Cover Image Courtesy: Intel Extreme Masters
The final day of the New Challengers Stage was certainly a big day for both the Asian teams and although both of them were matched up against top-notch teams somehow it all seemed achievable. The thought was short-lived though as both the Chinese teams were eliminated one after the other by their European counterparts.
ViCi Gaming faced off against NiP putting up a great fight. The Swedish team made quick work of ViCi on Train winning by a score of ‘16-7’, ViCi showed resilience on Inferno taking the map ‘16-13’ but the final match on Cache proved to be a bit too much for ViCi who were outplayed by NiP ‘16-10'.
GG WP! @NiPGaming close out Mirage 16:10 and take the series 2:1! They advance to the legends stage!@ViCi_Gaming will be eliminated from the tournament.#IEM https://t.co/fTBRGvbUbv pic.twitter.com/U15r9FXhr1— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) February 17, 2019
Tyloo showed promise winning Mirage by a score of ‘16-12’ but G2 was ferocious on Dust 2 taking it ‘16-2’ and carried the momentum on to Cache where they won by a score of ‘16-7’.
ViCi was rocked pretty hard on Train which was the map picked by NiP. ViCi were off to a solid start playing CT but a map that favours the defending side, NiP were able to overwhelm the Chinese side into submitting the bomb sites one too many times.
With Kaze missing out on his flicks and ViCi getting carried away by the tempo, it was Freeman along with Auman that helped ViCi survive for as long as they could.
When the time came for ViCi to execute, there was a brutal shutdown from the side of NiP who went on to win all the rounds in the second half, claiming the match and feeling quite content with their performance.
Off to a solid start on Inferno the chances for ViCi to take the map seemed possible but somewhere in the middle NiP turned the match around in their favour.
This is when Kaze sprang into action, connecting his shots with anything and everything. Freeman and Zhoking also started taking part in all the action as ViCi slowly but surely took the win on Inferno, making it the most successful map for the side here in the New Challengers Stage with a win rate of 66.66%.
The final match was played on Cache where NiP was in total control since the start, struggling throughout ViCi seemed to be lacking both control and coordination in their executes and the defence. They recovered a bit in the second half playing T-sided but the lead attained by NiP helped them chip away rounds towards victory.
A Severe Letdown
Tyloo was a massive letdown, they started off this stage in such a strong manner but kept losing steam with each passing day falling all the way down to the decider.
Starting off their match on Mirage, Tyloo managed to win only five rounds while playing T-sided but having the confidence on their CT-side the Chinese team went on to win 11 rounds in the second half to ensure victory on their map pick.
G2 started slow and then snowballed out of control, leading to a severe beatdown of the Chinese side on Dust 2 who were only able to win a total of two rounds. BnTeT and Attacker were the only two players who were finding some frags as G2 outplayed them quite heavily.
The momentum gathered in the previous match was still alive as G2 gave another crushing blow to Tyloo by winning thirteen rounds in their favour. Tyloo showed a glimpse of mounting a comeback in the second half but all was in vain as G2 were not afraid of trading blows and came out on top as Tyloo were left dusted and dejected.
A valiant effort by ViCi Gaming for putting up a wonderful show in their first every Major appearance, their tenacity and controlled aggression surely came as a surprise for a few teams. On the other hand, much was expected of Tyloo who were flawless in the opening matches but were a disappointment by the end of it.
With this, the New Challengers Stage has reached its end. Following are the 8 teams that have qualified onto the New Legends Stage,
Ninjas in Pyjamas