Credit: Ninjas in Pyjamas
The playoffs at ESL Pro League are on! mousesports and Ninjas in Pyjamas kicked off the opening round of the tournament with a much-anticipated matchup.
Both teams with tons of talent, but also a recent record of mixed results desperately needed a win to kickstart the second half of the season. The action actually started before the first round. In the veto round NIP did not ban their usual auto-ban Vertigo. A map that mousesports has not won a match on since April. So was it a trick, or did they just assume, that mouz would leave the map to be banned in the next round? Well, mousesports jumped in and picked Vertigo.
First Ancient had to be dealt with. The newest map on the circuit has been played by NIP 11 times during the last three months, and three times at ESL Pro League with three victories. The Swedes added another today with a 16-12 win. It looked troublesome for NIP in the middle of the second half, but the roster managed to change 9-12 to 16-12 and seal the deal.
On to Vertigo and to what mousesports hoped would be their punish pick. Quickly it turned out, that they were right. A 12-3 lead at the break was converted to a 16-6 win, which forced the match into a third map decider.
For the Swedish Ninjas, the biggest problem was, that their Danish star AWP'er, Nicolai 'device' Reedtz had performed worst of all on the server in the two first maps. An ominous sign for NIP, who badly needed their most experienced player to step up and lead the way.
Inferno delivered right away. The two teams traded rounds until 8-8. On NIP's CT side the Swedes began to create a gap. device found some much-needed momentum at the exact right time and created the space that NIP needed to deny mousesports any chance in the second half. NIP played their CT side flawlessly to win 16-8 and eliminate mousesports from the tournament.
Ninjas in Pyjamas will now face OG in the next round.
mousesports - Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-1| ESL Pro League Season 14
12-16 (Ancient) | REZ – 1.55 Rating / 25-12 K-D / 91.4 ADR
16-6 (Vertigo) | acoR – 1.71 Rating / 19-6 K-D / 93.9 ADR
16-12 (Inferno) | hampus – 1.45 Rating / 21-17 K-D / 111.2 ADR
MVP: Robin 'ropz' Kool | 1.22 Rating / 64-43 K-D / 82.9 ADR