Not the best performance in Katowice. This might become a catalyst for Natus Vincere; the play-off match versus Gambit Esports was a disaster.
Natus Vincere definitely did not expect to finish their run at IEM Katowice in the quarterfinals.
But in their current state, it’s as far as they could go. In fact, what we have seen at Katowice differs from Na`Vi’s performance in the BLAST Global Final 2020 and Spring Groups 2021 so much.
The CIS team started its way in Katowice with wins over Virtus.pro and FURIA, but when Na`Vi met Liquid – they seemed to be not focused enough. Despite the decent individual performance, Na`Vi lost several important rounds. The same happened in the match versus Gambit – Natus Vincere failed to secure a couple of key rounds which led to the terrible loss on Overpass.
Na`Vi's Anchor woes
The main issue behind Na`Vi’s unstable plays is Egor “flamie” Vasilyev. In the defense flamie plays as Anchor, and often it feels that Natus Vincere have a weak defense on the spot, where the flamie is.
Basically, Vasilyev is not flexible enough and he often needs straight in-game guidance. It's easy to see that flamie would perform much better and be more stable playing with a micro-management ingame leader; such as Mathias “MSL” Lauridsen. But in Natus Vincere's current set-up, where the team has a greater freedom and space to improvise, flamie can’t reach his full potential.
That's what led to the changes on Inferno in the late 2020 – Valeriy “B1T” Vakhovskiy replaced flamie. After that,Natus Vincere's playstyle on Inferno changed. The game became more stable and coherent.
It's possible that the next step for Natus Vincere is to replace flamie with B1T – at least on Overpass and Train.
Egor might deserve more chances on maps he feels comfortable and can perform on the high level; Nuke, and, most likely, Dust2.
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Feature Image: ESL