In ESL Premier League Season 17 Group C’s last-chance round, Ninjas in Pyjamas defeated OG 2-0 to eliminate them from the tournament while maintaining their own competitiveness (16-11 Vertigo, 22-18 Mirage).
With a strong performance on the CT side of Vertigo, the Swedish group overcame the squad using Nikolaj #niko Kristensen as a hold, but they had to work hard for the triumph on Mirage, a map that came down to the wire and featured messy Counter-Strike from both teams.
At the start of Vertigo, Ninjas in Pyjamas defeated OG; a three-round burst following a pistol round triumph helped Aleksib’s troops get a position in the assault. This advantage, however, was soon lost as OG took control of the CT side due to a few multi-kill rounds from Shahar #flameZ Shushan and Abdul #degster Gasanov. As Ninjas in Pyjamas struggled to reliably gain access to bombsites during the first half, OG’s defensive dominance persisted, giving them a solid 10-5 advantage going into their own attacking attempt.
Following OG’s quick response to Ninjas in Pyjamas’ gun round triumph, it appeared that the map might be headed for an early conclusion. However, degster’s team was unable to capitalize on their edge, and the momentum they had maintained throughout the entire map started to fade. Fredrik #REZ Sterner’s tenacious B site holds and Ludvig #Brollan’s unrelenting early-round attacks. Brolin consistently thwarted OG’s attempts to exert dominance over the map, and Ninjas in Pyjamas appeared unbeatable as they shut down their rival’s defaults and claimed ten straight games ready to travel to a 16-11 victory.
On the T side of their own map selection, Mirage, OG displayed stronger play, emerging victorious from an early-game fight to take a 6-3 advantage. Kristian #k0nfig Wienecke’s consecutive triple kill rounds allowed Ninjas in Pyjamas a chance to change the momentum and momentarily level the match, but OG kept the advantage going into the side exchange by putting together three final rounds for a 9-6 score and switching to defense.
A further three rounds after the break increased OG’s advantage to 12-6, and once more it appeared that degster’s team would win. While OG reached match point at 15-12 and even sat upon a 4vs2 advantage on round 30, the Ninjas managed to push the map into overtime, where they eventually came out victorious 22-18 after a flawless CT-side effort in the second set of extra rounds. This was made possible by clumsy Counter-Strike and an inability to come out on top of strong trading from Ninjas in Pyjamas’ individuals.
If Ninjas in Pyjamas wants to advance to the ESL Pro League Season 17 finals, they must maintain their current pace. They have one game remaining, which will take place on Sunday at 19:30 and will either see them play 00NATION or Grayhound in a repeat of the lower group game that the Australian team had won.