NIP have secured a spot in the Group B lower bracket final after beating the No.2 team in the world, Heroic, 2-0. The Danes weren’t able to bounce back in the elimination match after they were dealt a blow in the upper bracket, where they lost to Evil Geniuses, and were taken out by the Swedes after leading 13-4 in the first map.
NIP, whose newcomer Linus “LNZ” Holtäng made two big back-to-back plays to keep the team’s Mirage comeback alive, put forth a strong defense on Nuke after losing the map five times in a row prior to this match and followed it up with a strong T-side to secure the series and advance in the lower bracket, where they will next face the winner of the CIS derby matching Spirit and Virtus.pro.
“We didn’t play Nuke a lot before. We played it, but not a lot, so device came in with a lot of input and kind of told us how to play it,” Hampus “hampus” Poser said after defeating Heroic on that map. “We had our style, but we added some new things and here we are.”
Doubles by Martin “stavn” Lund and Ismail “refrezh” Ali on the CT side of Mirage got Heroic off to an early advantage as they took six rounds uncontested before doubling down on their superiority, winning the half 11-4. The second pistol round got the Danes even closer to taking NIP’s map pick, but the Swedes were able to win a third round forcebuy. Down 9-13, LNZ saved two 2-4 situations with triple kills as the hampus-led team brought it back to a tie, which persisted all the way to thirty rounds. NIP then put up a perfect defense before closing the map out in the last round of OT, 19-17.
NIP secured the first pistol round on the defending side of Nuke before taking a 3-0 lead. Heroic hit back with an A execute to get on the board in the fourth round, but were on the losing side of a B-site retake as the Swedes made it 4-1. Nicolai “device” Reedtz and hampus kept up the pace as NIP remained ahead, although Heroic were able to remain close, 6-9 at the half. NIP hit double digits in the second pistol round after which they cruised along on the T-side, breaking through Heroic‘s defenses to a 16-7 victory and securing a spot in the Group B lower bracket final.