IEM Katowice 2022: S1mple Optimistic of NAVI Bringing Its "A Game or S Game"
After a mediocre start to the season, NAVI is ready to fight hard.
Natus Vincere's (NAVI) star player, Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, is ready to bring the house down at the ongoing IEM Katowice 2022. After a rough start to the competitive season, both s1mple and NAVI are raring to get back on the stage and show their dominance once again.
The Ukrainian organization did not fare so well at the BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2022 and it barely managed to make its way through to the Spring Finals. Since then the team has hunkered down and s1mple is hopeful about putting on a better show.
"Our preparation for IEM Katowice was much, much better than at the start of the year. Hopefully, we are going to show our A game or S game," expressed s1mple during a press conference at IEM Katowice 2022.
S1mple is optimistic about putting on a good show with NAVI at IEM Katowice 2022
NAVI had the best year ever for a CS:GO team in 2021, going undefeated on LAN and winning every big tournament - BLAST Premier: Global Final 2020, IEM Cologne 2021, PGL Major Stockholm 2021, Intel Grand Slam Season 3, BLAST Premier: World Final 2021, and many other titles.
So the expectations from the team were pretty high going into the 2022 season, as many anticipated them to crush most of the new overhauled lineups that were still settling down following the shuffle. However, NAVI was not able to deliver, facing shocking defeats from unexpected teams like MIBR and Astralis.
True to its nature, NAVI fought back in the Play-In Stage to win both its do-or-die matches against Liquid and Ninjas in Pyjamas and qualified for the BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2022.
Talking about this stormy journey in their opening tournament, s1mple explained that,
It was the first time we had such a long break, and it’s hard to get back (in form) to (where we were) when we were winning and crushing everyone. Of course, we need some time. And it was online. Our team performs better on LAN from game to game, and I think we are reaching better levels of performance.Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev - IEM Katowice 2022 Press Conference
The last statement by s1mple is indeed true, as NAVI does in fact perform better on LAN, at least this was the case last year. With IEM Katowice also taking place in an offline environment, the team will be eyeing to at least make it into the Playoffs which is set to take place at the Spodek Arena along with a live audience.
S1mple is hoping for the whole squad to return to full force, "We improve during LAN games. In the group stage, we’re going to play like this, and in the quarter-finals, we’re going to play much better. If we get there, of course".
All eyes will be on NAVI as they kick off their IEM Katowice 2022 campaign tomorrow on 18th February against ENCE. Other teams that are a part of this group are Astralis, FURIA, Liquid, FaZe, Fnatic, and G2 Esports.
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