Posted 20th November 2017 By: Kyle-Tipify Staff
The Intel Extreme Masters Oakland 2017 closed the event similar to the last year’s competition when the Swedish team, Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) walked the stages of the Oracle Arena and claimed the IEM 2017 trophy over FaZe Clan (FaZe) on November 20 in Oakland, California.
NiP easily advanced on the IEM’s semi-final rounds as the Swedes led the European region. But the team had to face a tough SK Gaming team who downed OpTic Gaming 2-0 during the quarterfinals. In the semis, NiP struggled in their first round against the Brazilians in Overpass–SK’s favorite maps–and the Ninjas were behind 7-1 before the half. Headed by Xist, who went on a streak to stop SK from continuing their streak, had given the Swedes the run they needed and they won the first round on SK’s best-known map. Although, the Brazilians did not give up easily as they forced the series to the deciding match in Inferno map. The first half of the match had both teams unwilling to give one another a streak. Both CS:GO teams traded round after round. But, it was a different story for the final half of the series with the eventual winners NiP, took control of the game and REZ led the Swedes to overrun SK Gaming. The Ninjas were back to the IEM Oakland Finals for the second straight year against FaZe Clan.
The Finals series was a rematch of the last year’s IEM Oakland semis, with NiP going against FaZe. Although the last year’s tournament format was only in best-of-three, it was still the same going into this year’s finals match. It took 5 games to decide the champion and it goes to show that both NiP and FaZe were fierce competitors.
The series felt it could be either NiP’s or FaZe’s. Both teams traded match wins with at least each match going into 20 or more rounds. But the Swedes got the upper hand after winning the 3rd match with the edge of winning the trophy in the fourth round. But, FaZe showed their grit and overtook the match with a 13-2 score at the half. The fourth match was in Overpass map and the Europeans took control of the entire match and took the series into its match decider at the Cache map. Like the series, both teams exchanged round wins but the Swedes had the lead with 9-6 at the half. After a few errors by FaZe, the Ninjas were in full control, earning their late game advantage. The Europeans seemed puzzled and were stuck with 9 wins while NiP won round after another with clutch plays from REZ and Xizt who led the Swedes to their back-to-back IEM Oakland Championships.
The Swedish team had a rough year because of missing the Majors consecutively. But, winning the IEM Oakland twice in a row is definitely a work of Ninja Magic.
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