Ninjas in Pajams beat Envyus 16-9 on Cobble in the champions’ first match since the major. Nov. 3 saw the return of the ESL Pro League and many fan favorites were playing for the first time since the DreamHack Open: Cluj-Napoca major tournament over the weekend.
NiP stretched their legs over Team Dignitas on Train(16-4) before their match against Envyus. They were set to play Envy on Envy’s best map, Cobble. Envyus looked shaky coming out of the gate but managed to grab a force round within the first four. Things went downhill for the French men as they would find themselves down 12-1 before they’d grab another win. They weren’t guilty of many large mistakes, and they often had good reads on NiP’s T side approaches. Their problem was winning aim duels. No round was a more glistening example than round 12. All five members of NiP were pushing B-site platform and Envyus five man stacked B site. Kioshima peeked out behind the fountain and missed his headshot before xizt killed him. Allu out aimed an Envy player in drop as a smoke grenade was clearing, f0rest got two kills before being the only player NiP had traded by kennyS before he was hunted down in connector.
The half ended 12-3 and Envyus really needed to pick up the T-side pistol round. They got the bomb plant and found themselves in a 1v2 against f0rest. He managed to kill both players, including a 1v1 with kennyS and defuse the bomb. Envy went on to win a force and then string a couple of rounds on after before NiP grabbed the last few they needed.
Unfortunately for NiP, this game only served to prove that they have been coming up short as of late. It’s not that they couldn’t beat Natus Vincere to get to the finals at DreamHack, it’s that they didn’t. It proves there’s a functional failing on the team. Caster and analyst Lauren “Pansy” Scott stated brilliantly that NiP has been inconsistent day after day.
“Some days, they can beat Envyus. Some days they can beat TSM,” she said. “And it’s not just map based, it’s player based.”
Still, NiP have another strong showing over arguably the best team in the world. They bring their ESL Pro League win:loss ratio to 7-8, which is good enough for seventh place behind Evnyus with 8-6.