f0rest: "It's not going to scare Astralis or Liquid, but the win makes us more comfortable on Vertigo"
NiP's choice of Vertigo came out as a surprise from their veto against FaZe, who opted not to ban the map in the first rotation despite having little experience on it, with the Swedes taking advantage of that after having tested the waters on it during ESL Pro League against Heroic.
"It's a map that we wanted to play and incorporate into our map pool," f0rest told us after NiP won the series in Bahrain. "We tried it out against Heroic in ESL Pro League. We hadn't had a lot of practice on Vertigo, but we kept on grinding on it and now I think it accumulated to a point where we thought 'okay, sh*t, it's available, let's go for it.'"
Although the map got very close in the last stretch, it was apparent that FaZe hadn't been very well-versed on the map, getting caught off-guard by NiP's map control. "FaZe showed resilience towards the end and we just stuck with what was working, playing aggressively both as T and CT, gain as much map control as possible, and, eventually, we could grind it out."
Although f0rest believes getting their first win on Vertigo gives NiP options in the future, they are still unclear on where they stand on it. "All we had to go off was our own style of play on Vertigo. It's so hard, we don't really know what to expect from Vertigo as a map. It feels like all the teams play it differently, at least from practice, everyone approaches the map in a different way. It's hard to say where we're standing on Vertigo as a team and it's hard to say where FaZe is standing."
With that in mind, the 31-year-old doesn't see it likely that it will scare off Astralis or Liquid in the upper bracket final of BLAST Pro Series Global Final. "I'm not going to say it's going to scare either Liquid or Astralis, I don't think it's going to faze them at all, honestly. At least it opened up something for us now, having a win on Vertigo. It makes us more comfortable on the map, as well."