Counter-Strike: Global Offensive organization Ninjas in Pyjamas has sent Cloud9 home from IEM Katowice 2020. The two teams faced off in round 1 of the lower bracket after losing their first matches yesterday versus Vitality and Astralis. Now, NiP has defeated Cloud9 in a best-of-three series and knocked them out of the running.
NiP, meanwhile, will move forward to the lower bracket semi-finals. Their next match is Wednesday, Feb 26 at 9:30 AM ET. All matches are streamed live on the official ESL Twitch channel.
Map one: Overpass
As expected, Cloud9 took the first map to Overpass. Their performance there yesterday, played against arguably the best CSGO team on the planet, should have meant they’d take home a win versus NiP. Statistically speaking, NiP performs well on this map (55.8% win rate) but has lost most of their recent games. The last time NiP saw victory on Overpass was in 2019 against AVANGAR (16-6) at ECS Season 8 finals.
However, NiP completely countered Cloud9’s attempts. The first half started Cloud9 on the terrorist side. In an absolute steamroll, it took 12 rounds for C9 to manage a single round win. NiP made fantastic reads against their opponents’ offensive strategies. More often than not, Cloud9 lost early control of long, bathrooms, and divider, forcing the squad to make plays towards B site. Despite their efforts, NiP consistently bested them in gunfights. The final scoreline of the first half was 14-1.
Swapping sides didn’t make a significant difference in C9’s performance. They won the pistol round with a bomb defuse which brought the score to 14-2. However, NiP quickly regained their composure and ended the first map with a win at 16-2.
Map two: Vertigo
Map two, NiP’s pick, was one of their least played maps thus far: Vertigo. Both Cloud9 and NiP are relatively inexperienced on the map, having only played it once and five times, respectively, at the start of the series.
Out of the gate, it seemed like Cloud9 had gotten their act together with three straight round wins. Certainly, winning the pistol round gave C9 a buffer in terms of weapons and utility. But as soon as NiP’s economy stabilized in the fourth round, they won the next twelve rounds of the first half in a row (12-3).
To C9’s credit, their performance on the t-side was miles better than anything seen in the first half, or even during the first map. They earned six rounds (two bomb detonations and wiped NiP four times) during the second half but were unable to secure a comeback. NiP finished Vertigo 16-9 and ended the series 2-0.
The full IEM Katowice 2020 bracket and tournament information can be seen here.