FlipSid3 have defeated NiP 2-1 (14-16 on Overpass, 16-2 on Cache, and 16-11 on Mirage) and advance to the quarter-finals of the ESL One Cologne 2016 Major.
The Group B decider match at ESL One Cologne 2016 was the scene for a best-of-three showdown between NiP and FlipSid3, with the former team having lost to Na`Vi in the winners' match and the latter team having defeated OpTiC in the elimination match the day before.
Overpass was the first map (FlipSid3's choice) but it was the Ninjas who got the ball rolling via their T-side on the first pistolround as Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund managed to secure three for his team.
NiP were also successful on the first gunround as they overrode the FlipSid3 defense and clinched out a two-versus-two in an afterplant situation, despite Yegor "markeloff" Markelov killing the two remaining NiP players after the bomb detonated.
FlipSid3 are now Major Legends
Textbook defending from FlipSid3 garnered them their first round on the sixth round of the match but the following round saw Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi pick up three entry kills with the AK47 and NiP moved ahead 6-2. FlipSid3 were determined to not lose control however and a pistol force on the next round went their way as Jan "wayLander" Rahkonen secured three Five Seven kills and Georgi "WorldEdit" Yaskin cleaned up the remaining two players.
NiP nabbed the next two rounds as the Swedish team continued to be unrelenting in their offense and the score moved to 8-2; Finnish-Russian wayLander then had two triple kill rounds in a row that went a long way to helping FlipSid3 secure those rounds, bringing the score to 8-4.
NiP managed to secure two more rounds in the half, as the thirteenth round saw Richard "Xizt" Landström win a triple kill clutch for his team and the fourteenth round featured three entry kills from pyth; FlipSid3 claimed the final round and the half finished 10-5 in NiP's favour.
This marks NiP's first group stage exit from a Major
FlipSid3 won the second pistolround as a B-site take from the team saw Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy delay the planted bomb long enough for it to go off. FlipSid3 then won their anti-eco rounds rather cleanly and even walked over NiP's defenses on the first gunround, eventually equalising the score at 10-10.
NiP began their climb into the lead due to a quad kill hold from GeT_RiGhT that saw the 26-year-old deny a FlipSid3 attack on the A-site. The Swedes climbed to match point with a 15-11 score but FlipSid3 began to make the map close including on the 28th round where markeloff picked up three kills only to be countered by Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg defending with three kills, and with wayLander eventually winning the round for his team.
Despite their robust overall T-side, FlipSid3 suddenly looked lost and hesitant on the 30th round of the map and NiP managed to close out the map with a 16-14 score due to standard defending.
A phenomenal series from wayLander
NiP's map pick of Cache was up next and many no doubt thought that was all she wrote but, starting from the first pistolround where WorldEdit dropped three quick USP kills for his team, it was FlipSid3 who surged ahead to a dominant first half.
Despite winning the sixth round their T-side, NiP had to move over for the superior performances of the likes of FlipSid3's wayLander and WorldEdit as the Ukrainian-Russian-Finnish team clinched a boot stomping 14-1 first half.
NiP managed to win the second pistolround via taking the B-site but a FlipSid3 pistolbuy on the second round of the second half saw them pick off NiP members and win the force. FlipSid3 closed out the map 16-2 and the series moved to Mirage.
WorldEdit was the pointman for FlipSid3 in many situations
FlipSid3 carried over the momentum from the second map on their T-side pistolround as they stormed onto the A-site and markeloff picked up three kills while defending against NiP's retake. After the anti-ecos, NiP managed to nab the first gunround thanks to a double kill peek from Adam "friberg" Friberg on Cat and f0rest picking up two AWP kills.
FlipSid3 were still able to buy on the fifth round and they managed to overwhelm NiP and won the round, this completely broke NiP's economy and the Swedes had to eco twice and thus FlipSid3 advanced to 6-1.
The eighth round marked a turnaround however as a double kill lurk from f0rest shut down an attempt from FlipSid3 to rotate to the B-site and NiP managed to eventually equalise the score. With the score at 7-7, markeloff won a one-versus-two for his team from connector and FlipSid3 led 8-7 at halftime.
A retake from markeloff and WorldEdit gave FlipSid3 the second pistolround and, despite NiP winning the first gunround and the fifth round of the second half, it was Oleksandr "Shara" Hordieyev & co. who kept moving ahead, eventually forcing NiP to call a tactical pause.
After an anti-eco where wayLander picked up four crisp AK headshots for his team, NiP managed to overwhelm FlipSid3 on the A-site in two gunrounds, bringing the score to 14-11 for F3. B1ad3 had his team forcebuy pistols and position in such a way as to counter NiP's A split, and FlipSid3 claimed match point; the final round saw WorldEdit stick a defuse on the A site to close the map out 16-11 and eliminate NiP from the tournament.
K - D
Georgi 'WorldEdit' YaskinWorldEdit
65 - 45
Jan 'wayLander' RahkonenwayLander
68 - 52
Oleksandr 'Shara' HordieyevShara
57 - 47
Yegor 'markeloff' Markelovmarkeloff
56 - 40
Andrey 'B1ad3' GorodenskiyB1ad3
33 - 48
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter