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“We can change things faster, we don’t have just one playstyle”: SI 2021 champions NiP close to second title

Ninjas in Pyjamas are back in an international grand final after flopping in Mexico.

(Banner image: Ubisoft/Kirill Bashkirov)

In a matter of weeks, Rogue went from being relegation contenders in Europe, to sending home the Mexico Major champions and qualifying for SI 2021. Their last obstacle between them and a first international Grand Final appearance were the SI 2021 world champions, Ninjas in Pyjamas.

It did not end well. NiP nipped Rogue’s title campaign in the bud by defeating them in a one-sided series, as the Brazilians won on Coastline (7-4) and Club (7-3). Three out of Rogue’s seven rounds in the series came in the first three rounds of map one, when the European side were 3-0 ahead.

“We asked for a time out, we countered them, we changed our playstyle… that was it,” said Julio “JULIO” Giacomelli in a post-match interview. 

The Brazilians went on to win the following three rounds, a streak that was shortly stopped by a good attack from Rogue. However, nothing could stop NiP from winning the following four rounds in a very dominant fashion, including an ace by Murilo “Muzi” Moscatelli.

Clubhouse was almost a replica of Coastline, as the Ninjas were also the dominant force on defense. The Brazilians headed into the second half of the map with a 5-1 lead, which ended with NiP winning 7-3. 

“We can change things faster, we don’t have just one playstyle, you start with a playstyle that we think is good against them, and then we can change mid-game. I think European teams have their own good style, but that is an advantage for us,” said JULIO regarding the European Siege playstyle. 

JULIO was pivotal in his team’s result on the second map, as he won two clutches. The Brazilian player was comfortable in both situations, as “you try to not think a lot, just try to hear the sounds”.

Overall, the SI 2021 champions did not have problems closing out the series, as they felt like the game had always been under their control.

“They were getting a lot of entry kills, but they were not closing the rounds, we knew that so we played passive at the end of the round instead of playing aggressive, it worked out in both maps,” said JULIO.

Now, NiP join FaZe Clan in what will be the second Brazilian Grand Final of the year, with the first one being the SI 2021 Grand Final featuring NiP and Team Liquid. With oNe having won the Mexico Major, it is now official: the Brazilian dynasty is still well alive. 

“It feels really good because some players when they win the SI they feel frustrated when they don’t win a tournament. Not us, we came back stronger and we are really happy, we kept playing,” concluded JULIO.

Tomorrow, both FaZe Clan and NiP will play in the Sweden Major Grand Final at 17:30 CET. While NiP will play to prove that their Mexico and Stage 3 form has just been a hiccup, FaZe Clan will aim to win its first piece of international silverware in "Siege".