ESL Pro League Season 17 NAVI vs. FaZe semi-final prediction

ESL Pro League Season 17 NAVI vs. FaZe semi-final prediction

ESL Pro League Season 17 is gradually coming to its logical conclusion, and the event's semifinals will be held today. In one of them, Natus Vincere will meet with FaZe Clan. Who will advance to the final of the tournament?

Map veto

Speaking of veto maps, NAVI looks vulnerable at first glance. FaZe is a very inconvenient opponent for the Ukrainian team regarding maps. The team has a common permaban - Vertigo, but at the same time, FaZe never bans Vertigo in the first stage, and NAVI always has to do it on its own. All since the European team is confident that if "Born to Win" does not ban the card, then they will lose it. And this is the main problem of Natus Vincere against FaZe, because of which map veto is uncomfortable for the "black and yellow."

Speaking of confidence in other maps, NAVI at ESL Pro League is much better than at previous events. The team showed good Anubis, Mirage, Nuke, and Ancient statistics. In general, Anubis turned out to be a mighty weapon in the hands of NAVI because their rivals did not expect the team to show themselves well at this location and calmly took it with their pick. However, FaZe is unlikely to make such a mistake because they need to be more confident in their Anubis. The team has already lost one map in the Pro League.

FaZe did well against Inferno, Mirage, Nuke, and Ancient. The opponents' best cards literally converge, and if NAVI had the opportunity to ban Inferno in the first stage, it would be a massive advantage for the Ukrainian team.

FaZe will feel a little more confident at the map veto stage, but the team cannot be called a favorite because the strong maps of both teams are very similar, and a lot will depend on the form of the teams.

Statistics of both teams' veto maps 
Statistics of both teams' veto maps 


The form of the teams is the most exciting and mysterious aspect of this confrontation. On the one hand, Natus Vincere looked terrible on the group stage and received a lot of well-deserved criticism for this. At the same time, FaZe showed a confident game at the start of the tournament, losing only to the top final of the group.

However, in the playoffs, the situation turned around. Starting with the Round Of 12 playoffs, NAVI began to show a confident game, while FaZe began to surrender already in the quarterfinals. Natus Vincere accelerated so much that they didn't leave even a chance for Heroic, and FaZe was on the verge of losing to FORZE. And if this trend continues, then NAVI looks like the obvious favorite.

But only some things always happen as it looks on paper. The leaders of FaZe can participate in an important match, and the shooters of Natus Vincere will stop showing the same confident game. However, right now, everything looks like NAVI should beat FaZe and make it to the finals.

Form of both teams
Form of both teams

Leniniw prediction

About FaZe: Yes, FaZe's form is good. Overpass did not please me. For most of its history, this map has been problematic for FaZe on the offensive side. Before the EPL, FaZe announced that they had revised their tactics there, but it essentially remained the same (mass exits to the monster, for example). 
This is a weakness that opponents can exploit. It's a good thing that Overpass doesn't have a lot of people. It's terrible that both NaVi and C9 can do it. About NAVI: The success of 2020-2021 will not be repeated because then there was one team, and now there is another. We need to move on with them. The players themselves do not know the limits of their capabilities. 
You can find this out only on the tournament server. Who will win? I do not know. Who is the favorite? FaZe, obviously. Analyze the last meetings of NaVi and FaZe. You will see: the teams have the same first ban (Vertigo), and FaZe always remove NOT Vettigo, but the second inconvenient map because NaVi should ban Vertigo because nominally FaZe is ready to play it better. 
For example, this trend may change. Or not. In this case, FaZe will take some Inferno, banned Overpass\Anubis, and NaVi will take Ancient\Mirage. Something unexpected may happen. 
As you can see, it is wrong to predict such match-ups. But I bet on the experience of FaZe, the team's teamwork, and motivation will still win the Intel Grand Slam, even though CS:GO is living out its last half-year. This is important for FaZe.
Konstantin Leniniw Syvko

EPL S17 takes place from February 22 to March 26 in Malta. The teams are raffling off a prize pool of $850,000. You can follow the schedule and results of the tournament here.

ESL Pro League Season 17 Playoff Bracket
ESL Pro League Season 17 Playoff Bracket