The NAVI and G2 CS:GO Major Dream Capitulates in the Paris Major Legends Stage
With G2 and NAVI capitulating, we’ve lost two of the biggest names in CS:GO at the Paris Major Legends Stage. Dreams have crashed and burned in some of the most intense Counter-Strike matches ever played.
NiKo and G2 CS:GO Major Hopes Dead
It was arguably the biggest storyline before the BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023. NiKo, the best player to never win a CS:GO Major, had just one last opportunity. With his G2 CS:GO IEM Katowice 2023 winners, it looked as though NiKo finally had the team behind him to get it over the line.
Twice he had fallen short at the final hurdle, at PGL Major Stockholm 2021 and ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018. This time around, the Legends Stage was where his journey ended.
The foundations of the G2 CS:GO team failure was cemented on Day 1 of the Paris Major Legends Stage. A tough opener against Vitality was an understandable loss, but defeat to Bad News Eagles was unacceptable.
From that point, it was an uphill battle to success. This was a G2 CS:GO roster we had top of our BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023 power rankings, and here they were, one match away from catastrophe.
Much better – G2 CS:GO last chance
Day 2 was a much stronger performance from G2 with a clean win over FURIA. It was a step in the right direction, and offered hope that they weren’t dead yet. Even better, a favorable draw against fnatic in the 1:2 bracket had many believing 2:2 was guaranteed.
Judging by the G2 CS:GO team’s performances, that same complacency existed among themselves. It’s true – on paper, G2’s Paris Major shouldn’t ever end against this fnatic team. Unfortunately for G2, CS:GO isn’t played on paper. It’s played on the server, where fnatic had all the answers. Led by mezii, they methodically picked G2 apart, sending them all the way to de_airport.
The look of deflation instantly hit NiKo at the Paris Major. Becoming a CS:GO Major winner was supposed to be his destiny. Fate had other ideas. The post-match interviews were a tough watch. Immediately diving on match losers for an interview before they’ve had any time to digest the defeat isn’t necessarily fair, but that’s a debate for another time.
NiKo and his G2 CS:GO team will be back. With CS2 around the corner, he has the opportunity to write a new chapter. At just 26 years old, time is certainly on his side to build a fresh legacy in the new game. After all, karrigan didn’t get his CS:GO Major until 32 years old.
A legendary rivalry came to a head in the BLAST.tv Paris Major Legends Stage, as NAVI and FaZe took it to three maps for a spot in the Champions Stage. Only one could emerge victorious, with NAVI proving to be the better team on the day.
NAVI’s story is slightly different to G2’s, in that they took a map on the first day. They even ended up 2:1 up after beating NIP on day two. You’d say they even looked comfortable.
In the 2:1 game, only Monte stood in their way. Another Ukrainian team, but the respect does not run deep here. Pre-game, the narrative was centred around the rivalry between s1mple and Woro2k, the AWPers of both teams. This was not a friendly reunion for the pair.
Regardless of form, anyone would have NAVI down as favorites here. The game itself was a Monte clinic, led by sdy showing exactly why NAVI were wrong to let him go. They’d have to do it the hard way.
The draw couldn’t have been more perfect. Two of the biggest rivals, FaZe and NAVI, facing off for a Champions Stage spot in the final CS:GO Major. It was a tough draw, no doubt, but the teams only had themselves to blame for getting themself into that situation.
The teams traded blows, taking a map each. It all came down to Anubis. Truthfully, it was a disgraceful end to the Major for the NAVI CS:GO team. They were 15:9 up on the final map, needing just a single round to see out the series. FaZe won every single round in regulation, before winning it in double-overtime. Call it an all-time great comeback from FaZe, but this was a generational choke from NAVI.
Is time up for Vitality?
With many favorites now out of the Major, Heroic and Vitality must feel this is finally their moment to lift a CS:GO Major. If they don’t do it now, they never will.