G2 have advanced to the upper bracket final of Flashpoint 3 following a hard-earned victory against NIP (2-1; Dust2 12-16, Inferno 19-17, Mirage 16-14). Nemanja “nexa” Isaković‘s team will lock horns with mousesports next on Thursday at 18:00 for a spot in the grand final of the tournament. Meanwhile, NIP have dropped to the lower bracket, where they will face the winner of BIG and DBL PONEY on Wednesday.
The match continued to showcase G2‘s improvement as of late, especially when it comes to François “AmaNEk” Delaunay‘s evolution as the team’s primary AWPer on most maps. The 27-year-old has kept up an impressive showing throughout the event as their third star, putting up a 1.18 rating over the course of the series against NIP.
After the match, nexa spoke about his team’s development in recent times, highlighting their change of approach around the AWP in particular. “We have NiKo AWPing on some maps and AmaNEk on some, and it’s very difficult, it’s not like you can just flip a switch and become a rifler after AWPing for two maps in a row,” the in-game leader said. “It’s something we’re working on sorting out. AmaNEk is AWPing on more maps on T side, and we’re trying to give NiKo the freedom to be the best rifler in the world, because undoubtedly he is. We’re trying to work it out piece by piece, map by map, to put everyone in their comfort zone and put them in their proper roles.”
NIP opted for a surprising map pick in the form of Dust2, which had been among their least played maps before Nicolai “device” Reedtz‘s arrival. The choice ended up paying off, with the Swedish side putting together a dominant offense before a double-AWP setup in the hands of the newest member and in-game leader Hampus “hampus” Poser put a stop to G2‘s comeback efforts after sides switched.
G2 responded with what at first had the potential to be a comfortable victory on Inferno but in the end turned into a hard-fought equalizer. An early 8-2 advantage was all but removed when NIP put their double AWP to work again, and the second half proved difficult to close despite the French-Balkan side having four map points to do so. A pistol win saved hampus‘ team at 11-15 and NIP took the map to overtime, where G2 mustered a perfect offense to force the decider by the skin of their teeth.
Nikola “NiKo” Kovač had been missing throughout the series, but he finally showed up on Mirage to spearhead his team’s victory in another hairy affair. Early success in each half went a long way for G2 to stay in contention after NIP‘s dominant run at the end of the first put the pressure on nexa‘s squad, but this time the Swedes’ individual heroics late in the map weren’t enough to stop the French-Balkan defense.