EPL S18 Grand Final: NAVI vs MOUZ Preview and Prediction

Published: Oct 1, 2023

After five weeks of grueling competition and exciting match-ups, two newly assembled international rosters are left to fight it out in the Grand Final of one of the last CS:GO tournaments ever, ESL Pro League S18.

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Natus Vincere vs MOUZ (16:00 CEST, Oct. 1)

No one would have predicted this match-up to be the final of an S-Tier tournament at this stage of both teams’ lifetimes.

NAVI have struggled immensely since their switch to an international lineup, failing to make the playoffs of IEM Cologne 2023, and being dismantled by Vitality at the quarter-final stage at Gamers8 in Riyadh.

Moreover, NAVI‘s star AWPer and undoubtedly the best CS:GO player of all time, s1mple, is not as dominant as he used to be in his previous teams. The Ukrainian has been in a slump for some time now.

ESL Pro League S18 Grand FInal Preview and Prediction NAVI VS MOUZ
Image: ESL via X (@ESLCS)

However, his teammates will be hoping that the team’s first Grand Final appearance since IEM Cologne 2022 will be just the motivation s1mple needs to get back to his best.

MOUZ, while being an extremely young team, possess more experience than one might expect, as the core of the roster in torzsi, xertioN, and siuhy played together for a couple of months on the infamous MOUZ NXT roster that won four WePlay Academy League titles in total.

Coming from MOUZ NXT is also their newest recruit, Jimphhat. The Finn made a big impression in the lower echelons of CS before affording himself the move to MOUZ‘s main roster, replacing JDC. The young rifler has come alive in this tournament, averaging a 1.15 rating so far.

In spite of being only 20 years old, MOUZ‘s most experienced player and the team’s X factor is frozen. Being one of the candidates for the event’s MVP medal, the Slovakian never fails to deliver on the server, even if his team can’t seem to find the answers. His performance in the Grand Final will be detrimental to MOUZ‘s chances of taking home the EPL trophy.

According to the CS:GO odds, NAVI are the narrow favourites to win the match, although they have not been properly tested in this tournament thus far. Their only top 10 victory this event has been against a below-average FaZe Clan team, who have struggled to stay competitive in recent months.

MOUZ on the other hand have blizted through their side of their bracket, taking down a plethora of top teams in the process. They made quick work of Heroic in Group B, before claiming decisive victories against FaZe Clan, G2, and ENCE in the playoffs.

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Header image: ESL via X (@ESLCS)

Bruno Sobieraj

Since: September 16, 2023

My name is Bruno and my love for Counter-Strike was sparked when the Polish Virtus.pro was plowing through opponents from 2014 to 2018. Since then, I’ve been dreaming of working in esports and here I am.

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