Credit: Stephanie Lindgren, BLAST

Huge upset! NIP sends defending champions to the lower bracket!

Gambit got off to a bad start to their title defense.

Day 1 of the main event at IEM Katowice saw Ninjas in Pyjamas upset Gambit. The defending champions are still alive at the tournament, but will now have to do it the hard way through the lower brackets.

The upset started on Ancient. A map that has developed into a favorite so far at IEM Katowice with several teams picking into the newest map in the competitive map pool. Today it was Ninjas in Pyjamas, who took their chances on the ancient battlefield.

It quickly turned out to be a game of CT sides. Gambit took the first half 11-4, while NIP did it a bit better winning the second half 12-2. A strong start from the Swedish Ninjas, who had shown some weakness during the Play-in, made the performance even more impressive.

The second map favored Gambit big time. NIP had only played two competitive matches on Vertigo during the last six months, but their victory against Movistar Riders yesterday had given them enough confidence to not ban one of Gambit's favorite maps. At 10-10 in the second half, it seemed like a very good idea for Hampus 'hampus' Poser and his troops to play the map, but then the Swedes literally fell off the map (es3tag missed a runboost). The economy game did not favor NIP at the end, who did too many force buys to really pose a threat to Gambit who closed down the map 16-11.

Overpass was the setting for the decider. Again Gambit was heavily favored looking at the statistics, but the feeling on the server was strangely off-tune for the Russians, who struggled. On their T side NIP managed to win the half despite Overpass being CT favored recently.

NIP continued with a stellar opening to the second half winning to completely shut down Gambit. The defending champions did not win a single round until it was almost all over at 7-15 in the second half. NIP completed the upset a round later and threw Gambit down to the lower bracket of IEM Katowice after a spectacular win on Overpass with Love 'phzy' Smidebrant as the big hero for NIP.

Gambit – Ninjas in Pyjamas 1-2 | IEM Katowice

13-16 (Ancient) | hampus – 1.31 Rating / 24-20 K-D / 98.1 ADR

16-11 (Vertigo) | Ax1Le - 1.53 Rating / 25-13 K-D / 99.3 ADR

8-16 (Overpass) | phzy - 1.47 Rating / 22-14 K-D / 82.5 ADR

MVP: Abay 'HObbit' Khasenov - 1.17 Rating / 62-58 K-D / 91.2 ADR

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