NIP Qualify to IEM Katowice Groups after smashing Team Spirit
The Swedish-turned-international squad bested Chopper and co. to lock in a spot in the already stacked IEM Katowice Group stage.
Ninjas in Pyjamas are the first team to qualify for the IEM Katowice group stage with a 2-0 victory over Team Spirit. The CIS squad moves down to the lower bracket of the Play-Ins after a 16-7 loss on Nuke and a 16-8 game on Mirage.
The game was the second in the day for k0nfig on his debut as a Ninja. While the Dane showed improved form in this series with a 1.04 average rating, he's yet to show us the prime entry-fragging beast that k0nfig can be. The player attributed his underperformance to the lack of practice, stating in a post-match interview that NIP only had a couple of days of practice ahead of IEM Katowice.
Map 1 - Nuke - Aleksib leads from the front
The game started off with Spirit's pick of Nuke. Historically, NIP permaban the map, but at IEM Katowice, they have decided to bring out a seven-map pool. Fredrik "REZ" Sterner started off the proceedings with his back-to-back multi-kills giving NIP the opener and conversion. Magixx's crew quickly responded with a 4 round set to get an early T-side lead. A double-kill from Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen got his team back on the board in the eighth and gave them the momentum to close out the first half with a three-round lead.
The second half opened with a fast A site hit from the Ninjas, and the team quickly rolled the Spirit defence, conceding just one round en route to a 16-7 victory. The in-game leader himself showed a spectacular performance with 21 kills helping his squad dominate Spirit's map pick.
Map 2 - Mirage - REZ ensures NIP's IEM Katowice berth
Mirage started off with NIP continuing their pistol-round streak by taking their third in the series. The European mix put together a massive 6-0 lead on their T side, with REZ putting up impact kills round after round. Spirit was able to claw their way back into the half, ending it with just a 1 round deficit at 7-8.
Yet another pistol-round win put NIP in double digits. Aleksib's squad retained control from that point on, crushing Spirit's hopes of an easy play-in and securing the 16-8 victory. Everyone was firing on all cylinders for Ninjas in Pyjamas and ensured the team's berth at the IEM Katowice group stage.
The team now awaits the conclusion of the play-in stage to find out which group they will be placed in. Meanwhile, Spirit continues their battle in the lower bracket to make their way into the prestigious event.
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I am a hardcore Counter-Strike fan who loves to watch and write about CSGO. A student of the game's history and a bad player in game.