FaZe oust NIP to go through to PGL Major semi-finals
The first match of the Champions stage at the PGL Major Antwerp saw FaZe and NIP face off in the quarter-finals. It eventually went the way of karrigan's squad, who took their map pick of Nuke, 16-10, dropped Overpass 13-16, and secured Inferno 16-8 to book their place in the semi-finals.
Despite the loss, NIP kept things competitive, especially on their own map pick of Overpass where the captain himself, Hampus "hampus" Poser, dropped 30 kills to bring the map home and keep his team alive.
NIP kicked things off on Nuke with early domination as the defenders, taking pistol and the four succeeding rounds to garner a swift 5-0 lead. FaZe were able to secure their first round on the board in the sixth after converting a half-buy on upgraded pistols and started to claw their way back into the game, winning three of the next four and bringing the score to 4-6 behind much-needed firepower courtesy of Håvard "rain" Nygaard and the in-game leader himself, karrigan.
Heading into the break, NIP won back-to-back rounds where FaZe were completely shut out of site, before a 1vs2 clutch from Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken in the 15th prevented the majority Swedish side from extending their lead any further as the scoreline read 9-6 in favor of NIP at the switch.
Any signs of FaZe's slow start in the first half were completely erased coming out of halftime, as the world's highest-ranked team played a nearly flawless CT side, with NIP unable to find their footing for the remainder of the game. Though hampus and company successfully got the bomb down in the 20th round, it would turn out to be merely a consolation as in the end, FaZe completed the comeback on Nuke with a 16-10 final score, as rain and karrigan proved to be the difference-makers behind their 24 and 23 kills, respectively.
Overpass began with FaZe winning the pistol round, however NIP quickly answered back by taking five out of the next six, successfully opening up site and getting the bomb planted off the back of hampus' 10-2 K-D at that point and putting up a 5-2 lead. Just like they did on Nuke, FaZe didn't allow their opponents to stretch their advantage as they strengthened their defenses, which in turn shut out most of NIP's advances in the latter part of the half, as they clawed their way back into the game and took the lead, up a narrow 8-7 after 15 rounds.
After swapping sides, both teams kept it extremely competitive, finding themselves level at 10-10 four rounds into the second period. Back-to-back clutches from Robin "ropz" Kool and Twistzz, accompanied by their last-minute pushes into site allowed FaZe to create a small lead, before Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin's lockdown A site defense evened up the game once again at 12-12. NIP were eventually able to close out Overpass 16-13, and force a decider on Inferno.
The third and final map started out with a three-round spree for NIP, before FaZe answered back with three of their own, both runs highlighted by clutches; a 2vs4 from Patrick "es3tag" Hansen and Nicolas "Plopski" Gonzalez Zamora in the second round and a 1vs3 clutch from Helvijs "broky" Saukants in the sixth.
NIP were able to catch a break and string together five consecutive rounds behind more exceptional fragging from hampus, as they soon found themselves up a comfortable 8-3. As the situation started looking dire, FaZe switched on at the most critical time, scoring the last four rounds of the half and bringing their deficit to just one.
Coming out of the switch, FaZe did not let off the gas in the slightest as they demonstrated a flawless CT side, winning all nine rounds played as ropz and the rest of his team completely shut down everything NIP threw at them to clinch the map and series, making them the first semi-finalists of the Major.
|NIP||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|64 - 54||+10||82.6||1.14|
|57 - 58||-1||77.7||1.03|
|45 - 48||-3||66.0||0.97|
|44 - 47||-3||60.4||0.88|
|38 - 54||-16||60.7||0.83|