Acend faced Ninjas in Pyjamas on Day 5 of VCT 2021 Europe Stage 1 Masters. After a close 2-0 victory against Acend previously, NiP faced the team again in a decider match for the playoffs. Acend’s methodical, even clinical, execution in its second encounter was evidence of improvement, finishing a handy 2-0 victory over NiP.
NiP started strongly as Defenders, netting a few rounds, but Jose Luis “koldamenta” Aranguren Herrero pretty much stole the show from the Ninjas on the defense-heavy map. His Ace in the fifth round secured Acend its first round. koldamenta kept his pace throughout the game.
NiP looked shaky, leaving Acend uncontested for pre-plants. NiP’s hesitation finally dissipated in the ninth round when it held B-site with a superb crossfire and great Cypher utility usage by “chiwawa”. chiwawa was right beside koldamenta in kills, but couldn’t quite secure his team a lead in the first half. The last round in the half had CREA OP-ing on B-long, snatching a two-man collateral kill before “cNed” dashed with Jett to pick him off near the B-long teleporter, making it a handy 2v4 in NiPs favor. NiP closed the first half at 6-6.
The second half on Bind had “starxo” opening up with two kills on attack against NiP; chiwawa almost clutched the round in a 1v2 against BONECOLD and starxo. But Acend pretty much crippled NiP’s economy with its strong two-man holds in Shower and Hookah in almost every round with some strong pre-plants. With BONECOLD and cNed’s help, Acend crushed NiP’s almost lethargic pushes. Even so, NiP didn’t make the match easy, with a few moments where they reared their heads in triumph, but Acend closed the match with a 13-9 win.
The attack-favored map started with Acend raiding A-site. Once again, NiP only had chiwawa alive in a 1v2. Even after a quick frag on starxo, he couldn’t secure the round for his team.
Acend smashed NiP in every round right till the end. While NiP did have a poor showing with visible hesitation, Acend’s clinical execution on Icebox was phenomenal. Its aggressive site pushes and fakes off the back of BONECOLD popping off on Viper secured Acend an 8-4 lead. BONECOLD led the charts with 17 kills.
Acend continued the second half with its strong pace. After its first-round win, it never stopped. Acend systematically choked out NiP across the map in every round, not giving NiP any room to capitalize on. NiP’s struggles to keep their head above the water were palpable, but Acend was ruthless in its execution. The team stomped NiP in an impressive 13-4 win
With this loss, Ninjas in Pyjamas are eliminated from the VCT 2021. CREA Tweeted an apology to NiP fans, admitting that the team is capable of more than what they showed.
Acend will advance to the Semifinals, playing FunPlus Phoenix tomorrow.