BIG eliminated from ESL One Cologne as NiP secure comeback win
The world No 1 are the first team out of the tournament following a keenly-contested affair which lasted almost four hours.
BIG have been eliminated from ESL One Cologne after suffering a 2-1 defeat to NIP in Group A's lower bracket. Few would have predicted the final scoreline as the German team, who have been at the top of the world rankings since July 6, came out with all guns blazing and cruised to an emphatic victory on their opponents' map pick, Vertigo, where they even enjoyed an 11-0 lead.
NIP responded with a hard-fought win on Nuke in a game that had a quadruple overtime before closing out the series in style on Mirage, where BIG were nowhere to be seen as the Swedes ran rampant. After winning three tournaments in a row, Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz's troops will now need to go back to the drawing board before ESL Pro League Season 12 kicks off on September 1, while the Ninjas will fight for survival against the loser of Sunday's series between Natus Vincere and Complexity.
BIG came into the series looking a different side from the one that had lost to Sprout on day one of the tournament. They made NIP regret the decision to pick Vertigo as they were on the front foot from the offset, holding the Swedish players with great utility usage and winning most of the aim duels across the map. The Ninjas went into the break with only three rounds to their name, but the scoreline could have been even worse if Hampus "hampus" Poser hadn't pulled off two clutches.
NIP still tried to mount a response after switching to the CT side, but their comeback hopes were dashed when Tizian "tiziaN" Feldbusch won a 1v3 clutch early in the half. With no money in the bank and with their spirits already down, the Swedes were simply helpless to prevent BIG from running away with the game.
Next up was Nuke, where BIG once again came out the brighter of the two sides, racing to a 4-0 lead on the T side. NIP then put their foot down to take five consecutive rounds off the back of a series of multi-kills by Nicolas "Plopski" Gonzalez Zamora, but momentum shifted back in BIG's favour when Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş and Nils "k1to" Gruhne turned a 2v4 situation around. The rest of the half was dominated by the German team, who enjoyed a three-round lead heading into the break.
Fredrik "REZ" Sterner, who had endured a frustrating game on Vertigo, really came to life after switching to the T side with 12 frags in the first nine rounds of the half as NIP took control of proceedings, bringing the scoreline to 14-10. It looked like the game was slipping away from BIG, but the German team tightened up their defense and forced overtime after surviving two map points.
The game became even scrappier after regulation as nerves set in and NIP began to feel the pressure of elimination. Tim "nawwk" Jonasson was visibly distraught on camera after watching his team miss a clear-cut chance to put the game to rest as Florian "syrsoN" Rische pulled off an incredible 1v3 clutch with a p250, but in the end the Ninjas managed to stay calm and collected and forced a third map in the fourth overtime.
BIG jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the T side of Mirage after a dominant pistol round, but the landscape of the game changed dramatically once NIP had money in the bank. With three of their players struggling to get kills on the board, BIG lacked solutions to break through their opponents' tight defense throughout the half and went into the break chasing a seven-round deficit.
Things then went from bad to worse for the Germans as NIP continued to add to their lead after switching to the offensive side. tiziaN still provided a glimmer of hope with a heroic ace on the B site to keep his team in the game, but it was simply too little, too late, as NIP eventually locked up the win to stay alive in the $325,000 tournament.
|BIG||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|69 - 69||0||76.4||1.07|
|72 - 74||-2||77.2||1.05|
|70 - 67||+3||70.9||1.02|
|68 - 73||-5||79.7||1.01|
|58 - 70||-12||71.9||0.92|