Ninjas in Pyjamas have been crowned as the winner of the Starseries I League Season 2. The Swedish roster was playing with a stand-in in the form of Maikelele.
NIP were placed in Group A along with Dignitas, Godsent and Hellraisers. The Groups proved to be surprisingly easy for NIP as they walked past Godsent and Hellraisers. The NIP roster was slowly getting their chemistry going.
The Playoffs saw NIP facing off against arch Nemesis Astralis. Now NIP have always had the upper hand against Astralis when it comes to Playoff matches. The Swedish have had the mental advantage over the Danes and it was clearly visible once again in the Quarterfinals. Astralis won the first map, Cache quite comfortably. They were up 11-4 on Dust2 in what should have been a very easy map for them. But the Ninjas stepped up their game and barely gave away rounds to Astralis.
NIP faced off a relatively easier team in Cloud9 in the Semi finals. Cloud9 who reached the semifinals after defeating teams such as Cyberzen, EnVyUs and Flipside definitely did not inspire enough confidence in their gameplay. This was a time when the best player on the team was Stewie2k. That in itself was quite surprising considering the calibre of players on the NA roster. NIP were easily able to win against Cloud9 in two straight maps. They even limited Cloud9 to single digits for the maximum part.
The finals was a classic match-up between NIP and Gamers2. Some of these players have had rivalries running as back as 2012. Shox was a player who had never lost a final against NIP. It was something that NIP wholeheartedly wanted to change. And Change they did….
NIP decimated Gamers2 on Cache 16-7. Considering the fact that NIP have been falling off on Cache recently( they won just 1 out of their last four Cache maps , including losing to Astralis); this was quite commendable. The next map, Overpass has historically been weak for NIP. Their performance on Overpass has been so bad that they used to permanently ban the map. Lately though, they have been improving on the map by leaps and bounds, mainly due to incessant practice sessions on Overpass. Friberg in particular was stellar in his performance in the Grand finals. Seeing how there have been several calls for his departure, this performance by the King of Banana was very heartening. The map was a very back and forth matchup as Gamers2 are also well known on the map. In the end, NIP managed to eike out a victory with a score of 22-18.
With Gamers2 whiffing shots such as the ones missed by Smithz on Overpass; the Gamers2 lineup definitely missed some crucial shots in their matchups. However in the end NIP were definitely the better team as they had the firepower and some really good team communication to win them the tournament.
NIP won $130,000 being the champions of Starseries. Gamers2 won $50000 as the runners up. But more importantly, this might setup the return of NIP Gaming. Of course they still need to win several more tournaments and have consistent online presence in most of the league matches. If they can keep their form at the same level, we might just see a strong contender to the current Major Champions and World Number one team , SK.