This clash pitted Vitality’s Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut against Na’Vi’s Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, the top two players of 2019.
The map veto saw Train and Vertigo taken off the table initially, with Inferno picked by Vitality and DustII by Na’Vi. After Mirage and Overpass were removed next, Nuke was left as the decider map. Team Vitality went on to secure Inferno 16-12 before claiming the series on Na’Vi’s map pick of DustII, not needing the third map to ensure victory.
In-game leader Alex "ALEX" McMeekin spoke following the opening match against Natus Vincere and gave his thoughts about the upcoming semifinal.
Vitality missed BLAST Pro Series Moscow last year so this is your first BLAST event, how is it?
It’s been good so far. Everything’s really nice and the setup’s great, so far so good.
Were you expecting the same veto as from EPICENTER 2019?
Yeah, we knew what maps it was going to be. We were pretty confident they would pick DustII and we obviously knew that we were going to pick Inferno. I think we beat them on Nuke last time so we felt like they would want to come play us again on it after watching over demos.
Did you have time to go over the Na’Vi demos from the best-of-five grand final vs. mousesports at the ICE Challenge yesterday?
If there’s data available, we will go through it and find out if they’ve changed anything or not. That [final] obviously helped for this game because they didn’t have time to change between yesterday and today.
Astralis are playing Complexity and the odds are that it will be the Danes you face in the semifinal. Are you feeling confident going into the next match?
We played them once in Cologne in the semifinal and beat them, then they beat us in a different match. We tried a few things out in that game with map picks and stuff so we will have to see how it goes.
It’s always fun to play against them and everyone’s always pumped to face them as they’re still number one.
Team Vitality will face the winner of Astralis vs. Complexity on 7th February, with the spot in the Spring Finals on the line. Natus Vincere will be fighting to stay out of the Showdown in the elimination match earlier that day.
All of the CS:GO action from London can be found on the BLAST Premier Twitch channel.