Virtus Pro earns the final IEM Summer Playoffs spot
Coming into the series, both Virtus.pro and Ninjas in Pyjamas were seeking a spot in the single-elimination playoffs at IEM Summer and VP was the victorious team. NiP started the series off strong on Mirage but they couldn’t sustain it for the entire best-of-three series.
This was Group B’s lower bracket final which is surprising considering that both teams were seen as two of the strongest teams in the world now. OG and Evil Geniuses were the first two teams that made the playoffs from this group and now, VP is the third and final team.
VP will now face Team Vitality in the quarterfinals and the winner will have to face OG in the semifinals. The other half of the QFs will have EG playing against Gambit Esports and the winner will play against G2 Esports.
This was a solid performance from VP especially since they lost the first map. VP locked down on Inferno and then they steamrolled NiP on Overpass.
NiP had no answers to VP’s perfect defensive setups on both Inferno and Overpass. Sanjar ‘SANJI’ Kuliev was the star of the show in Inferno since he kept NiP’s players at bay. It was a stellar performance and it proved to be the deciding factor between the two teams.
NiP struggled in Overpass which was a result of their disappointing run. They will surely be a strong team in future events but IEM Summer proved that they need more time to mesh with Nicolai 'dev1ce' Reedtz. They have to accommodate him to a roster that was used to speaking in Swedish before he came in.
After the match, Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis talked about how much this win mattered to him and his team. He said, ‘I feel that we are [playing] better now than we were in Pro League and DreamHack. I would say we are at 60% right now compared to IEM Katowice, which I would say was at 90%’.
The playoff stage will be amazing since most of the best teams in the region are present. VP will need to step up because the rest of the field is tough and filled with star players.
Words: Cholo Martin