FaZe edge out NIP to secure grand final berth in Copenhagen
FaZe are one step closer to winning the BLAST Premier Fall Final trophy after moving past Ninjas in Pyjamas, 2-1, in the semi-final. The European combine dropped Overpass (11-16), answered back with a hotly-contested win on Nuke (19-17), before wrapping things up with a comfortable showing on Mirage (16-8).
FaZe now advance to the grand final, where they will face off against Heroic on Sunday at 17:30 . The team around Finn "karrigan" Andersen has already gone up against the hometown favourites once whilst in Demark, where they dispatched of the Danes 2-0 in the group stage. FaZe will also head into the grand final looking to get their hands on their first silverware since IEM Cologne, while also aiming to build up some much-needed confidence in time for the season-concluding BLAST Premier World Final in Abu Dhabi in December.
Ninjas in Pyjamas, meanwhile, head home from the BLAST Premier Fall Final in 3-4th place. The team's elimination also marks the end of their season as they are now incapable of qualifying for the World Final next month in the United Arab Emirates. Ninjas in Pyjamas will lament being unable to close things out on Nuke, where they let things slip in overtime after initially sporting a healthy 14-7 advantage. Hampus "hampus" Poser had a sub-par performance all series long, with the Swede finishing the matchup with a disappointing 0.75 rating and 37-62 K-D.
The two teams paid a visit to Overpass, Ninjas in Pyjamas' pick, to start proceedings. The Swedish-majority roster quickly sought to justify their map choice and jumped out to a 5-2 lead on the offense, spearheaded by a 1vs3 clutch by Fredrik "REZ" Sterner in the sixth round. FaZe eventually found answers for the Swedes' meticulous and calculated T-side game plan, going on a six-round spree to flip the game on its head and post a slender one-round advantage by the interval, 8-7.
The game descended into a back-and-forth affair at the onset of the second half, with nether side able to string together more than three rounds at a time to sit on 11 rounds apiece. This hard-fought battle ultimately went the way of Ninjas in Pyjamas; the Nordic outfit wrestled control of the economy as a result and assembled a stalwart defensive wall, one which powered the squad to victory, 16-11, on the back of a seven-round spree. Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen led by example to get his team 1-0 up, averaging a server-high 1.53 rating whilst topping the scoreboard with 27 kills to his name.
FaZe were on the hunt for vengeance once Nuke got underway, making a statement by hounding the A site repeatedly en route to a 6-1 lead on the offense. Ninjas in Pyjamas ate away at the deficit thanks to a standout performance from REZ, a hailstorm of fire from well-worked defensive setups allowing Ninjas in Pyjamas to go on an eight-round streak and lock in a comfortable 9-6 buffer at the break.
Ninjas in Pyjamas' confidence was booming at this point; the side around Aleksib put their foot to the floor to win five of the first six rounds and surge ahead to a commanding 14-7 scoreline. FaZe staved off an early exit from Copenhagen by chaining together seven rounds of their own, made possible thanks to multi-kill rounds from the Baltic duo of Helvijs "broky" Saukants and Robin "ropz" Kool, and the European contingent brought the scoreline back to a dead-even 14-14. Ninjas in Pyjamas halted their foes' streak with a 1vs1 in the 29th round to put one hand on match point, but ropz made the arena erupt with a stellar 3k hold of the B site in the 30th to keep FaZe's grand final hopes alive.
From there, FaZe narrowly pulled ahead, with karrigan and company using the energy of the ever-vocal Royal Arena to clinch four of the six rounds, 19-17, and force a trip to the deciding map of Mirage. ropz had a truly dominant display to keep his team alive, with world-class shooting and impeccable situational awareness ballooning his tally to a whopping 32 kills by the end of overtime.
FaZe were fired up by the time Mirage came around, effortlessly cruising to a 5-1 advantage on the attacking side with ropz continuing to fire on all cylinders. Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin, armed with a salvaged AK-47, gunned down two in the seventh to get his team back in the running, the Swedish squad using this to keep FaZe honest, 5-5. The neck-and-neck nature of the map was still in full force as the map reached the midway point, a 2vs2 post-plant in the 15th going the way of FaZe, who went into the side swap with a fragile one-round cushion.
broky tapped down four on the pistol round to get the second half going, with FaZe converting four of the ensuing five rounds to be within two rounds of series point, 13-8. Ninjas in Pyjamas' stance in the game went from bad to worse, as mobile CT-side setups from FaZe kept the Swedes constantly looking over their shoulders. karrigan took it upon himself to put the final nail in the coffin, shooting REZ and Patrick "es3tag" Hansen in ther backs to wrap up the map, 16-8, and advance to the grand final in Copenhagen.
|FaZe||K - D||+/-||ADR||Rating 2.0|
|74 - 51||+23||84.1||1.30|
|61 - 52||+9||77.6||1.15|
|58 - 57||+1||77.1||1.13|
|53 - 51||+2||64.7||1.00|
|45 - 57||-12||61.9||0.88|