Vitality eliminate NiP from BLAST Premier Spring Finals
NIP and Vitality are no strangers, having played seven series and one best-of-one in 2020. Their last two series, played in BLAST Premier Showdown and DreamHack Spring Masters, went to three maps, with each team taking a victory. This time they faced off for survival in the BLAST Premier Spring Finals, and it was the French team that came out on top in only two maps to proceed through the tournament's lower bracket where they will play Natus Vincere next.
Two opening frags by Dan "apEX" Madesclaire in the pistol round on the defending side of Mirage eased Vitality into an early lead. The Frenchmen widened the gap early, taking a 6-0 lead before NIP could tally a couple rounds of their own, although the ninjas brought it back to 5-7 before doubles by Cédric "RpK" Guipouy and Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut swung momentum in the favor of Vitality, who closed the half with a 10-5 lead.
Vitality took a lot of uncontested map control in the second pistol round, outplaying the defenders to win the second pistol round on their rivals’ map pick. After losing the focebuy, NIP won their full eco as Nicolas "Plopski" Gonzalez Zamora converted a USP kill on apEX into a quad-kill to make it 6-12. NIP were able to get three more rounds, but fell short of double digits as Vitality closed out the map 16-9.
Just like Vitality had done in the first map, it was now NIP’s turn to have a strong start, as they got off to a 5-0 scoreline on the CT side of Dust2. Four kills by Fredrik "REZ" Sterner kept the streak going in the sixth round before Vitality could finally get on the board. The French team then made a match of it, going to 5-6 before the two teams struggled to impose themselves late in the half. Going into the last round with a tie, it was finally the Swedes that got ahead, 8-7.
Vitality tied it right back up as Richard "shox" Papillon downed three to tally a total of 22 frags in the first 16 rounds. NIP were able to strike back with guns in hand to retake the lead, but Vitality kept the pressure up, tying it up at 11-11. NIP won a crucial round with a play on the B site to make it 12-13 and put Vitality on a forcebuy, but apEX with a double and Kévin "misutaaa" Rabier with a triple kept their team ahead. Vitality then won a crucial 3vs3 retake on the B site to hit match point, which they closed out the following round, making it 16-13.
|NIP||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|35 - 36||-1||73.3||0.99|
|35 - 39||-4||68.8||0.95|
|34 - 40||-6||71.3||0.93|
|26 - 35||-9||57.0||0.90|
|27 - 39||-12||55.4||0.72|