NiP edge out fnatic 2-1
NiP have taken down fnatic in a thrilling three-map series, winning de_cache 16-14, losing de_inferno 14-16 and winning on de_mirage 16-12.
With the first semifinal getting under way at 23:45, map #1 of contention was to be de_cache.
NiP started the map off by securing pistol but were immediately put on guard when fnatic struck back with an eco round win to tie the game at 1-1.
NiP continued to play good defence and bleed dry fnatic's attacks, however on the fourteenth round fnatic switched to slow pick-based play and were able to pick up two rounds to end the half at 9-6 for NiP.
On T side, NiP began with a B site take and Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg delivered with characteristic pistol play and a 3K.
NiP grew their advantage to a scoreline of 12-6, but on the nineteenth round fnatic played a textbook CT round and shut NiP down. NiP quickly equalised with a B take the next round, however fnatic followed up the consecutive round with a win and reset NiP's economy.
The momentum shifted as of that moment and fnatic began to rack up CT rounds. Jesper "JW" Wecksell shone with two fully flashed AWP kills against an NiP eco and Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson shut down an NiP gun round at a 3-on-5 disadvantage to give fnatic the round.
Richard "Xizt" Landström was in fine fragging form on de_cache
With the score at 13-13, NiP won a close eco round, with Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund using smart play at quad box on A site to secure the round. fnatic equalised the next round to bring the score to 14-14.
On the twenty-ninth round, friberg won a one-on-one situation on A to give NiP match point. The final round NiP dismantled a fnatic force buy and walked away with the win on de_cache: 16-14.
The next map was de_inferno and fnatic displayed a hunger to equalise the map score by taking pistol and even the first gunround to bring the score to 4-0.
However, the Swedes of NiP were not to be daunted by their rival Swedes' CT play and they continued to slowly gain T-side rounds over fnatic.
On the eleventh round, fnatic were finally put on a forcebuy and lost, putting the score at 6-5 and forcing an eco for the next round. However, fnatic took advantage of a sloppy NiP set-up to win the eco and bring their advantage forward to 7-5.
On the thirteenth round, f0rest opened up A site seemingly by himself with two important entry frags, giving NiP the round.
The see-saw nature of the second map continued into the next round as fnatic won a CT round with patient play while also shutting down NiP's attempts to peek on banana.
Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg displayed strong rifling on de_inferno
NiP opted for an aggressive A take on the final round and garnered another round, leaving the score at the half as 8-7 in fnatic's favour.
With the score equalised, fnatic performed as expected of what many consider to be the world's best team and won an eco to force NiP off of their momentum.
Going tit for tat, NiP were catapulted via f0rest's stellar eco play to win the next round and once again frustrate fnatic. After losing the subsequent eco, fnatic stormed A site and took a gunround for themselves to bring the score to 10-10.
The stalemate was broken and fnatic secured another three rounds in a row to bring the score to 13-10.
fnatic prevailed on de_inferno in another close contest
fnatic pushed the score until match point, however on the twenth-eighth round friberg shut down a banana take to give NiP a fresh chance to go for overtime. On the twenty-ninth round, f0rest and friberg were able to retake A site together with perfect teamwork, bringing the score to 15-14.
Even with fnatic put on a forcebuy, they were able to flood onto B site and bring down NiP's defences, giving them the win on de_inferno at 16-14.
de_mirage became the third map and final battleground for the two Swedish teams.
NiP took no chances against fnatic's strong CT play and made sure to win their pistol round on T side. However, after securing the two eco rounds, NiP began to hemorrhage their chances away and by the twelfth round fnatic were up 7-4 on CT.
The next round, Xizt almost won a one-on-one on B site, however Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer prevailed and gave fnatic more momentum. However, NiP were able to secure two more rounds and end the half at 9-6 for fnatic.
On the final pistol round of the series, fnatic pressed their advantage and took the pistol round with a textbook A take.
Next round, NiP's newest member Maikelele stunned with a clutch one-on-two with the Scout.
Mikail "Maikelele" Bill stepped up on de_mirage
fnatic were not to be daunted and went with the time-tested B halls eco rush and overwhelmed NiP to bring the score to 11-7. NiP brought the riposte to their rivals and themselves won an eco, as well as the next round.
This change of momentum kept up until the score equalised at 11-11. Xizt & co. displayed strong CT play and teamwork, especially the twenty-three year old leader himself.
NiP took match point and fnatic were forced to buy in order to stay in the game. In the spirit of the eco-round nature of the third map, fnatic somehow pulled away with the round in their hands. In the twenty-eigth round however, NiP managed to stop fnatic on an A site take and win the series.
K - D
Christopher 'GeT_RiGhT' AlesundGeT_RiGhT
64 - 58
Richard 'Xizt' LandströmXizt
59 - 60
Adam 'friberg' Fribergfriberg
55 - 56
Patrik 'f0rest' Lindbergf0rest
59 - 63
Mikail 'Maikelele' BillMaikelele
48 - 52
Up next is the second semifinal with the Danes of dignitas facing off against LDLC.