NIP eliminate G2; set up battle for playoff spot with MOUZ
The Swedish side edged out a win in three maps to keep themselves in contention for a spot in the LANXESS Arena.
Ninjas in Pyjamas have advanced to the Group A lower bracket final at IEM Cologne, sending G2 home after a lengthy three-map series that consisted of one-sided first halves across the board. The teams traded each others map picks, Ancient and Nuke, to force an Inferno decider, where Ninjas in Pyjamas were initially dominant before putting a halt to a comeback effort from G2 to close out the series.
With the win, Ninjas in Pyjamas are through to the lower bracket final of Group A, where they will have the chance to qualify for the playoffs as they take on MOUZ on Sunday at 16:00 . For G2, the elimination ends their tournament season on a sour note, with the team having struggled in the final months ahead of the break with early exits at PGL Major Antwerp, IEM Dallas, and now IEM Cologne.
The series had little to write home about as the CT sides dominated for the first two maps, Ilya "m0NESY" Osipov leading the way for G2 on Ancient as he found crucial impact throughout the first half with six multi-kill rounds. When it wasn't the 17-year-old stepping up, Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač was finding impact, with both players combing to help the European combine dominate 12-3 by the break. That lead began to dwindle some following the side swap as Ninjas in Pyjamas put up a solid defense of their own, but the large deficit ended up proving too much to fully overcome as G2 eventually closed things out, 16-11.
Nuke unfolded much the same, although there it was Ninjas in Pyjamas who were the dominant force for the entirety of the first half. G2 looked a shadow of themselves and were unable to gain entry to bombsites round after round as the Swedes cruised to a stellar 13-2 scoreline at halftime, shifting over to the attack.
In almost identical fashion to Ancient, the script was entirely flipped, and suddenly it was G2 who assumed firm control of the proceedings as a comeback effort got underway. Just when it seemed they would tie up the score though, Ninjas in Pyjamas secured their fifteenth round, and despite a back-and-forth the Swedes managed to edge out victory and force an Inferno decider.
Hampus "hampus" Poser's men remained in control as they set the pace on the T side of the final map, running rampant over the G2 defenses as they won nine rounds in a row in a blowout start. It was only at the end of the half that G2 showed some life, picking up five rounds to keep themselves competitive heading into their own attacking effort, which they kicked off in style with a pistol victory to remain in control.
Quickly, the gap between the teams began to close, and G2 even briefly pulled ahead 12-11; however, Ninjas in Pyjamas managed to tighten up their defenses and struggled their way over the finish line, a defuse inside smoke in a 1vs2 situation bringing things to a solemn end for Nikola "NiKo" Kovač's side in Germany.
|Ninjas in Pyjamas||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|60 - 56||+4||83.3||1.19|
|65 - 56||+9||84.8||1.16|
|60 - 55||+5||68.3||1.03|
|46 - 46||0||54.2||0.96|
|40 - 54||-14||61.2||0.87|