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Year in review: NAVI CS:GO

CS:GO / News / 4 months ago

NAVI's CS:GO team completed their last tournament of 2021 and went on vacation, which will last until mid-January. Now is the perfect time to recap.

The online tournaments resumed

The season began for the Born to Win with a championship title. Our guys became the BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020 champions, despite losing to Team Liquid in the first match of the upper bracket. NAVI made it all the way to the Grand Final, getting revenge on Liquid along the way. In the match for the championship, they beat Astralis 2-0. 

Next up for NAVI was the group stage of the BLAST Premier: Spring 2021. The Born to Win took first place in their group, beating MIBR and FaZe Clan twice.

That was followed by two not-so-great tournaments for NAVI this year: IEM Katowice 2021 (5th-6th place) and ESL Pro League Season 13 (9th-12th place).

In mid-April, NAVI finalized the roster for the first RMR tournament. Egor "flamie" Vasiliev was benched, and Valery "b1t" Vakhovsky became a full member of the main roster.

In order to be better prepared for the RMR tournament, the decision was made to play with a renewed roster at DreamHack Masters Spring 2021. The adaptation of the new player went well. The Born to Win took home its second trophy of the year. 

The first RMR Series championship of 2021 was the EPIC CIS League Spring 2021. NAVI did not perform well in it. In the match for fifth place, the team was defeated by Entropiq. 

BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2021 took place in mid-June. NAVI started the tournament with a three-map victory over FaZe Clan. In the semifinals of the upper bracket, they beat BIG with a score of 2 : 0. In the match for the grand final, Gambit Esports proved to be stronger. The Born to Win got the second chance to reach the final of the championship. Our guys took advantage of it and defeated G2 Esports (2 : 1). But in the match for the title, they couldn't get revenge on Gambit. The result was second place and $ 85,000.

The organizer of the second RMR-tournament was StarLadder. NAVI started with the group stage and ended it with 3 wins and 1 loss. The only time our team lost was to Gambit Esports, this is the reason the Born to Win advanced from second place in the group. On their way to the Grand Final, NAVI defeated Team Spirit twice, 2 : 1, and lost to Gambit Esports. 

In the match for the championship, the guys again expected Gambit. The opponent started the bo5-series with one map advantage, as they advanced from the upper bracket. The second map also went into their basket. That didn't stop NAVI from getting their groove back, taking three maps in a row!

The first LAN tournament in 15 months

The last championship before the summer vacation was IEM Cologne 2021, which was held as a LAN tournament, but without spectators. NAVI was one of the main contenders for the title and left the group in the first place, beating Renegades, Team Vitality, and Astralis. All matches ended with a score of 2 : 1. 

In the semi-finals, they faced FaZe Clan, whom NAVI defeated with 16 : 7 on Inferno and Mirage. In the final of the tournament, the Born to Win defeated G2 Esports with a score of 3 : 0. 

Back to online

While players were on vacation, it became clear that the next few tournaments would take place in an online format. The first tournament after the summer break was the fourteenth season of the ESL Pro League. NAVI came out of the group in the first place, making it straight into the second round of the playoffs. In the quarterfinals the team beat ENCE, giving away only seven rounds on two maps. 

Next, we had two very entertaining matches to watch. In the semifinals, it took NAVI three maps and 89 rounds out of a 90 possible in the main time to defeat Heroic. In the final, the Born to Win awaited Team Vitality. The championship was claimed on the fifth map, with NAVI winning 16 : 14 to earn their fifth title in 2021. 

At the end of ESL Pro League Season 14, NAVI also ended up winning the third Intel Grand Slam!

The next championship was the group stage of the BLAST fall season. NAVI won the group again, defeating OG, Complexity, and FaZe Clan.

The last RMR tournament and the long-awaited Major

The third RMR tournament was IEM Fall CIS 2021. The primary goal for NAVI was to qualify for the playoffs, and the Born to Win did just that. Our boys finished the group stage with 5-0 stats and secured the Legend status at the PGL Major Stockholm 2021. They beat Virtus.pro in the semi-finals and defeated Gambit in the finals. 

Before the first Major tournament in over two years, NAVI had no official matches for three weeks. They spent this time preparing for the PGL Major Stockholm 2021. 

NAVI made it to the playoffs without a single loss, defeating New Legends Stage Heroic and Virtus.pro in bo1 matches and then Ninjas in Pyjamas in bo3 matches. 

In the most important stage of the tournament, the Born to Win had no equal. Team Vitality was defeated in the quarterfinals, Gambit Esports in the semi-finals and our guys triumphed over G2 Esports and claimed the trophy. All matches ended with a score of 2 : 0. Thus, NAVI became the first team to win the Major without losing a single map during the championship. 

Конец года на LAN-турнирах

The last two tournaments of 2021 were held in Copenhagen. First was the finals of the BLAST fall season. NAVI beat BIG and Heroic in the first two rounds. And Team Vitality was bested twice in the upper bracket finals and the grand final. 

The final championship for NAVI in 2021 was BLAST Premier: World Final 2021. The tournament was a repeat of the BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020. NAVI lost to Team Liquid in the first round of the upper bracket. Then our team went all the way to the lower bracket finals, taking revenge on the boys from Liquid. And in the last match of the year, they defeated Gambit Esports.

In summary, we can confidently say that the year was extremely successful for the Born to Win. The team won eight championships, including all the LAN-tournaments they participated in; won the Major-trophy and the Intel Grand Slam; b1t had a smooth transition and has been at the top of the HLTV ranking for 24 weeks. 

Competitive CS:GO will be back soon, but for now, we'd like to wish you a great New Years' Eve and see you in 2022. Stay safe and stay tuned!

Year Recap