Ninjas in Pyjamas started their IEM Katowice 2022 run with a win over reigning Champions Gambit. Playing with a phzy instead of star AWPer dev1ce, hopes from NiP were minimal but they showed everyone up by pulling off a huge upset in their opening game. They picked up their pick of Ancient after an 11-4 comeback, then lost Vertigo, Gambit’s best map of the course. They then hammered Gambit on Overpass, a team that is arguably the best overpass team in recent memory. NiP will face Virtus.pro tomorrow in the upper bracket while Gambit face Copenhagen Flames in an elimination game.
- NIP removed Dust2
- Gambit removed Nuke
- NIP picked Ancient
- Gambit picked Vertigo
- NIP removed Inferno
- Gambit removed Mirage
- Overpass was left over
MAP 1: Ancient (NiP 16-13 Gambit)
MAP 2: Vertigo (NiP 11-16 Gambit)
MAP 3: Overpass (NiP 16-8 Gambit)
Starting us off on Ancient, NiP continued with their woes on the T side and Gambit cashed in on it. Being the most CT-biased map, Gambit took 11 rounds on the defense as NiP were left with just scraps. But once the sides swapped, the Ninjas were on fire. 2 odd rounds is all the Russians could muster as a 12 round CT hold, led by IGL hampus was more than what they could handle. Even when Gambit had the advantage, es3tag clutched it out for his side to shut gambit right back down.
Vertigo is somewhat of a Gambit special as had been the case all through 2021 and they gave ample evidence of why it was so. They started on the T side and found good streaks of 3 and 4 rounds, to help themselves to 9 rounds. hampus did spoil the party with a smartly played-out 1v3 or Gambit may have run away with the half altogether.
After the initial CT hiccups that let Nip tie the score 10-10, Gambit turned the gears. World #5 Ax1le had 15 kills and just 6 deaths on the CT side to power Gambit to a third map with ease as they won 16-11.
On Overpass, NiP started off strong yet again as veteran Hobbit was the only shining light for Gambit. sh1ro was missing on the AWP and nafany was out-called by hampus many a time early on. Gambit eventually recovered to end with a 1 round deficit of 7-8.
CT side overpass was the best half of the series for NiP, even better than Ancient. They only lost 1 round as phzy went ham on the sniper. To add insult to injury he hit a jumping no scope onto sh1ro towards the end.
Gambit could find no solutions and the series ended with a whimper for the defending champions as NiP won 16-8 to advance to the upper bracket.