Virtus.pro have knocked out NiP from ESEA Season 16 Global Finals in the lower bracket semi-final (16-14 on de_inferno, 12-16 on de_train, 16-8 on de_cache).
The repeat of EMS One Katowice and Copenhagen Games grand final took place during day two at ESEA Invite Season 16 Global Finals, although at a much earlier stage than anticipated. Both teams were knocked down to the lower bracket by North American sides, so they had to battle in the lower bracket semi-final to decide who will stay in the tournament.
Starting as T on de_inferno, NiP's Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund secured an early lead for his team with a 1-on-2 clutch in the pistol round.
But despite going up 5-0 after winning the first buy, the Swedes found it hard to string any more rounds together as Jarosław "pasha" Jarząbkowski took matters into his own hands with several multi-kill rounds. The Poles won six in a row before NiP got back on the board, but with Jarząbkowski on 20:10 at the half it was hard for them to do any better, making it a very good ending for Virtus with a 9-6 advantage despite the slow start.
great first half by pasha brings Virtus.pro back
The two youngest players on the server, Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski and Paweł "byali" Bieliński, then clinched a 2-on-3 situation in the second pistol round, but a perfect trap by NiP annulled it right after for 10-7, with Alesund scoring three pistol kills.
The key buy round went in favor of Bieliński who denied Alesund's clutch attempt, leaving Virtus.pro with a comfortable advantage 11-8.
They doubled the lead at 14-8 after a few good B attacks, but Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson's 3 famas kills and Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg's instant defuse in a 1-on-1 against Filip "Neo" Kubski reinstated hope for their team.
Another successful B attack put Virtus up 15-9, but then NiP had a five-round run to make it 15-14 and hold on to hope for this map. However, the Poles once again went for their go-to tactic, a slow B execution, and the Alesund-Friberg duo was once again unable to hold on, so the first map went to Kubski & co. 16-14.
Moving on to de_train, Virtus.pro started by trailing on the T side 0-2, but they quickly turned it around to 4-2 after a few good attacks.
But then a 4-kill round by Lindberg got NiP back into the game and the two teams started exchanging rounds, with neither getting more than one point advantage until the end of the half.
At 7-6 for Virtus.pro Alesund stepped up and scored two 4-kill rounds in a row, the second one in a 2-on-4 situation to give NiP the minimal 8-7 lead, finishing the half with 16 kills and 5 assists.
GeT_RiGhT carried NiP to a de_train comeback
But despite the momentum from those couple of rounds, NiP drew closer to their tournament exit as Virtus won the first four rounds of the second half, taking an 11-8 lead after a 1-on-2 clutch by Jarząbkowski.
However, that was a wakeup call for the Ninjas who went on to win 8 of the following 9 rounds on the harder side, taking the map 16-12 and evening the overall score at 1-1. Alesund was naturally the star of the comeback, ending up with 33 kills, 7 assists and only 15 deaths, including another 1-on-2 clutch for matchpoint.
It all came down to de_cache, which Virtus.pro started on the T side and went up 3-0. NiP retaliated back to 3-3, but then the Poles took control and won the next five.
The key moment in the map, and as it would turn out the match, happened at 8-4 when Jarząbkowski won an unlikely 1-on-3 clutch and broke NiP's economy right after the Swedes had won a round.
The half ended 11-4, and even though Lindberg's triple in the pistol kept the hopes up, Virtus.pro came out victorious 16-8 after some server and internet issues that prevented the stream and GOTV from broadcasting the ending of the match.
K - D
Janusz 'Snax' PogorzelskiSnax
65 - 51
Jarosław 'pashaBiceps' JarząbkowskipashaBiceps
74 - 63
Filip 'NEO' KubskiNEO
51 - 53
Paweł 'byali' Bielińskibyali
54 - 54
Wiktor 'TaZ' WojtasTaZ
46 - 55
Virtus.pro will move on to the lower bracket final scheduled for 16:00 where they will meet Natus Vincere who earlier made it through NetcodeGuids (16-7 on de_season, 16-12 on de_dust2). NiP have finished the tournament in 5th-6th place with $3,500.