ESL One Cologne 2017 – Cloud9 to face Na`Vi in the semi-finals
Cloud9 dominate NiP 2.0 in an intense three-map quarterfinals series and move on to the semi-finals of ESL One Cologne 2017.
de_Train – 10:16 (10:5, 0:11)
The second quarterfinals of the event started on Cloud9’s map of choice, on which they began on the Terrorist side. The map kicked off with Cloud9 pushing Outside. However, Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg was a nuisance for the Americans, for he picked up four kills with the USP whilst showcasing impressive movement atop the trains in the A site. Cloud9 weren’t able to get the second and third round force-buys, however they were able to get two bomb plants, which boosted up their economy in the first gun round. In the first gun round, C9 took the first two picks, giving them a chance to get into the map with a 5v3 advantage. Though they ran down the clock too much before planting, they were able to get their first round on the board. They followed it up in the next round too, however Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund was able to get two exit kills onto the C9 players, making sure they don’t rack up too much economy. NiP bounced right back with strong defence on both sides and they quickly got the momentum on their side. Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund started to rock the MAG-7, taking fans on a nostalgia trip to the times when he used to be on top of the CS:GO hierarchy. The American camp couldn’t do too much other than scraping out five rounds in the first half and NiP looked stronger than ever, ending the half with a 10:5 score.
Now on the T side, NiP executed a classic B rush with Glocks, but sadly for them, Timothy “autimatic” Ta shut it down immediately with two kills, which was followed up by two frags from Mike “shroud” Grzesiek. Now, all the spotlight was on the Americans, as Clouud9 started to come back into the map and tie up the score. And they did. After numerous miraculous clutches by Mike “shroud” Grzesiek and fantastic defence on the CT side, Cloud9 clean swept NiP with eleven consecutive rounds and closed map one looking sharper than ever.
de_Cache – 16:11 (10:5, 6:6)
The second map of the series was Ninjas in Pyjamas’ home turf: Cache. The pistol went the way of NiP, with Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg leading the army. However, they lost to C9’s second round force-buy after Jake “Stewie2k” Yip took two fast kills with the Desert Eagle, gifting his team a few rifles and massive player advantage. NiP looked like they were about to bounce right back in the following round by forcing back in. They exploded onto the B site and quickly grabbed a 4v2 advantage. However, Timothy “autimatic” Ta found three miraculous frags with the FAMAS, giving the upper hand to C9. After, C9 got three rounds on the board. NiP managed to take one round for themselves and was close to getting another, after Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund and company turned a 2v4 situation to a 2v2 situation. However, Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham clutched the 1v1 and C9 were back in the driver’s seat. Determined not to give C9 any room to breathe, NiP forced into the following round with a few UMPs and TEC-9s. After getting the bomb plant, the round came down to a 1v1 between Mike “shroud” Grzesiek and Richard “Xizt” Landstrom. The Canadian did his best to hunt down the last NiP player but the Swede played it perfectly, playing ring-around-the-rosie until there was no chance for Mike “shroud” Grzesiek to defuse. In the following round, Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg opened up the B site with two entry kills. From then on, NiP took back the lead that was lost early in the map. In the tenth round, both teams managed to pick off one player from their enemy teams. After struggling to commit to a site, NiP pushed into the B site with only 20 seconds left in the round. Their risky play did not backfire and NiP quickly took control of the site. With no chance to retake the 2v4, the remaining two C9 players backed off and gave up another round to the Swedes. NiP did the same in the subsequent round as well. For a slight second, it looked like NiP had done a horrible mistake by running down the clock but the two newbies, Fredrik “REZ” Sterner and William “draken” Sundin saved the day for NiP. Finally, C9 were able to have a substantial buy after numerous unsuccessful force-buys. NiP opted for the A site this round and it looked grim for the Swedes, as the round became a 2v2 between two full health C9 players and two low health NiP players. With Fredrik “REZ” Sterner defending the site, the C9 players started to close in on the A site. But to their nightmare, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund lurked all the way from Highway and flanked Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, who was sitting still, hoping to catch off the NiP player with his AWP. The remaining American couldn’t clutch it out for his team and NiP further stretched their lead. Cloud9 were able to pick up a single round after Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham grabbed two early picks with the AWP but that was all they could get before NiP finished the first half with a 10:5 score, just like the previous map.
