Na’vi take home their first major title since early 2019 at IEM Katowice

S1mple raises the IEM Katowice trophy at the Spodek Arena. 
Photo via ESL.


It’s been a long road for Oleksandr “S1mple” Kostyliev and crew, with a tournament draught since early 2019. But after two completely dominant performances against Astralis and G2 Esports, the Ukrainian player was able to hoist the IEM World Championship trophy to a lifeless, yet somehow still electric Spodek Arena.


After completely demolishing Astralis, the once best team in the world, in two straight 16-5 rounds, they came into the finals roaring against G2 Esports. In both of these matchups, it seemed like their opponents never really got the chance to play their game.


The closest map of the day was a 16-14 Dust2 where some heroics from Nemanja “HuNter-” Kovač nearly saved G2 from an embarrassing 3-0 defeat, but S1mple, supported by new Na’vi recruit Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy and excellent play from Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov, managed to shut down the rally and send the series back to Mirage.

It was on that map that S1mple and Ilya “Perfecto” Zalutskiy came to life, with both players only having one death between them, and Perfecto achieving a rare deathless half. S1mple's performance granted him the MVP of the finals, but it was surely a close race with Perfecto. 


Thanks to that performance, Na’vi have taken home their first title since winning StarSeries i-League Season 7 all the way back in April of last year. They had some great momentum coming into the event from the BLAST Premier regular season, where they finished 1-3rd in their group.


This was the first real test of Perfecto on Na’vi’s roster in a LAN final, who joined on January 24 replacing Ladislav “Guardian” Kovacs. He also performed well at the BLAST Premier groups, leading many to watch his performance here with great interest. He will continue to be one to watch as we head into the Major season.


The full breakdown of placements at IEM Katowice can be found below:


1. Natus Vincere - $250,000
2. G2 - $100,000
3-4. Astralis - $40,000
3-4. fnatic - $40,000
5-6. Liquid - $15,000
5-6. 100 Thieves - $15,000
7-8. FaZe - $7,000

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