significant upgrade as MiBr goes deeper into the Playoffs.
Stewie2k and Tarik
The two former Cloud9 players are crucial to the success on this roster. Their place on the roster was after the former SK Gaming team felt they needed more firepower. With several key members of the Brazilian squad failing to put forth strong form, it was crucial that the team pick up new players.
Stewie2k is known for his calculated approach and really good first shot. His ability to hold down certain sections of the map and get insanely high calibre entry frags is unmatched. Stewie2k also helps the team with their tactics and their approach on certain maps.
His former Cloud9 teammate, Tarik has been showing great improvement in the last few months. His improvement in performance is especially crucial for the team as they look to face off against much stronger teams such as Na’Vi ( maybe Liquid, Faze or Astralis later). Tarik has a very stable style of play keeping his head on his shoulders. The player has great synergy with Stewie2k and amazing coordination with the rest of the team.
Coldzera – Can he get back to his peak form?
Everyone in the CS: GO community knows what Coldzera can do with his rifle and AWP. However, his form has seen a huge decline in the past several months. It is important for Coldzera to regain his form if MiBr is to have a real shot at winning the Major. Coldzera is the X-factor on the team which can guarantee them a win in the playoffs or eliminate them.
Natus Vincere is one team which has two of the world’s best players on their roster. Just like Made in Brazil, Na’Vi is also showing signs of improvement and at a phenomenal pace. The CIS squad does not rely solely on S1mple, but they definitely make use of S1mple and Electronic’s insane skill level. The core of this roster was formed when they brought Zeus on the roster. Zeus and Kane [ Coach ] has some really good analytical skills and have the basics of the game set. However, the new Na’Vi unlike in the past when Na’Vi would play a very slow and almost methodical game.
S1mple remains the MVP on the team and he is always a threat no matter how much behind Na’Vi is in any particular round. S1mple ability to shoot heads and instantly turn the round in Na’Vi’s favour is not something that can be ignored. S1mple is efficient with the AWP as well as rifle and pistol. While he is the primary AWPer for Na’Vi we often see him getting a lot of kills with the pistols. This is one of the principal reasons why Na’Vi is a team that decides to force buy a lot. Their ability to convert force buys into victorious rounds is very high.
Denis “electronic” Sharipov
Another player who often eclipses S1mple on the scoreboard is Electronic. The young player has been a prodigy in the CIS region and has definitely put up amazing performances. He is mostly an AK player often getting insane headshots. Electronic is the latest addition to Natus Vincere having joined the team in early 2018. His presence on the team along with S1mple makes this team as scary as it is. With Zeus at the helm, Na;’vi already have one of the best In Game Leaders guiding them. However, in instances when the tactics do not help the team, it is the individual skill level of the players which puts them in a very strong position.
Na’Vi has shown glimpses of brilliance, can they keep it up at the Major? Na’Vi won three consecutive rounds a few months ago. While some of these tournaments were mostly against lower-tier teams, the Na’Vi squad definitely looks extremely strong in the Major.
The Semi-Final will see several key contests.
The Semi-finals will see several key matchups on an individual level. Some of these matchups will have game-altering outcomes.
- Kane vs YNK
- S1mple vs Fallen
- Coldzera vs Edward
Coldzera and Edward obviously are the pillars of their respective teams. They have been strong influences on their teams and if they can regain their form it would do wonders for their teams. The outcome of this match will be extremely close and a lot depends on either team’s form on the given day. Edward showed himself capable of getting on top of the scoreboard in their match against BIG. If he can keep up the same performance then he can easily ensure Na’Vi is unbeatable at the Major.
The two coaches, YNK and Kane will attempt to study each others style to perfection. They have a lot of time on their hand with the gap between the Quarterfinal and the semifinal. It is definitely going to ensure that they can understand their opponents’ playstyle. So just keep this in mind, we might actually see the IGLs making sure to surprise their opponents via non-conventional strategies.
S1mple and Fallen have very differing AWP styles. S1mple is known for his aggressive AWP style while Fallen is well-known for his passive AWP style holding down an angle. ofcourse Fallen has shown us a proclivity to push through smokes and flashes to get kills. But when he is on the CT side, he holds down a particular angle and ensures that he gets the advantage for the team.
Na’Vi has the advantage when it comes to the Map pool
Na’Vi has only one permanent ban, that is Cache. Apart from this, we have seen Na’Vi play on almost all the other maps to excellence. MiBr is a team that also has one permanent ban in Nuke. But they have also shown a weakness on Overpass. The core of this roster was once the best team on Overpass, but they have not shown us much lately. It is also a mental block for this team on the map where they don’t believe they have any kind of advantage of late.
Na’Vi will have a big advantage going into the series especially on Map 3. While MiBr can potentially win their map choice, it is Na’Vi that can decide the outcome of this series. You can catch all the action live on Twitch.