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With their win over Gambit Esports in the PGL Major semi finals on Saturday, Natus Vincere are going to the grand finals where they will face G2 Esports. One million dollars and the prestige of taking home the most prized trophy in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive await the winner of the first major in more than two years.
The much-anticipated clash between the CIS juggernauts, Na’Vi and Gambit, did not deliver on expectations. The best-of-three semi finals was one of the most one-sided matches in the playoffs thus far. Gambit’s map pick of Overpass went to Na’Vi 16-8. Mirage also went to Na’Vi, this time 16-3. Na’Vi’s top performers were Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailov and, of course, Aleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev. Arguably the best player in the world, s1mple came out hungry. He snagged 50 kills with a staggering 1.87 HLTV 2.0 rating.
“It feels amazing,” Andrii “B1ad3” Horodenskyi, the coach of Na’Vi, said in the post-game interview. “We’re on LAN, we’re winning. We’ve struggled against Gambit in our last matches, but today we’ve shown we’re much better.”
Gambit’s star AWPer, Dmitriy “sh1ro” Sokolov, struggled to get started and could only find 16 frags across both games. His team didn’t perform much better.
Earlier today, G2 took down Heroic in a best of three that went the distance. Eventually G2 came out on top, propelled by an incredible performance from their star Nikola “NiKo” Kovač. Like s1mple, NiKo is chasing his first ever major win. The Bosnian rifler came close when he was on FaZe Clain in the ELEAGUE Major Boston: 2018, but eventually lost to the underdogs Cloud9.
The grand finals of the PGL Major will crown a new winner, with Astralis owning the previous three majors’ trophies. One of either NiKo or s1mple, two of the best players in the game, will win their first ever major. Neither organization — Na’Vi and G2 — has won a CS:GO major before. The finals will be a rematch of IEM Cologne 2021, where Na’Vi beat G2 in convincing fashion, 3-0.
For Na’Vi, the major win would cap off a year of dominance, with the team winning the IEM Grand Slam after taking home the ESL Pro League Season 14 trophy. For G2, this major run has been vindication for a team that has struggled throughout the online era. Although Na’Vi are the heavy favorites, anything is possible.
“We will prepare a good game plan,” B1ad3 said about their upcoming match. “We will do everything we can to win.”
The PGL Major Stockholm 2021 grand finals will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m. E.T.
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.