It's been another long day of exciting of matches at the MadCatz FaceIt Vienna tournament with a number of upsets along the way. While it's no surprise to see Ninjas in Pyjamas in the Grand Finals, the team will be joined by the underdog Anexis eSports after a stunning Semi-Final victory.
Here's how they got there...
Nostalgia, the partial VirtusPRO pug,
Ninjas in Pyjamas demonstrated their dominance by smashing Nostalgia on de_nuke_se, followed by de_dust2_se. Winning just seven rounds in two maps, Nostalgia was eliminated from the tournament and NiP proceeded to Round 2. f0rest
lead the team in the first map with 21 frags, while GeT_RiGhT
took down 27 in the second map.
On the same side of the bracket, ESC Gaming had a surprisingly difficult match-up against underdog LDLC, the Group D winner that impressed in Saturday's matches. With a narrow 16-13 win on mirage and an overtime result on de_inferno, ESC edged past LDLC for the series victory.
Heading over to the other half of the bracket,
Anexis was paired up with
TCM-Gaming. On Day 1, Anexis slammed VeryGames in the group stage but had two closer matches on Day 2. While TCM-Gaming put up a good fight, Anexis pulled through with back-to-back map wins.
The final match of the Round One bracket featured one of the best matches in CS:GO's short history.
Na`Vi went head-to-head on de_mirage_csgo. The teams traded rounds throughout the first two halves until the match eventually reached overtime. With bright moments from Na'Vi's markeloff
and VeryGame's NBK
, the match extended to an unthinkable six overtimes
. At the end of the epic match, VERYGAMES won the map 34-30.
Despite the long match, the series had just begun. Na'Vi was able to pull it together on de_dust2 to win 16-11, but it was VeryGames that made it to the second round with a narrow 16-14 win on de_inferno. After overtimes and delays, the entire series took six hours to complete.
VeryGames' win meant the end of the road for Na'Vi in the team's CS:GO LAN debut.
NiP and ESC, a match many Counter-Strike fans have been eagerly waiting for, began on de_dust2. As usual, it was NiP that took charge early cruised to a 16-8 win. The second map between the two squads proved to be more competitive.
Starting on T-side,
ESC Gaming made a move towards "B", with full nades for most members. They were able to take over the site and hold off a potential f0rest clutch. After winning the subsequent two rounds, NiP won the first gun round. Oddly enough, that was the only round NiP would see for awhile.
combining on entry frags, and TaZ having some jaw-dropping shots, ESC went up 7-1. GeT_RiGhT
managed to win a 2v3 plus defuse to win their third round of the half, but with a 10-3 ESC lead, the Swedes looked to be in trouble. ESC won the half 11-4.
Regardless of the deficit, NiP mounted a rally of their own on T-side and ESC began to fall apart. In most rounds, NiP was able to create a very early 5v3 advantage. Nearing a tie-game, friberg
went to fake "B", while the rest of his team was in position to overtake "A". friberg's "B" take turned into two frags by the world champ and ownership of the "B" bombsite.
NiP played a slow, methodical offense that left ESC baffled. An 11-4 lead for ESC turned into a 13-12 NiP advantage.
in a 1v1, Loord wasn't able to bait out friberg with a fake defuse, allowing NiP to claim their 14th round. In the next round, it was Fifflaren's
turn to win a 1v1, killing TaZ who was forced to attempt a kit-less defuse. Game point for NiP. Rolling over "A" in the next round, NiP cruised to their final round win and a familiar spot in the Grand Finals.
VeryGames takes on Anexis
The second Semi-Final match saw VeryGames taking on Anexis, a team that hadn't lost a map yet in the tournament. On CT-side, VeryGames started out 3-0 on de_inferno but Anexis responded with their own four round win streak, topped off by a PIMPZ 3K. The half completed with an unusually narrow 8-7 lead in VG's favor.
VG also won the T-side pistol and the subsequent two rounds. 11-7 VG.
During the first gun round, Anexis' Nico went aggressive on banana, allowing his team to over-rotate to "A". PIMPZ and gla1ve each took down two to win the round. After winning the next four rounds, Anexis reclaimed the lead.
During the 12th round of the second half, Anexis had two alive and attempted to defuse. However, VG's nbK was waiting in smoke and killed both CT's to tie up the game.
Two rounds later, PIMPZ and Nico needed to retake "B" after a VG plant. With three T's left standing, Nico AWPed one and PIMPZ cleaned up the next two to push Anexis to game point. The next round quickly went to Anexis and the Danes won the first map of the series.
Moving over to de_nuke, VeryGames won another half on CT-side but this time by a larger margin; 10-5. Noted for having one of the best de_nuke offenses in the world, VeryGames reinforced that claim with a strong second half and eventually won 16-9.
The final map, de_dust2, would determine which team would move on to meet NiP. This time, it was Anexis that lead at half on T-side. In the final round of the half, Nille got two insta-headshots in a 1v2 to secure his team's ninth round.
VeryGames struggled to penetrate Anexis' defense. A Nille / gla1ve 2v2 win, plus defuse pushed the Danes to match point. In the final round, only PIMPZ and Nico had rifles while the rest of the team saved. Smithzz and Ex6tenZ managed to plant, but PIMPZ and MSL reclaimed "B" to win the round.
With just a single map loss in the entire tournament thus far, Anexis, the MadCatz Vienna underdog, has secured a spot in the Grand Finals against Ninjas in Pyjamas.