The Grand Final lived up to its name Sunday, as Natus Vincere edged Team Vitality 16-14 in the decisive game of a 3-2 match victory to claim the championship in the ESL Pro League Season 14 Grand Final.
Fans were treated to a marathon affair in which both teams traded wins throughout. NAVI opened play with a 16-10 victory on Dust II. Vitality rebounded to win 16-6 on Inferno, before NAVI won again, this time 16-11 on Nuke.
Facing elimination, Vitality dug out a 16-7 victory on Overpass. In the final, deciding game on Mirage, NAVI earned a 16-14 win to grab the championship and the $175,000 first-place purse.
On the deciding map, the standouts for NAVI were Denis “electronic” Sharipov of Russia with a 27-17 kills-to-deaths ratio (plus-10) and Aleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev of Ukraine, who notched a 24-16 kills-to-deaths ratio (plus-8).
s1mple wrapped up the victory with the final two AK kills.
The difference for Natus Vincere over the course of the five-game series was having no weak links. s1mple led the scoring effort for the winning team with a 91-80 kills-to-deaths ratio, but no team member finished worse than minus-12 in K-D differential.
Meanwhile, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut led all players with a plus-24 for the all-French Vitality side, but two teammates were victimized for more than 90 deaths apiece.
ESL Pro League Season 14 standings, prize pool:
- Natus Vincere — $195,000
- Team Vitality — $80,000
3-4. OG, Heroic — $55,000
5-8. Gambit Esports, Team Liquid — $33,750; Ninjas in Pyjamas, ENCE — $28,750
9-12. forZe — $30,000; Fnatic, mousesports, Complexity Gaming — $25,000
13-16. FaZe Clan — $22,000; Astralis, Virtus.pro, Entropiq — $17,000
17-20. BIG, FURIA Esports — $15,000; Team Spirit, Sinners Esports — $10,000
21-24. Bad News Bears, G2 Esports, Evil Geniuses, Team One — $3,000
Note: Teams earned $5,000 bonuses for every group-stage win.
–Field Level Media
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