ESL Pro League Season 17 Group D: Natus Vincere vs forZe Preview and Predictions

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ESL Pro League Season 17 Group D: Natus Vincere vs forZe Preview and Predictions

Ukrainian side Natus Vincere will be taking on Russian team forZe in Group D of ESL Pro League Season 17

The final group of ESL Pro League Season 17 is upon us, and with it we’ll have four more teams to join the Playoffs. That being said, there’s a long way to go till then, with a week’s worth of CSGO lighting up our screens before that. Group D will start with two matches running simultaneously, and the first of these will be Natus Vincere vs forZe. For any avid CSGO fans who’d like to educate themselves on this matchup, here’s an in-depth preview and our own predictions.

Natus Vincere 

The 2021 Major-winning side hasn’t been in the best of shapes lately, with a string of relatively disappointing results at big events. Try as they might, they can’t seem to complete their lineup in any meaningful way, with a couple of disappointing recruitments and stand-ins all falling short of restoring them to their formidable former full strength. Now the Ukrainians have a decent shot at making the Playoffs of another ESL Pro League, and although they’ll face stiff opposition along the way, forZe shouldn’t be able to trouble them.


Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev

  • HLTV Rating: 1.24
  • Impact Rating: 1.35
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 74.1%
  • Average Damage Round: 85.9
  • Kills Per Round: 0.85

Denis “electroNic” Sharipov

  • HLTV Rating: 1.09
  • Impact Rating: 1.19
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 71.6%
  • Average Damage Round: 82.6
  • Kills Per Round: 0.74

Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy

  • HLTV Rating: 1.03
  • Impact Rating: 0.87
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 73.2%
  • Average Damage Round: 69.9
  • Kills Per Round: 0.62

Valerii “b1t” Vakhovskyi

  • HLTV Rating: 1.11
  • Impact Rating: 1.10
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 72.0%
  • Average Damage Round: 75.5
  • Kills Per Round: 0.70

Andrii “npl” Kukharskyi

  • HLTV Rating: 1.02
  • Impact Rating: 1.00
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 70.5%
  • Average Damage Round: 72.4
  • Kills Per Round: 0.64

Player to Watch

With almost every other Na’ Vi player being in a bit of a lull of form at the moment, our player to watch on the Ukrainian squad will be none other than the GOAT, s1mple. This man needs no introduction, and we believe he’ll speak for himself with his AWP once the match is live.


Having lingered on the periphery of the invisible line that separates Tier 1 teams from their Tier 2 counterparts for quite a while, forZe are a capable side that has had its occasional moment in the sun. Although most of their triumphs have taken place in the realm of B-Tier tournaments, they pulled off arguably their best ever result by winning last year’s Pinnacle Cup Winter Series #2. It’s been a while since then, and their last triumph was a CCT Central Europe Series in October, but forZe are nevertheless a potent side that has it in them to cause an upset. 


Andrey “Jerry” Mekhryakov

  • HLTV Rating: 1.06
  • Impact Rating: 1.05
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 70.9%
  • Average Damage Round: 76.5
  • Kills Per Round: 0.68

Vladislav “Krad” Kravchenko

  • HLTV Rating: 1.06
  • Impact Rating: 1.09
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 68.6%
  • Average Damage Round: 76.4
  • Kills Per Round: 0.69

Aleksandr “zorte” Zagodyrenko

  • HLTV Rating: 1.14
  • Impact Rating: 1.14
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 72.6%
  • Average Damage Round: 73.3
  • Kills Per Round: 0.72

Evgeniy “r3salt” Frolov

  • HLTV Rating: 1.05
  • Impact Rating: 1.07
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 68.8%
  • Average Damage Round: 76.1
  • Kills Per Round: 0.69

Aleksandr “shalfey” Marenov

  • HLTV Rating: 1.12
  • Impact Rating: 1.10
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 71.7%
  • Average Damage Round: 77.8
  • Kills Per Round: 0.71

Player to watch

It’s a hard choice to make between zorte and shalfey, but we’re going to go with the latter because he has had a more active presence in forZe’s games in recent times. 

See our CSGO betting tips 


It’d take a brave man to bet against Na’ Vi in this matchup, and we’re not that courageous. We predict a 2-0 win for the boys in black and yellow.


With their luck on Nuke seemingly having come to an end, we predict that Na’ Vi will pick Overpass, while forZe try to exploit that fallen fortune with a Nuke pick of their own. Both teams are also good on Inferno, so we suspect that it’ll be the map that’s left over. 


Map 1: Na’ Vi to win with forZe <12.

Map 2: Na’ Vi to win with forZe >10.

Top Fragger

Once again, we have s1mple as the top fragger overall, though b1t could also take a piece of that action.

Match Links

You can catch the match on Twitch and YouTube. Coverage begins at 11:00 ET/12:00 CST/13:00 PT.

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ESL Pro League Season 17 Group D: Natus Vincere vs forZe Preview and Predictions
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.