FACEIT Major 2018 Final Preview: Natus Vincere vs Astralis

September 23, 2018 | 0 | 1764| |

The moment is upon us. The Grand Finals are here of the FACEIT Major are here. We try to get an insight as to how it may pan out between Natus Vincere and Astralis.

Not one onlooker or expert will claim that either of Natus Vincere or Astralis did not deserve to be or were lucky to make it to the Grand Final of the FACEIT Major. Natus Vincere endured just one loss in the actual Major, that too against Astralis.

The two teams have been dominant not just in the Major but also in the events leading up to the FACEIT Major. Coming into the event as #1 and #2 on the HLTV Rankings, the Grand Final is probably one of the first ones where the two top ranked teams have made it.

Journey to the Final


Natus Vincere

Natus Vincere started in the New Legends stage and despite a great showing on Inferno against Astralis, a few individual and judgement errors saw them surrender to Astralis with a 16-14 scoreline. But, the CIS giants did not let the narrow defeat spiral into anything more.

Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev and Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov led the charge as Natus Vincere overcame Faze on overpass before running over the likes of NiP and fnatic to secure their passage into the Playoffs.

The Quarter-Final against BiG saw Natus Vincere post the most one-sided scorelines ever recorded in the history of the Major playoffs. And had it not been for a lapse of concentration at 15-5 on Overpass against mibr, Natus Vincere could have recorded another ‘murder on the server’.

From prodigy to headliner. (Picture Courtesy – HLTV)

The CIS giants have dominated every game apart from the best of one matches against Astralis and Faze in the Group Stage.

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Astralis on the other hand, had to endure a lot more than Natus Vincere, which only makes their appearance in the FACEIT Major Grand Final all the more sweeter. The Danes had to toil hard against Rogue in the Challengers Stage before losing to NiP on Mirage.

Qualifying to the New Legends Stage with a 3-1 record, Astralis proceeded to emulate it in their route to the Playoffs, with Liquid handing them the only defeat. The Swiss stage featured a 16-0 drubbing from Astralis, with mibr being on the receiving end.

Facing Faze is never an easy task. But, to go up against the European stack in the Quarter-Finals itself, Astralis did exquisitely well to win in straight maps. Led by Nicolai ‘device’ Reedtz and Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif on the server, Astralis swept away the danger of Liquid in rather ominous fashion.

The North American organization never stood a chance, with Astralis seem to have out-prepared Liquid, something Andreas ‘Xyp9x’ Hojsleth iterated in the post-match conference as well.

Potential Map Veto

The Map Veto in the FACEIT Major Grand Final could be interesting. Natus Vincere has shown they can play six out of seven maps ably, something which was not established before the Major. Astralis themselves can take it to any map except Cache, which is actually a mutual ban, making things even more enticing.

Natus Vincere though, are aware of the kind of preparation that Astralis do in the lead-up to the match. The Danes can take advantage of the same by banning a Natus Vincere map instead of Cache. Na’Vi will not want to pick Cache either and should ban the map.

The king of map vetos and preparation. (Picture Courtesy – HLTV)

Astralis have shown their prowess on Mirage and could leave it in to confuse Na’Vi. We could see an Overpass ban from the Danes. Astralis will likely take it to Nuke and Natus Vincere will hitherto choose Mirage, with Inferno and Dust 2 both being maps that Astralis are strong on.

In the following stage of the map veto, Astralis should remove Train. But, alternatively, we could see Astralis prepare for Train and instead ban Inferno, a map Natus Vincere came close on against them in the Swiss Stage.

The decider could come down between Train and Dust2 and Na’Vi could surprise us with a Train ban to push it to Dust2. But, Natus Vincere have a good record against Astralis on Train and should ideally ban Dust 2.

The map veto should give us Nuke, Mirage and Train as the maps.

Potential Result (Prediction)

Natus Vincere 2-1 Astralis

Revival. (Picture Courtesy – HLTV)

Both Natus Vincere and Astralis can be competitive on each of the three maps, which means it will likely come down to level of preparation, individual skill and composure. Although, we could see Astralis taking it 2-0 as well, Natus Vincere will hold an advantage on Train if it goes to the third map.

Natus Vincere boast the top three rated players so far at the FACEIT Major and in general, come into the Grand Final as the hotter of the two sides. It has been race between s1mple and electronic for the MVP award and a win over Astralis could make it even more interesting.

s1mple has dreamed of holding the Major trophy for a while now, coming close during his time with Liquid. But, doing it with the team he always aimed to be a part of will be special.

Whatever happens, this could turn out to be one of the iconic Grand Finals in a Major.

The author

Gaming Enthusiast. Budding Esports Content Writer. >2 years experience in the Content Writing industry. Movie and TV Series Buff. Avid reader.

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