After a stunning best of five final, Natus Vincere are your 2021 crown takers of IEM Cologne, 2021. The first LAN event since the start of the pandemic managed to hit the right notes with fans and teams alike, with match after match of exciting close match-ups that were edge of the seat maps through and through.
Kicking off the playoff weekend we had amazing showdowns between Astralis & Virtus.pro, and Gambit & FaZe. Where Astralis toppled Virtus.pro, and against all odds to the shock of fans worldwide FaZe managed to down the current world #1 team Gambit in a convincing manner. On Saturday the semi-finals were between G2 & Astralis, with FaZe vs Natus Vincere later in the evening. G2 ousted Astralis from the tournament 2-1, and NAVI walked all over FaZe in 2-0 fashion. These matches set up the grand final between G2 & Natus Vincere.
Starting the Grand Final on Dust2, as picked by Natus, there was nothing to separate the two teams up the halfway point at 7:8, however Natus shined far greater than G2 could muster after the team swap, ending the first map 11:16 to NAVI. Mirage was next and was an even closer match between the two teams. The CIS team started with an identical scoreline to the previous of 7:8 to them, although this time G2 were more charged and were able to put up more of a challenge, however, crashed at the last minute with a 14:16 to NAVI. Now 2-0 in the match, the European side were getting desperate as we headed for Nuke. Flipping the script early, G2 entered the second half slightly up at 8:7, one of the few times they were ever in the lead in a map throughout the finals. Natus however found their stride in S1mple & B1T, and both won clutches and pulled off amazing shots to repel the European rebellion to end the map 13:16 and secure yet another CIS trophy.
Natus Vincere take home the trophy, $400,000 and a whole heap of bragging rights, as the team lifted a trophy exactly 503 days since the last time they did so in person through LAN, at IEM Katowice 2020