Ninjas in Pyjamas finished in the top four ranks at their first Major appearance in the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit, but they didn’t go out without a fight. In fact, NiP delivered the best games of the Major so far in their elimination series versus Evil Geniuses.
NiP and EG battled against each other earlier in the tournament, in the upper bracket quarterfinals, where the master drafter Peter “ppd” Dager defeated his former team. So, today’s elimination series was a rematch and EG were hungry for revenge. However, they got yet again out-maneuvered by NiP as PPD allowed them to first pick Terrorblade (TB) only to counter it with a Morphling. The hero’s ability to actually change his form into one of his enemies always makes the Morph to be the better version of the initial hero and that was exactly the case in this game. Morphling was simply a better Terrorblade fighting against EG with an absolutely top-notch performance from his support Rubick in the hands of Martin “Saksa” Sazdov. Although these two truly shined throughout the game, the entire NiP team worked like a well-oiled machine and made EG look unprepared.
With just one more victory away from securing a top three finish and with EG banning out Morphling, NiP reverted to their Drow Ranger strategies from yesterday and for the better part of game two they made it work. PPD saved the last pick for Adrian “Fata” Trinks who got to play Visage, which gave NiP the push power needed to take down a full lane of barrack just 20 minutes into the game. The game looked really lost for EG, who once again had Artour “Arteezy” Babaev on TB. One of the big advantages of a Drow strat against TB is that if timed and chained properly, Drow’s Silence from Gust can be deadly for Terrorblade who relies on his Sunder to outlast his enemies in the team fights. And, for a while, Arteezy suffered tremendously in the game because of that one Drow spell. But, as NiP had over 10K gold advantage and were constantly pushing EG’s base, a single clutch play from EG’s Bane who Nightmare-ed the TB for a split second allowing RTZ to get out his Sunder, turned around the fate of the game. From that moment on, NiP’s advantage went down the drain with every minute. Gustav “s4” Magnusson on Batrider completed an Aghanim’s Scepter and was able to Lasso two heroes all the times to ensure EG’s superiority in the team fights and push the series in a decisive game three.
Evil Geniuses had once again the first pick/first ban in game three and repeated their drafting strategy of taking Morphling out of the hero pool while first picking Terrorblade. Nip continued to push forward with the Drow strat but this time they paired it with a Storm Spirit. The laning stage was pretty balanced, neither team getting a considerable advantage out of it, but once the hostilities broke out into team fights, EG proved to have the better initiations with Kunkka and Brewmaster cores while they also had the burst finisher to make sure their target doesn’t escape. Past the 20 minute mark, EG took the full control of the game and made almost no mistakes to eliminate out Ninjas in Pyjamas from the Kuala Lumpur Major. EG will return to the arena tomorrow, on the Major’s finals day in Kuala Lumpur when they will fight for a shot at reaching the grand finals.