In the second half pistol round, NiP quickly gave away the A site to the Americans with five players alive and opted to play the retake. The retake started well, as Fredrik “REZ” Sterner got the first frag of the round. However, Timothy “autimatic” Ta found insane four frags from Forklift and kickstarted C9’s comeback into the map once again. NiP weren’t able to steal the force-buy and the score was now at 10:8. In the first gun round of the second half, C9 continued to dominate as they opened up the site with two entry frags. The remaining three NiP immediately opted to save their rifles and additionally managed to take away three rifles from the C9 players, putting a huge dent in their economy. Though they lost the round, thanks to their saved rifles, NiP were able to buy into the next round. Before C9 could commit to a site, the round was already a 2v2. Cloud9 got the bomb down on the A site, but little did they know that William “draken” Sundin was lurking from A Main. He managed to flank Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham and Mike “shroud” Grzesiek was left in a 1v2. But unlike last map, the clutch did not go the way of the King of CS:GO reddit and NiP finally took a round in the second half. The Swedes picked up the subsequent round too and it was largely credited to their main AWPer, William “draken” Sundin, who had the two early picks. With the score now at 13:9, it was the last chance available for C9 to have a shot at taking the second map. And the Americans valiantly took the chance, as they exploded onto the B site with three frags, kick started by Timothy “autimatic” Ta. But they had another big obstacle to overcome, for NiP had enough economy to buy back in. With his saved AWP from the previous round, Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg found two heads with one bullet, denying C9’s attempt to comeback. The Americans were shut down in the subsequent round too, after Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund had a classic 3k spray-down from outside Vents. The Swedes reached mappoint and C9’s economy was in shambles. C9 had a four TEC-9s and one AK-47 buy by scraping out what was left of their economy and managed to make the best of it, largely thanks to two entry frags found by Mike “shroud” Grzesiek. But that was the end of the Cache chapter for C9 as NiP closed it out in the next round and forced another map in the exciting quarterfinals series.
de_Cobble – 6:16 (5:10, 1:6)
The final map on the quarterfinals started with NiP on the CT side and Cloud9 on the T side. Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund had the first kill of the map, but that was all NiP could get before C9 exploded onto the B site and planted the bomb. William “draken” Sundin was stuck in a 1v4 retake. Somehow, the Swedish prince pulled off the impossible 1v4, killing all four players of C9. But sadly, he didn’t have enough time to defuse the bomb and C9 took the pistol. Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg almost gifted his team the subsequent anti-eco when he found Deagle frags that would leave Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham in a 1v2. But due to NiP’s inferior weapons, he managed to clutch it for C9. The same thing happened for Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham in the next round, but this time, the clutch went the way of NiP after the youngster Fredrik “REZ” Sterner killed the veteran NA AWPer. But the win could not be followed up by anything as C9 won the force-buy. Surprisingly, the trend continued on for NiP too, for they won their piece of force-buy with a single AWP, a rifle and three pistols. C9 bounced right back and the score came to 2:3 for C9. NiP, hoping they can upset against the rifles, force bought once again but this time, they were only able to get upgraded pistols. The pistols weren’t enough to get a win and finally, NiP were put in their place. They had no economy and were left with no choice but to eco. After losing the eco, NiP managed to find one round but was reset immediately and the score quickly became 3:9 for C9. Finally, NiP showed a glimmer of hope as C9’s push to the B site left NiP in a very advantageous 4v2 situation. But Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, once again, stepped up big time for his team, grabbing three kills and adding another round on the board for C9. With only two rounds left in the half, the Ninjas had no room to save. So, they forced in and after a clumsy bit of trade frags, Mike “shroud” Grzesiek was in a 1v2. He attempted the clutch but William “draken” Sundin had none of it. The Swedes got a fourth round on the board and another one, ending the half with the score that was way too common in this quarterfinals series, 5:10. But this time, C9 had the upper hand.
In the last half of the series, Timothy “autimatic” Ta found three headshots onto NiP in Mid, which would gift the pistol to C9 and stretch their lead on NiP even more. The Americans also managed to pick up the anti-ecos and the score was now at 5:13. NiP finally got a round and brought themselves one round closer to tying it up but they were reset immediately after. Cloud9 were putting up stellar performance and brought themselves to map point, match point and series point. With no economy to even wish to put up a fight against fully-equipped C9, NiP crumbled and C9 took a spot in a semi-finals game against Natus Vincere.
Image courtesy of ESL.