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Published: August 31, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • NiP triumph over Astralis, getting revenge for a previous loss at the qualifiers for IEM Cologne
  • They led their opponents by the nose in both maps played
  • NiP will now face Vitality in a match to get a spot in the event’s playoffs

Astralis got a taste of their own medicine in Malta, as Ninjas in Pyjamas defeated them 2-0 on Ancient and Inferno, taking revenge for the previous time both teams clashed.

NiP Triumph Over Astralis

ESL Pro League Season 18 is in full swing and teams are locked in a battle to get glory and a piece of the $850 000 price pool. Ninjas in Pyjamas are no one step closer to that goal after earning their first victory at the Maltese event, after defeating Danish squad Astralis 2-0 in a relatively easy match.

This is a break in NiP’s bad luck that they have been having so far this season. The team missed out on a spot at IEM Sydney and failed to get to IEM Cologne after suffering a 0-2 loss to Astralis. This means that the current victory not only breaks NiP’s string of bad luck but also marks a much-needed revenge to regain morale.

In a post-match interview, NiP’s Hampus “⁠hampus⁠” Poser expressed his excitement that the Nordic squad managed to even the score line with Astralis. “I think we had a very good game plan. When we played them in Cologne, we had two hours to prepare for them in the morning, but now we had a lot of days [to prepare] since we knew we were going to play them for so long,” hampus explained.

It Was an Easy Match for NiP

Astralis and NiP first met on Ancient, the former’s pick, which they have been playing a lot recently. Despite that, their opponents were the ones who took the early lead with Kristian “⁠k0nfig⁠” Wienecke playing a huge role in that. By the end of the first half, he had accumulated 14 kills and 107 ADR, helping NiP gain a stable lead of 9-6. Unfortunately for Astralis, this gap only grew wider during the second half of the map as hampus’ men quickly wrapped up Ancient, meeting only mild resistance along the way, to finish it with the scoreboard reading 16-10.

Inferno was the next map and the story played out quite the same. NiP quickly gained the initiative and finished the first half once again with a 9-6 lead. This time when the sides switched, Astralis had more energy and even managed to almost equalize the results at one point, but NiP’s Fredrik “⁠REZ⁠” Sterner and Daniil “⁠headtr1ck⁠” Valitov put all hops the opponents had to their graves.

In the end, NiP won a not-so-difficult match against Astralis, posing themselves for their upper bracket semi-final matchup versus Vitality this evening. Whoever succeeds will have a spot guaranteed in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Astralis are sent to the lower bracket where they will have to face ORKS.

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