The recently re-signed Fredrik “REZ” Sterner is already making his new four-year contract with Ninjas in Pyjamas look like a great deal for the Swedish organization. The foundational piece of the team’s CS:GO roster dropped 41 kills against OG on Overpass today, but that standout effort in map one wasn’t enough to help NiP beat the international lineup.
The 23-year-old was electric on both sides of Overpass in the series opener. His 19 T-side kills in the first half included numerous multi-kill rounds that helped NiP recover from a 5-0 deficit to go into halftime only down 8-7. NiP started the second half with a five-round streak of their own, highlighted by a REZ 4K with the FAMAS and then a two-kill/two-assist round just two rounds later. Despite OG taking back the momentum with seven of the next eight rounds, two more from NiP by way of REZ and LNZ secured overtime. Four straight OT rounds from NiP, with kills coming from all five players, punctuated the opening map victory (19-15).
The series turned to Mirage, OG’s pick. The two sides traded momentum throughout the entire map, and like in the first round, OG began to wrestle control away in the second half. Despite trailing 11-7 at one point, OG won nine of the next 10 rounds via a dominant CT side to take the map 16-12. FlameZ, valde, and niko each notched 20 kills on Mirage, sending the series to Dust II.
OG got to start on their preferred side on Dust II, the CT side. They jumped out to an 11-4 lead with big numbers from all of their players, while NiP could only rely on REZ and hampus to secure just a few T-side rounds. By winning the second-half pistol, OG put even more pressure on the Ninjas. But the Swedish side just couldn’t get anything going, failing to secure any CT-side rounds and squandering their 1-0 series lead to fall 2-1.
What’s certainly a disappointing result for NiP could be a stepping stone to that elusive major event victory that OG has been seeking since the org signed the Aleksib-led roster at the end of 2019. Prior to the Pro League, they won Spring Sweet Spring No. 2 and reached the grand finals of IEM Summer. But those results were sandwiched between poor showings at Flashpoint Three and IEM Cologne.
OG are the first team through to the semifinals at the Pro League and now await the winner of Gambit and Team Vitality.