Despite losing the first two maps, NiP managed to hold off Na`Vi and win the SLTV StarSeries VI with a 3-2 score (12-16 on de_dust2_se, 9-16 on de_train_se, 16-8 on de_inferno_se & 16-2 on de_nuke_se) for $6,000.
With SLTV StarSeries VI coming to a close, it was all down to the last two teams – Ninjas in Pyjamas and Natus Vincere in a best-of-five grand final where the Swedes held an automatic 1-0 advantage due to winning the upper bracket.
The first map was Na`Vi's selection de_dust2_se, on which they started as the CTs. However, as usual at this event where Ts won 5 out of 6 pistols on dust2, NiP rushed together and secured the early 3-0 lead.
Sergey "starix" Ischuk scored 3 kills in the B bombsite during the first buy round and his in-game leader Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko won a 1-on-1 in the next round to make it 3-2.
The teams started exchanging rounds back and forth, until NiP finally pulled away to 6-4 and forced the Ukrainians to have an eco. However, a saved AWP by Yegor "markeloff" Markelov opened up their eco round and propelled Na`Vi to win it, making the score 6-5.
Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund replied right away with the lone AK47 and his 3 kills, helping NiP pull away again with 7-5, after which Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg clutched a 1-on-2 in the A bombsite to make the score 8-5.
The last couple of rounds were exchanged for 9-6, while Alesund sat on a 19:9 score. Following the side swapping, Na`Vi desperately needed the pistol round win and they applied similar tactics as NiP by rushing out mid and splitting their opponents' defense, eventually leading to a 9-9 tie.
Neither team allowed the other to pull away as the score was even at 10-10 and 11-11 before Ioann "Edward" Sukhariev used an AWP he picked up from his fallen teammate Markelov to score 3 kills and force NiP to eco for 13-11.
The Swedes seemed to be getting back again by taking the 25th round, but Na`Vi's 3-on-4 win afterwards put NiP in a bad economic position and sealed the map with a 16-12 score.
Moving onto de_train_se the Ukrainians carried the momentum over to their T side and Ischuk outaimed Alesund in a 1-on-1 that could have went either way to give Na`Vi the better start.
First buy round saw Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson pick up 3 kills with an AWP, which kickstarted NiP's five round winning streak, including a quite fortunate win in the key round no.5 when Markelov failed to plant the C4 in time.
Teslenko brought the momentum back with his excellent 4-kill outside, and two rounds later Markelov and Sukhariev won a 2-on-2 to establish money control for the Ukrainians. They went on to win the half with a 9-6 lead, which turned into 10-6 despite double entry by Adam "friberg" Friberg in the second pistol round.
NiP bought in the 3rd round, but only managed to get back on the scoreboard in the one after that thanks to Lindberg's 3 kills in a close-round situation.
With the score standing at 12-7, Na`Vi went on a double eco to secure full equipment for themselves, and it made all the difference as they went on to win out the remaining rounds with more than solid defensive setups – 16-9.
Now facing defeat by being down 1-2 in maps, NiP shifted into the next gear and started with an aggressive push on the CT side of de_inferno_se to go up 3-0 after Friberg's 1vs1 against an early buy.
Na`Vi got on the board in round 5, but paid a high price in the next one when they failed to convert a 5-on-2 situation courtesy of Lindberg's 3 fast kills in A.
The still somehow managed to reduce the deficit to 5-3, and then Markelov had two 1-on-3s in the B bombsite in a row, losing the first and winning the second to force NiP to eco at 6-4.
However, the Swedes then adjusted their B bombsite defense and went on to shut down the remaining attacks for a 10-5 lead at the half. An aggressive apartments setup gave Na`Vi some hope as they brought it back to 10-7 after than pistol, but NiP won the eco round and the first buy after another great round by Lindberg for 12-7.
f0rest after one of his amazing rounds on de_mirage_ce against Virtus
f0rest had a number of key rounds in this match
Nail in the coffin was put by Alesund who played his 1-on-2 perfectly, which put NiP on match point at 15-7, and two rounds later saw them walk away with a 16-8 win.
Knowing that map four will be de_nuke_se, the match was practically settled at that point seeing as Na`Vi don't play or practice that map at all, and despite a promising start after Sukhariev's 1-on-3 in the T-side pistol round, the Ukrainians lost the anti-eco right after which paved way for NiP's easy victory.
Markelov's AWP finally helped his team win round 10 for a 2-8 deficit, but Friberg and Alesund clutched two 1-on-1s in a row to get things back on track and win the half 13-2 (Alesund 24:6). No surprises took place after sides were changed, and the Swedes went on to win the map 16-2, and thus clinch another title.
K - D
Christopher 'GeT_RiGhT' AlesundGeT_RiGhT
95 - 58
Patrik 'f0rest' Lindbergf0rest
76 - 57
Adam 'friberg' Fribergfriberg
64 - 63
Richard 'Xizt' LandströmXizt
55 - 64
Robin 'Fifflaren' JohanssonFifflaren
50 - 57
SLTV StarSeries VI final standings
1. NiP - $6,000
2. Natus Vincere - $3,000
3. Virtus.pro - $2,500
4. ESC Gaming - $2,000
Ninjas in Pyjamas have won $6,000 for their efforts in this 2-month long season, while Natus Vincere earned $3,000 and their first notable placement at international tournaments.
Next up for Na`Vi should be the event in Prague on the following weekend, while NiP are looking to take a break until the ESEA Season 14 Global Finals in August.