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IEM

IEM Oakland — NiP Gaming are back to back Champions!

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The Oracle Arena, Oakland, California is host to the best-of-5 Grand Final for the Intel Extreme Masters. In which we see last year's champions facing the best team in Europe to try and keep hold of their crown.
The reigning champions, hailing from Sweden are Ninjas in Pyjamas and their opponents looking to steal their trophy are Faze Clan.

The first map chosen was to be Cobblestone, selected by the Swedish side and is one which their opponents do not play. The Ninjas were able to take advantage of this lack of experience and close their CT half 9-6, despite Richard "Xizt" Landström seemingly forget to buy in the 12th round and being left only with a silenced pistol. Some big individual plays from the NiP players was enough for them to take the win 16-10, and with it the series advantage.

Faze clearly did not want to allow the Swedes to use their momentum from the opening map, as they take the pistol on their pick of Inferno, and try as he might, Fredrik "REZ" Sterner could not help his team to gain a foothold in the half which they lose 11-4. It is much of the same in the second half with the Ninjas being unable to claw back many rounds and Faze are able to take the win 16-7 to tie up the series.

Going into the 3rd map of Train the analysts suggested that this would go the way of Faze, with the Ninjas starting out on the T side. It is a back and forth affair in which the Swedes are able to push ahead slightly as they go into the half time break 1 round up. But the Ninjas in Pyjamas had clearly chosen this map for a reason as they are able to shut up shop on their CT side and take the map 16-10.

With the Ninjas now on Championship point, 2-1, a victory here on Overpass would see their name etched into the trophy. An incident involving water and an NiP mouse-pad disrupted the flow of the game, and the experienced players of Faze are able to capitalize on the delay running to a 13-2 half time score. The mixed European team have shown great strength on their map picks so far in this series and this is no different, as they take the win 16-6, meaning the final map is required to decide the champions!

It all comes down to Cache, the winners will take it all! This map starts off much closer than the previous map, with Faze adopting a very aggressive play style on their CT side, and the NiP in-game leader, Xizt, having an excellent first half, as it ends 9-6 in favor of the Swedish side. A fast execution from Faze allow them to overpower the Ninjas in the pistol round. A big 4k clutch from Finn "karrigan" Andersen gives his team a lifeline on match point, but Faze's economy is too shattered to mount a real comeback. The Swedes take the map and the series!

The back to back IEM Oakland Champions are the Ninjas in Pyjamas!



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