G2 are through to the consolidation final of the BLAST Premier Spring Final after besting NIP 2-1 in the lower bracket. The European side claimed revenge against Hampus “hampus” Poser and company after being eliminated by them in Flashpoint 3, and are now faced with a header against Natus Vincere for a spot in the grand final – a match which marks the first time the two teams will meet since they removed Kenny “kennyS” Schrub and Egor “flamie” Vasilyev from their rosters.
The series started off in less than ideal fashion for G2 as it was NIP who put up strong defense on Dust2, only for the European roster to take firm control in the second half with a clinical CT side of their own. Nuke was a more back-and-forth affair as the teams remained deadlocked for much of the map, but it was a stellar showing from Linus “LNZ” Holtäng that helped NIP take the map over the line, only for them to fall on Inferno after forcing overtime from an 11-15 deficit.
“nexa has a very clear vision and that helps us in some of these tight games,” Nikola “NiKo” Kovač explained after the match when asked about the Serbian’s leadership. “We win most of the tight games, but we shouldn’t let it get tight if it isn’t necessary.” Regarding their next match against Natus Vincere, NiKo said that G2 would need to prepare and approach the game differently, as they have always struggled against the team in their previous matchups. “We struggle in general against CIS teams, so we need to sit down and talk about how we’re going to approach this game.”
NIP got off to a strong start on their map pick, Dust2, a showing that was helmed by a spree of multi-frag rounds from LNZ and Nicolai “device” Reedtz. G2 finally cracked through on round 7 with a mid-to-B split, and added a second round to their tally before NIP answered back, pulling further ahead to a 8-2 scoreline before G2 created an opening with pistols. An ace attempt from device was denied by NiKo to grant G2 their fifth round, but Deagles from NIP shut down a long hit to close out the half as NIP pulled ahead, 10-5.
The Swedish side took pole position with a pistol win following the side swap, only for the Scouts of Audric “JaCkz” Jug and François “AmaNEk” Delaunay to put a halt to that momentum and offer G2 a vestige of hope in saving the map. That opportunity was immediately seized upon by the European side, who went on to post a stalwart defense by entirely shutting NIP out of both bombsites, winning eleven rounds in a row to steal away NIP‘s map pick.
G2‘s momentum carried into Nuke, where they recovered a handful of man-disadvantage situations en route to a 6-0 lead of their own. A brief trading of rounds, during which AmaNEk prevailed in a 1vs2 clutch to grant G2 their eighth, ended with NIP finding their footing to bring themselves within one round by the break.
The second half was the LNZ show, with the 18-year-old providing pivotal trade kills for his team as they continued to claw back from an early deficit. G2‘s second round force-buy and subsequent conversions were not enough to keep them in control as NIP fought back to take the lead, securing opening kills and sustaining in late round situations to edge out a 16-13 map win, and force an Inferno decider.
A similar scenario unfolded on the final map of the series, with G2 blazing ahead to a 6-0 start before NIP got on the board, recovering a 3vs5 situation with a Deagle and Scout. The Swedes gave themselves some further breathing room with a handful of rounds, but it was still G2 who maintained a lead, 9-6, heading into the side swap.
An early spree of rounds once again gave G2 firm footing at the start of the second half, and it seemed they would quickly run away with the map before a crucial 1vs3 clutch from device kept NIP in the running. G2 responded soon after, moving up to match point, but a comeback effort from NIP saw the Swedes win five rounds in a row to force overtime. In the end, though, it was G2 who ran away in the deciding moments of the map, winning all three rounds on their CT side before sustaining a second comeback effort from NIP to secure a 19-17 win.