In their first meeting since dev1ce left Astralis on April 23, the superstar AWPer came out on top as Ninjas in Pyjamas demolished the Danes on Saturday at the PGL Major. The best of one took place on Inferno, previously a stronghold map of Astralis. The final scoreline was 16-1 with standout performances from Swedish young guns, Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez Zamora and Linus “LNZ” Holtäng. As for dev1ce, the AWPer managed a commendable 18 kills in his first game against his old team.
On Astralis’ side, Philip “Lucky” Ewald put up an admirable performance against NiP. The young AWPer was a bright spot on the team, easily filling the shoes that dev1ce left. It was the rest of the team — the major-winning core — that struggled, getting locked out of the game by a hot NiP.
Although both dev1ce and his former teammates on Astralis have made it clear that there is no bad blood between them, and that they are still on friendly terms, the tension has been building towards the matchup. Astralis and NiP most recently had the chance to meet at IEM Fall but the two teams avoided each other as Astralis lost to ENCE in the semi-finals. NiP went on to win the event.
The two teams faced each other relatively early in the major, with both teams winning their first game in the Legends stage to ensure the match-up would happen. Astralis beat FURIA 16-10 and NiP beat Heroic 16-11. Day 2 will pit Astralis against another 1-1 team while NiP will play a best of three against another 2-0 team. If NiP win, they will progress to the playoffs of the PGL Major.
The PGL Major continues Sunday, Day 6, as the first teams will be guaranteed for the playoffs in the Avicii Arena. Two teams will also be eliminated from the major with 0-3 records in the Legends stage.
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.