G2 still have one more chance to qualify for the Fall Finals. But can they?
The Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) came in strong against G2 to qualify for the BLAST Premier Fall Finals. They defeated G2 2-1, coming back from a first-map loss to win the series. G2’s inconsistent performance after the player break continues into BLAST Premier Groups, but the team still has one more chance to qualify.
NiP has now secured a spot in the Grand Finals and confirmed its presence at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals. Here's how the upper bracket finals played out.
Ancient - Not quite the Ninja
The series started with NiP’s pick of Ancient. The Ninjas have been picking Ancient as their map of choice for a long time, but they looked out of sorts today.
G2 had a 9-0 start on the CT side, yes, a 9-0 start. Despite the disastrous start to the series, NiP clawed back into the first half securing five rounds to end on a 5-10 deficit. But G2’s dominance continued into the second half where Nikola "NiKo" Kovač’s impressive performance was too much for the Ninjas.
The 24-year-old finished Ancient with 27 kills, a significant lead over the player with the second-highest frags, Audric "JaCkz" Jug at 17. G2 started strong on Ancient, taking a one-map lead in the series.
Mirage goes the distance, but NIP pulls ahead
The stakes were already high. A win here would secure the victor a slot at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals later this year. The Fall Finals is a $425,000 event with the winner securing a spot at the World Finals.
The Ninjas needed to do something big on Mirage. It was not their map choice, but map choices matter little as we saw on Ancient. G2 had a similarly strong start on Mirage, going up 7-2 quickly. But this time, NiP did not allow G2 to pull ahead bringing the score to a respectable 7-8 at half-time.
Both teams were neck-to-neck in the series and ultimately the Ninjas pulled ahead this time. Device and Rez were particularly impressive with Dev1ce getting 29 kills and leading NiP to the decider.
Inferno sends G2 packing to the lower bracket
The final map was Inferno and NiP had the momentum coming into the decider. This time around, NiP took a massive lead in the first half, much unlike previous maps. The Ninjas had the confidence going into Inferno, familiar territory for many players. With an 11-4 lead, there was little that could go wrong for the Ninjas.
With an even split of 5 rounds apiece on the second half, NiP easily marched towards victory with a 16-7 score.
With this win, NiP has secured its spot in the Grand Finals, and more importantly a slot at the BLAST Premier Fall Finals. G2 moves to the lower bracket, where they will face the winner of BIG and MIBR.