The match between Ninjas in Pyjamas and LDLC was a hard one to predict. With their impressive comeback against Cloud 9, NiP were here to break yet another record at a CS:GO major. On the other hand, LDLC surprised the fans time and time again. Were they able to add NiP to their list after having already beaten London Conspiracy, Natus Vincere and Katowice champion Virtus.pro?
Inferno: The ‘major map’ to begin with
Kicking off the series, LDLC were able to obtain the pistol round starting as Terrorists. After one more round went their way, Ninjas in Pyjamas tried to come into the game with a CZ75 eco, ending it without a single kill to their account and letting LDLC extend the lead to 3-0. Again, KQLY and his mates managed to drop one Ninja at a time, winning their fourth round and sending NiP on another eco. After picking up that round aswell, the French had to face well-equipped and angry Swedes. However, once again, and despite being down to two players, LDLC managed to gain the upper hand to take another T round, further extending the lead to 7-0 with the follow-up going to their account as well. After an LDLC time-out, NiP looked like they’d finally woken up, taking their first round followed by another. However, another well-played push by LDLC put an end to the Swedes’ mini streak. LDLC kept extending their lead, reaching 11-2 with NiP unable to find a way to keep the French off the spots, before they finally managed to take another round as well as the final one to close the half 11-4 in favor of LDLC.
With NiP taking the B spot in the pistol round, it looked like the round was theirs. However, LDLC retook the spot to defuse the bomb, extending their lead once more and sending NiP into an eco round. Again, NiP took B and planted the bomb, only to see Maniac walking tall, retaking the spot and defusing it yet again. Finally able to buy as a result of their plants, LDLC saw NiP attempt an A fake in order to go for B. However, once again LDLC took down the Ninjas one by one to stop them from getting their hands on the game. The score was 14-4 when another of NiP’s buy rounds didn’t work out, giving LDLC eleven match points. With a lot of effort, NiP was able to come back and take six more rounds before LDLC won their 16th, closing the map at 16-10.
Nuke: NiP to come back on ‘their’ map once again?
NiP seemed to have put the break to good use, pushing the ramp to take the all-important pistol round to get their T half off to a good start. A big play by apEX in a CZ75 eco made LDLC stop NiP right there, taking the 1-1 and gaining the eco advantage. Two more rounds saw the French victorious before the Ninjas could equip again. However, the Swedes were not able to put that round to good use, instead picking up following one. With a well-timed push, they were able to drop three players in the blink of an eye to take the score to 4-2. The following big trade of frags saw Fifflaren as last man standing, the often criticized NiP player securing another round for the Swedes and not only breaking LDLC’s eco but also securing them one more round to equalize the game. Picking up two more rounds to bring the game to 6-4 in their favor, NiP had to withstand another equipped round from the French. Taking down two NiP players early on didn’t work out for LDLC, however, with them being taken down one by one themselves. The Swedes were able to push the scoreline to nine rounds in their favor before LDLC were able to secure the last two rounds to make it 9-6 in favor of NiP.
Trading frags all the way down to a 1on1 situation, NiP won the CT pistol round, and were looking like they wanted to finish the map as soon as possible. The two following rounds went to the Swedes, who defended in an impressive manner, before LDLC came back equipped to challenge them for real once more. However, despite a one-man advantage LDLC were taken down one by one to secure another round as well as forcing them into another eco round, this doing no good for the French score. By 14-6, LDLC had to strike again to try and stop NiP from taking the series to the third map. However, NiP were able to take their 15th round with nine match points to their account, with only one more round needed to take the battle to the third map at 16-6.
Cobblestone: Which team did the RNG favor?
Both teams came to the new map all even again, with LDLC winning a big fight to have another pistol round to their account. NiP were able to put those CZ75s to good use again, bringing the game to a 1on2 for Xizt, who took down both players, showing us once again how much ecos have changed since the introduction of the CZ to the game. The Swedes were able to take the lead and bring it to 3-1 before LDLC had another full equiped round. Taking this and the following round saw the score even again, with LDLC managing to put their advantage to good use. After extending the lead to 7-3, NiP used a short break to take another round and continued to close the gap between them and LDLC round after round. LDLC was only able to take one more round, going into the second half only one round ahead at 8-7.
The pistol round saw friberg once again be the player keeping NiP alive, winning the pistol round in a 1on1 situation. After the following clear anti-eco by the Swedes, LDLC equalized the game once more with a solid first buy round. Happy was able to almost make the following round a golden one for LDLC, but Friberg once again knew how to take the French down to bring NiP into the lead for the second time on Cobblestone. However, LDLC were able to bring another round home to force an NiP semi buy round, which the Swedes put to good use by almost winning the round but dropping four French weapons. Despite ruining LDLC’s eco, NiP were down to another eco themselves, which did not hurt the French too much as they scored a 12-10 lead, putting more and more pressure on GeT_RiGhT and his team. However, the Ninjas used all their experience and individual skill to tie the game once more at 12-12. Seeming to use an eco round as some kind of time-out, LDLC didn’t really fight but instead used the time to prepare for the following rounds. With some frags going back and forth, NiP took the following round, now two rounds away from a rematch against Fnatic in the grand final. However, LDLC kept their chance of being the first French team in a CS:GO major grand final alive by scoring one very important round, interrupting the Ninjas’ flow. KQLY then made the game all even again, taking out NiP almost on his own and bringing the score to 14-14. However, NiP were able to strike back once more, getting themselves one match point to dodge overtime. As such, it was the Swedes who were the ones to keep their streak alive, making it to the third CS:GO major grand final in a row and thus having a shot at Fnatic to avenge their big loss at DreamHack Winter.
LDLC, on the other hand, have given a lot of great games, including this one against one of the best teams in the world. Despite losing the semifinal and missing their chance at the big shot in the grand final, LDLC have made a lot fans this weekend, with apEX and his team having demonstrated how to take down favorites time and time again.
All CS:GO wrap-ups so far:
- Dignitas vs. Fnatic: who won the Scandinavian semi?
- Ninjas in Pyjamas vs. Cloud 9: a record-breaking series
- LDLC.com vs. Virtus.pro: Who won the Katowice rematch?
- 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
The ESL One homepage is the place to go for all the streams, results and more. What do you expect to see in the rematch between Fnatic and NiP? Tell us in the comments below!