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Published: May 17, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Apeks are the eighth and final team that will participate in the event’s Champions stage
  • Both maps played, Vertigo and Ancient, went into overtime
  • Apeks makes perhaps the biggest comeback in the tournament so far

Ninjas in Pyjamas threw away a 14-3 advantage on Ancient, allowing Apeks to come back and eliminate them from the BLAST Premier Paris Major and secure a spot in the Champions stage.

Apeks Defeat NiP

Apeks becomes the final team to earn a much-coveted spot in the BLAST Premier Paris Major playoffs, which will run from May 18 to 21. The squad under Damjan “kyxsan” Stoilkovski did so after defeating Nynjas in Pyjamas in a close match played on vertigo and Ancient, which saw moth maps being extended to overtimes. 

The victory marks Apeks’ first-ever playoff appearance at a CS:GO Major. It will also be the first time Justinas “?jL?” Lekavicius, and the team’s captain Damjan “?kyxsan?” Stoilkovski, will participate in a CS major. “It was crazy, we all believed in the comeback somehow. We understood we were the much better team,” said Apeks’ Martin “?STYKO?” Styk after the match. “You have to ride this high and have to absorb everything but we will stick to our routines we made at the tournament so far.”

But as the team is triumphing, having recovered from their loss to GamerLegion, who also earned a playoff spot after defeating Apeks, Ninjas in Pyjamas are left to cope pf being eliminated from the tournament. “It feels unreal, I’m just smiling as I can’t believe it,” said Aleksi “?Aleksib?” Virolainen in the post-match interview. “I felt like we were better, we had great starts in both games and threw them away.”

Apeks Pulled Out an Amazing Comeback

What’s more tragic for NiP is that the team could have easily avoided the elimination if they hadn’t lost the huge 14-3 advantage they had on Ancient. But the game started on Vertigo, on which NiP also gained a huge lead, only to let Apeks retake the initiative and run away with the map.

NiP enjoyed an 8-2 advantage when Apeks crawled back to end the first half of the map in a 6-9 deficit. Despite NiP having a slight lead, the teams traded rounds once the sides switched only for Apeks to tie up the score at 13-13. The struggle for Vertigo continued into the overtime, but Apeks barely edged out a 19-17 victory on the map.

However, this exhausted the team a lot, and when the map changed to Ancient, NiP took the chance and ran away to a 14-3 after a dominant defense and a second-half pistol. But just as it was looking like NiP would take Ancient and the match will go to the third map, Apeks pulled out what could be considered the biggest comeback of the Major so far.

The team built a solid defense, allowing them to take a whopping eight rounds in a row, diminishing NiP’s lead to just three points. An important 1vs3 clutch from NiP’s Daniil “?headtr1ck?” Valitov broke Apeks’ streak, but the team then quickly equalized the result to 15-15, necessitating an overtime.

With the fate of the game and the teams’ future in the tournament hanging in the balance, Apeks took the lead for the first time on the map with a 17-16. But a crucial triple kill by jL put Apeks on the match point, allowing nawwk to secure the map and game after a 1vs2 clutch in round 35.

Following this, Apeks became the final participant in the BLAST Premier Paris Major’s Champions stage, while Ninjas in Pyjamas were sent home.

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