The match between Cloud 9 and Ninjas in Pyjamas couldn’t have had worse timing. While NiP have had problems recently, not living up to expectations over the last couple of weeks, C9 have had a few close calls in Cologne already with one overtime and one 16-14 win. Was this the chance for the American boys to send the Swedes home and join the semifinals once again?
Nuke: NiP’s map choice backfires?
Starting as CT gave Cloud 9 a good advantage against European all-time favorite Ninjas in Pyjamas, but it was for NiP to take the pistol round home as well as the follow-up. With one saved weapon from the second round as well as an additional bought one, C9 were able to take the third round home, gaining the eco advantage and leaving NiP with only three rifles for the following round. Unlike the Americans, NiP wasn’t able to profit from this, seeing C9 equalize the score at 2-2. Three more rounds went to C9, but losing a lot money on the way as auto snipers and more got taken out of the game. As NiP struck back after, C9 had to put almost all the money on the line to try sending the Swedes back into an eco. However, all guns went down to see Hiko do a last second defuse. 6-3 the scoreline was when NiP took the upper spot while f0rest baited a lot players to the outside, sending C9 into a bad economy. With C9 committing and investing to the next round, NiP was able to take almost all the money away from them to follow up again, equalizing the score at 6-6. While the Americans started a streak to take the last three rounds, GeT_RiGhT was able to take down Hiko in the end of the 15th round to bring the score to only 8-7 in favor of Cloud 9.
The pistol round saw Cloud 9 winning their T pistol just like NiP in the first half, picking up round after round to extend their lead and leave the Swedes with almost no money left. Even when picking up one or two players, C9 found a way to respond, get their advantage back and take the rounds. At 13-7 for C9, NiP was again able to bring almost full equipment to the fight, with them investing this much almost making this round an all or nothing. But it was a great timed push that brought C9 down, stopping their streak at five rounds. The following round ended in a 2on2 which became a 1on1, with shroud ending NiP’s attempt at a comeback. Forcing an eco on NiP, Cloud 9 took their 15th round with seven match points for them, winning NiP’s map choice. However, no more than one round was needed to see the US boys winning Nuke 16-8.
Dust2: On the verge of going home
Ninjas in Pyjamas responded just like they needed to, rushing the A spot and taking everyone but Hiko down to plant the bomb. Hiko was able to bag GeT_RiGhT with an impressive flick shot when passing the double doors, only to be taken down himself moments later. After C9’s eco round was taken by NiP, the Americans got four Famas and a Scout, making this round crucial for them to not lose ground. After taking down all the Ninjas, they managed to defuse the bomb only split seconds before it would have blown. Additionally, NiP still had enough money to buy up and pay back, putting C9 into a very poor eco situation, with buying up again after just one eco leaving them with almost no grenades and two Famas. However, again NiP were almost unable to put this advantage to any use as C9 pushed them hard. NiP got the bomb planted, stealing enough time away from the US players to prevent them from defusing it. 1-5 was the score, with NiP playing in an impressive fashion and taking another two rounds without much of a loss. Cloud 9 then got back into the game, picking up three rounds in a row and bringing NiP back into an eco round to prevent them from sitting on limited chances in the last rounds. However, f0rest managed to take down three players, giving C9 another very expensive round before the Ninjas had to have another eco. The finals rounds were a bit back and forth, with NiP ending the first half with a 8-7 lead.
The second pistol round again went to NiP, including the follow-up, with C9 buying in the third round and only getting the bomb planted. C9 did a forced buy with four Galil and only limited grenades but failed to produce more than two kills, leaving the Americans penniless. Pushing onwards, NiP were able to extend the lead to 13-7 before Cloud 9 won their first round of the second half. But with two more rounds, NiP put a stop to the American’s comeback attempt. Pushing the game to a 15-10 lead, C9 was left to buy with a broken eco to keep the chance of an overtime alive. C9 managed to transform this bad round into a golden one, breaking NiP’s eco to stock up their own. Cloud 9 then closed the gap in score while picking up round after round. In the 29th round, NiP decided to save up for the final one in order to either win the map or force the game into overtime. After the first players were taken down, NiP managed a retake, taking the game into the third map with 16-14.
Cobblestone: Giving the day a suitable finish
Winning the pistol round, Cloud 9 were able to to secure one more round, only to have NiP pick up some kills as well as weapons to take the third round home. After equalizing the score to 2-2, C9 had a CZ75 eco round, taking down three players as well as saving an AWP to make up for missing money and have a buy round. This move paid off big time as they were able to take down NiP’s full team and equalize the game to 3-3. With NiP striking back in the seventh round, C9 were once again out of money but only took one kill in the next round. While NiP did manage to take the game to seven rounds in their favor, Cloud 9 came back with two rounds, making it 7-5. While NiP were looking like they might pick up another round, n0thing showed off his famous skills, winning a 1on3 clutch. With NiP saving for the final round of the half, C9 were able to equalize the score before they took over the lead once more, ending the first half 8-7.
After winning the second pistol round, C9 were facing another CZ75 plus Scout NiP eco. While not being able to take C9 down, Friberg managed to kill the planting opponent so that time was running out to their advantage. However, the angry C9 players didn’t take this shameful move lying down, taking NiP on face to face: by hunting their players down, the Americans were able to win back the third round. However, another time NiP managed to force C9 to go into the final seconds of the round, killing the bomb carrier before hiding away, letting the countdown win the round for them and equalizing the game to 10-10. Back and forth the rounds went from here, with NiP getting into a good position with a 14-11 lead. Closing to 14-13, Cloud 9 was refusing to give up, but NiP was the one to take the next round, having two match points to their account. However, n0thing and his team took another round, sending NiP into a very bad eco for the final round. Once again able to stop C9’s actions for some time, however, the final round went to NiP, taking the game 16-14 with a huge team effort.
Cloud 9 is going home, leaving the final day to European teams. Once again the Americans were stopped on the way to a title, but they gave the most impressive series of the tournament so far. Their team spirit especially, which allowed them to repeatedly come back from very bad situations, is something that this team can work with and be proud of. Over 320,000 viewers watched this immense series with its lucky winner and shining loser, who gave more than just a few big rounds.
All CS:GO wrap-ups so far:
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- Epsilon eSports vs. Team Dignitas: whose rise became a fall?
- Fnatic vs. Natus Vincere: the clash of generations
- Two big teams fall once more in the groups C and D of ESL One Cologne
- French Friday for ESL One Cologne's groups A and B
- Did groups C and D go according to plan at ESL One Cologne?
- The first surprises in groups A and B of ESL One Cologne
- More CS:GO on ESLGaming.com
If you’re after more info, the ESL One homepage is the place to go to. How did you follow this impressive series? Tell us your story in the comments below!