Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) overcame four Divine Rapiers on the side of Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) with two of their own, along with some sneaky maneuvers, to win a 93-minute game two in their group stage matchup at the ESL One Los Angeles EU-CIS online regional league.
After a convincing victory in game one, Na’Vi looked to close out the series with Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek on Medusa. Idan “MagicaL” Vardanian was put on Razor, Pavel “9pasha” Khvastunov on Mars, Semion “CemaTheSlayer” Krivulya on Snapfire, and Illias “Illias” Ganeev on Ogre Magi to back up their hard carry.
Meanwhile, NiP looked to win in the midgame with a strong five-man lineup with Nikita “Daxak” Kuzmin on Bristleback, Jason “TANNER” Weedon on Templar Assassin, stand-in offlaner Evgeniy “Blizzy” Ree on Underlord, stand-in support player Milan “MiLAN” Kozomara on Earthshaker, and Peter “ppd” Dager on Keeper of the Light.
While NiP handily won the laning phase and were off to a good start, Na’Vi won the crucial team fights at the 18 and 20-minute marks that delayed NiP’s midgame power spike.
While NiP was still in the stronger position and had Na’Vi cooped up in their base 30 minutes in, Crystallize was able to pick up his first Divine Rapier at the 32-minute mark to headline a nigh-impenetrable line of defense for his team.
That turned the game into an unmoving stalemate, as NiP repeatedly punished all of Na’Vi’s attempts to break out of their base while they themselves couldn’t break into their opponents’ because of the Rapier-wielding Medusa.
Both teams were then essentially locked into an arms race for Divine Rapiers and Tier 5 neutral items as the game passed the hour mark. On the Na’Vi side, Crystallize had three Rapiers and the Apex while MagicaL had one Rapier of his own. Meanwhile, TANNER held two Rapiers for NiP while Blizzy and MiLAN acquired neutral items that were great for initiation and pushing in the Fallen Sky and Book of the Dead, respectively.
After countless siege attempts, NiP was finally able to destroy their first set of barracks at bottom lane although it came at great cost. That emboldened Na’Vi to venture out of their base to try to relieve the pressure they were being put under, but that only served to draw the game out further.
Despite a gold advantage that ballooned to over 40,000 gold, NiP was still being repelled by Na’Vi as Crystallize’s Medusa — who was hitting for over 1,200 damage with each auto-attack with three Rapiers, Satanic, Manta Style, and Apex — proved to be virtually unassailable while defending from inside his base.
However, Na’Vi was continually outmaneuvered by NiP every time they tried to go out of their base to take an objective back. After over an hour and a half of game time, it still looked like things could go either way.
With the stalemate continuing well over the 90-minute mark, Na’Vi knew that the chance of them winning while being cooped up in their base was painfully low. Desperate to find an opening, Na’Vi fatefully ventured out of their base to try to contest the eighth Roshan of the game.
With Na’Vi trying to take a fight far from their base, NiP snuck the summons from the Book of the Dead into their opponents’ base under the cover of Smoke of Deceit. Using the Dark Rift ultimate of Blizzy’s Underlord, the entire NiP team teleported on top of the enemy Na’Vi Ancient to finally end the 93-minute marathon in a matter of seconds.
TANNER notched a game-high 19 kills against six deaths to lead NiP, while MagicaL and Crystallize had 12 and 11 kills of their own despite Na’Vi’s loss.
Crystallize also posted a new total last hit record for this season with 1,464 last hits, which helped him accrue a net worth of over 73,000 gold out of over 92,000 total gold earned. On the side of NiP, TANNER 1,364 last hits with over 56,000 net worth out of over 87,000 total gold earned.
Na’Vi seemed gassed after that drawn-out defeat in game two, as NiP dominated them in game three to take the series, 2-1.
Both teams now sit at a 2-2 record and are tied for fourth place in their group. They will continue their group stage campaigns at the ESL One Los Angeles EU-CIS online regional league on April 13, with NiP taking on Team Unique and Na’Vi going up against Alliance.