(Banner image: Ubisoft/Kirill Bashkirov)
Ninjas in Pyjamas defeated Spacestation Gaming 2-0 in the rematch of the SI 2020 grand finals.
Only two players differed from Spacestation Gaming’s match in 2020. Unfortunately for Spacestation, the Sweden Major maps ended up exactly like the first two maps of the 2020 grand finals — in the sense that they were NiP wins — and there was no third map for Spacestation to right the ship.
NiP, however, seems to be completely back to form. They excelled on defense and in the late, waning seconds of the crucial rounds.
“It was pretty weird, actually,” said Julio “JULIO” Giacomelli in a post-match press conference. “Coastline is very attacker sided. We were just really aggressive [on defense]. We didn’t let them play.”
During the group stages, NiP’s defense was a bit suspect. They only won 48.5 percent of their defenses, in the bottom half of the quarter finals participants just barely. For contrast, Spacestation had the worst percentage of attacking rounds won during the group stage of the quarterfinalist participants: only 39.5 percent.
On historically attacker-sided Chalet, NiP won five of their six defensive rounds — on Coastline they won four in regulation time. That alone is a recipe for success.
“If we set the pace of the match, we’re gonna get better,” said JULIO. “There’s a lot of playstyles that you can do against them [Spacestation], but we chose to play aggressive.”
The NiP defense went from average during the group stage to completely smothering in this match — to say they set the pace might be an understatement. Spacestation only won three attacking rounds during the best of three and during one of those rounds a one vs. two clutch was required to win the round.
“We fixed it [mental and strategies after falling short in Mexico] a little by little,” JULIO said. “Our season was not that good at the beginning, but we were able to step it up at the end.”
Spacestation returned to NA after another 0-2 loss in the quarterfinals.
“We weren’t being efficient enough in our IGLing and making adaptations like we normally did in NAL,” said Nathanial “Rampy” Duvall about the loss.
Spacestation said the errors are fixable with time and experience together — adding another IGL in the offseason is something the team has to get used to.
NiP have now advanced to take on Rogue. If they defeat the German-majority Rogue roster on Nov. 13, they’ll participate in their third grand finals of the past four international Rainbow Six Siege events: SI 2020, SI 2021, and the Sweden Major.
“We’re gonna do the same thing,” said JULIO when asked how NiP is preparing for Rogue. “Watch their VODs, try to do counters. They play aggressively and they have a different map pool [than SSG], so we’re going to need to review that. But yeah, the preparation is not much different.”
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