FaZe and Spirit win their PGL Antwerp Quarter-Finals games to set up Semi-Finals matchup. After a stunning Day 1, who will prevail in the Semis?
PGL Antwerp has finally reached the much-awaited Champions Stage. 8 Teams entered the Sportspaleis Arena and in the first match of the Quarter-Finals, FaZe ended NIP's time in PGL Antwerp.
The grand opener for the playoffs was a competitive affair with both teams having their moments. But a clear storyline ran throughout as NIP won just a single CT round combined on the maps they lost.
Map 1- Nuke - Rain and Karrigan Steal the Show
The series began with a pick of Nuke coming out of the International Squad. But with NIP getting the pick of the CT side, the game began slowly for the Karrigan-led squad. The Ninjas were led by their core of Hampus, Plopski, and REZ as they managed to put together a solid 9-6 half.
Unfortunately for them, that was where their good fortune ended. In the second half, NIP's best performer managed to scrape together a measly 6 kills while FaZe was led by Rain who was seemingly hitting every headshot he could. All of this meant that NIP managed to get a single T-sided round as FaZe took the map 16-10.
Map 2 - Overpass - Brollan and Hampus lead Sweden to the Win
Overpass was a close affair, picked by NIP. The Swedes started on a T-side which had given them trouble on the previous map. But the flow of the game was completely controlled by Hampus. He constantly read FaZe Clan's aggression and shut their advances down, putting together a respectable 7 round tally.
The trend continued in the second half as NIP looked in control despite FaZe picking up a handful of rounds. The game ended up as a 16-13 loss for the side of FaZe as the individuals did not show up and the tactical side felt weaker than usual.
Map 3 - Inferno - 0 T-Rounds for the Ninjas
Once more NIP got a CT side start and just like Nuke they dominate the start of the game. They picked up 8 rounds out of the first 11 but FaZe finally answered back and once again pulled the game into an 8-7 half. This time NIP's T-side was even rougher than before as the best player got a total of 3 kills in the whole half. FaZe ended their misery quickly with a 16-8 finish, taking the PGL Antwerp semi-finals spot away from the Swedes.
Ninjas In Pyjamas - Success at PGL Antwerp Despite loss to Faze
For the Swedes, this is a major they can be proud of. Last Major was not great as they struggled to make it to the playoffs and were destroyed once they got there. This time, however, they no longer have Device. But with Brollan in the server, they are proving that they don't need the Danish Superstar to be a contending lineup.
As Hampus has stated in an interview, this is the lineup they want to play with. And the server shows why. Not only is this team a much better tactical side, but they now have assembled the 3 greatest Swedish players since the Olofmeister-Krimz duo of days gone by. Expect to see more of their explosive performances as we continue this final leg of the first season.
FaZe Clan - Onward and Upwards at PGL Antwerp
FaZe still doesn't look like the best team in the event. But this win over NIP was a great showing of tenacity and that veteran experience that we know this team for. Their battle against Spirit will be tough, but FaZe are the favorites in PGL Antwerp.
Do they have what it takes to go all the way? Stay tuned to Esports.gg to find out.