NiP over OpTic to Group B final
NiP are the second team to reach the finals of ELEAGUE Group B after bringing down OpTic 2-1 (3-16 on Cobblestone, 16-2 on Overpass, and 16-14 on Train).
The second semifinal of day three of ELEAGUE's Group B saw Swedish team Ninjas in Pyjamas, ranked fourth in the world, taking on Canadian-American-Spanish team OpTic, who are currently ranked fifteenth.
With NiP having comfortably dispatched OpTic in two maps during the group seeding stage, the best-of-three series kicked off on NiP's map pick of Cobblestone. OpTic star Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas helped his team win their T-side pistolround with a double kill and the North American team powered ahead to an early 3-0 lead.
Following NiP shutting down a sloppy B-take by OpTic and thus winning the first gunround, OpTic yet again bought thanks to their economic management and saving of SMG's in the previous round and split open the B-site to give themselves a 4-1 lead and reset NiP's economy.
f0rest and NiP struggled against OpTic on Cobblestone and Train
OpTic continued to exploit the drop-connector area and moved forward, although NiP did pick up one round where Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz almost won a one-versus-three but fell to Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi when he ran out of bullets.
William "RUSH" Wierzba and his teammates continued to punish NiP and moved ahead to a 10-2 score, and even forced NiP to use their tactical pause early, the thirteenth round saw Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg finally put some kills on the board (as he was 0-10) by winning a one-versus-two on the B site. But NiP's efforts were to no avail on the first half as OpTic finished up 12-3.
RUSH got three CZ-75 kills for his team on the second pistolround and thus gave OpTic a nearly insurmountable lead on the map which the team made good on by closing the remaining rounds and winning 16-3 on Cobblestone.
NAF-FLY and OpTic nearly claimed Train
Overpass was the second map and team captain Richard "Xizt" Landström seemed determined to give OpTic a taste of their own medicine as the Swedes took the pistolround and stormed ahead to a commanding lead on their T-side in the first half, with f0rest in particular making up for his abysmal Cobblestone performance. NiP finished the half up 13-2.
With OpTic seemingly resigned to their fate on the map, NiP won a two-versus-one on the second pistolround on the B-site (with pyth sticking the defuse) and picked up the following rounds to close the map 16-2.
Train was the decider map (a map widely considered to be OpTic's best map in the pool) and following a pistolround win for NiP on their T-side, Keith "NAF" Markovic & co. struck back with forced-up pistols and equalised the score. The early game generally saw OpTic playing a better defense than NiP's offense, and the half finished 9-6 in favour of the North American team.
Things really began to look as if NiP were going to lose their favoured slot, and the game took on a tone of one of those classic battles, with rounds going tit-for-tat. With OpTic having the monetary lead and an advantage at 14-13 however, NiP force bought and somehow made things work and eventually claimed the final three rounds to take Train 16-14.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
K - D
57 - 41
47 - 44
49 - 48
38 - 52
41 - 47
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter