Due to some shaky performances earlier in the tournament against EnVyUs, we had to take on Fnatic in a B05 match in the last chance tournament for a spot in the PGL LAN at DreamHack Bucharest. The 5 maps ahead were Inferno, Cobblestone, Cache, Mirage and Dust 2 should it be needed.
First up, Inferno, and NiP win the knife round and chose to start on the CT side, the favoured side for the map due to it’s cross fires and bottle necks. One of the things many look for in Ninjas in Pyjamas games is for a fan favourite, GeT_RiGhT, to come big. Right out of the blocks on the pistol round Christopher made his presence known. Pushing up to hay cart to look into Banana, Alesund found himself faced with two Terrorist players, taking both of their heads clean off, the rest were flashed and he pushed round the corner and took down two more! friberg then takes down the last player and cleans up the round.
Using this advantage the boys went on to take the next 2 rounds. However, the fourth round, the first gun round for Fnatic, went to the Terrorists. Due to the improvements to the MP7 bringing SMG kills for NiP early on, we were able to buy up after the gun round loss and bring it down to one on one, however with the bomb planted the round was lost. After a close eco the scores are back level at 3-3 and it is a buy round for the ninjas. After a start of one for one trades, NiP use the map openings to take down the round. To follow were some strong and some close rounds for both teams, but it is NiP who take the half 9-6 on the CT side.
T side pistol is another that goes in favour of the Ninjas, a strong push down banana and B is taken, bomb planted and CT’s eliminated. In comes 4 SMGs and an AK second round, after an early pick onto Allu, the remaining four lads take it aggressive through arch and take the B site and the round. The map is 12-6 before both teams buy full of rifles, and NIP take this round too, the CT’s back onto an eco and the Ninjas 3 rounds away from victory on map 1. After a few bumps in the road causing a bit of a stall on match point, the map is eventually won 16-13 for NiP! A strong result on a map causing us some trouble lately.
Onto cobblestone then with a map advantage. NiP take the knife again (isn’t it nice to be ninjas?) and chose to start CT side once more.
Pistol round this time goes the way of the tec9 wielding Terrorists of Fnatic who turn their advantage into 3 rounds before NiP take the first gun round. However Fnatics tactical edge on this map is enough to leave NiP confused, lost and 9-1 down, before taking a round finally and even then still going to 2-10 straight away. The half finishes out 13-2 in favour of fnatic, on T side. On a map that Fnatic are so strong on this was all but GG going onto the T side, right?
Wrong, NiP never go down without a fight and the first action of the half was to take the pistol round and the resulting 2 anti ecos with mac10 power. Despite dropping the first gun round of the half, NiP had enough to buy again and win the next round… and the next, and then the next and three more making it 11-14! What a start to the second half, but the following round was lost to a force buy from fnatic, putting them onto match point 11-15. NiP with more than enough money to buy, Fnatic on a full buy too, this round was over quickly however and the map was finished out 11-16 in favour of the Katowice champions. A fantastic second half showing from NiP after leaving themselves with too much to do was not enough to get a second map.
This means the match is tied going into the third map which is Cache. This time the knife round was lost and Fnatic chose to start CT side, however this was not a bad situation as when we have played well on this map in the past it has come from a strong T side start and we hoped to do the same again.
A strong push onto the A site in the pistol round leads to a bomb plant, however a solid retake from Fnatic is too much for the ninjas and the advantage goes to the CT’s. The same result goes for the second round, without a bomb plant this time. Due to the bomb plant first round NiP are able to buy third and pose a much greater threat. A threat shut down by JW in A main, and back to the eco it is. 4-0 to the CT side, however on the fifth round NiP can buy again and this time successfully take the A site and win the round with Aks across the board.
It is at 6-1 however that NiP next manage to pick up a round, leaving it late into the round to sneak onto B site 2 on 2 and get the bomb plant, Allu with a double kill to seal the round. The momentum is used well to get the scores back to 6-4 before Fnatic manage to regain control after a good flank by JW.
With the rounds looking good for Fnatic at 8-4, Allu opens up the 13th round with two early kills and the team goes onto capitalise on them only losing two players and getting an important fifth round and pushing Fnatic onto a force buy. Again though Allu with an early opening puts the Ninjas onto a one man advantage which they gladly use to win an important sixth round and the following anti eco, leaving the half at 8-7 in favour of Fnatic. That being said, a good performance for T side as long as the CT rotations are solid.
A nice pistol round gives a great start to our CT side and evens the scores up to 8-8 and GeT_RiGhT helps clean up the anti eco with a triple kill in mid. The next round friberg comes in massive with a quad kill, three of those coming with an MP7 against the Ak47s of Fnatic. The Ninjas are in the lead 8-11 on the CT side before dropping a round to Fnatic, however the next round we bounce straight back again with some strong play from Allu and Xizt mid. 9-12 reads the score board, 4 rounds from regaining the match advantage. An anti eco and then another strong round in mid for Allu shutting down the terrorist buy have the scores at 9-14 and another anti eco leads us to match point. After an uneasy start to the map, NiP close it out 10-16 with Allu being a really important player second half shutting down any aggression mid.
With a 2-1 lead and only one map needed to win, we moved onto Mirage, a map on which we have had mixed success but can definitely bring out some big results on. Another knife round loss puts us on the T side to start.
Pistol round victory once again for NiP with a good A take and quick bomb plant and a knife kill for Allu to finish off the round in Ninja style. Again the momentum and economical advantage is used to win the next 2 rounds, however Fnatic take their first gun round to start what will be a very back and forth, close first half. They take it to 5-3, we take it back to 5-7 they take it even to 7-7 before finally we take the last round of the half and make it 7-8 for the T side.
CT side pistol round won effectively giving a great boost to the start of the second half, taking the next four rounds without upset and being off to a 7-13 start. The terrorists do find themselves a round however and make it to 8, however NiP shut them down and take the map 8-16. Taking the CT half 8-1 with a solid display, not allowing any footholds for Fnatic.
”We beat fnatic in a Best Of 5 to qualify for the PGL LAN finals in Bucharest later on this month. We played good on every map except for cbble (the map we lost) so overall I think we’re all pleased with how the whole series went.” – Adam ’friberg’ Friberg
Over the three maps that we won the boys gave a really strong performance, taking out mistakes that have been costing us lately. One of the biggest improvements outside of positional changes was the number of pistol rounds won, as they are the basis of a strong performance on any map.
This is clearly something the team have been aware of and working on with Xizt, the leader, having this closing statement.
”We felt confident going in to the game against fnatic, the only map that we lost was cobblestone and we haven’t really figured out how to play the map yet, the timing and rotation was really off. It really felt like we had full control on all other maps and today we won alot of pistol rounds which made things easier. GG to fnatic and we are really happy to qualify for Bucharest!” – Richard ’Xizt’ Landström
DreamHack Bucharest runs April 24th – April 26th and along with us, Team EnVyUs and TSM have already booked their spot. Lets take this one down! #GONINJAS
Written by Robert Gooderson