There was going to be a last-place; in every competition that pits competitors against each other in a battle to determine who is the best, a last-place is as guaranteed (although more readily forgotten) as the first place.
It’s just that very few analysts figured that the first team to capsize out of the ESL One Cologne 2020 Online would be the same team that is currently #1 on the global rankings at the moment.
BIG met up against NiP today in the first lower bracket best of three which all began on NiP’s map pick of Vertigo, which they were relatively quickly dunked on.
With NiP beginning on T, they managed three rounds in the first half as BIG alternated between elimination wins and defusals; NiP won their first point in the first half on the twelfth round. The second half wasn’t entirely inspiring either; a won pistol for NiP and one defuse against Big sprinting around and fragging the Swedish team spelled what appeared to be a disaster in the bottom bracket.
Then Nuke hit as the map choice of BIG. The Germans began on T with a steady streak of four points, two eliminations, and two demolitions until NiP clapped back with a streak of five elimination points. The first half finished with BIG up (9-6), and then BIG was needed for CT duty.
NiP clearly took a page out of Sprouts showing against BIG on Nuke; XANTARES took his dutiful position on ramp where he would scramble backward into B on pressure, yet NiP was able to consistently find him out of sorts with well-placed utility and winning aim duels. The second half of gameplay found the score at (15-15) and then the shenanigans ensued.
— ESL Counter-Strike (@ESLCS) August 20, 2020
Nuke needed four overtimes in order to finally discern a winner as fatigue slowly set in across the exhausting map that saw a total of 54 full rounds played as teams ebbed and flowed in strength, alternating economies and teams consistently. This fatigue, some argue, would be the downfall for BIG on the upcoming map that occurred as NiP finally pulled away with (26-28) on Nuke.
Mirage was the decider and BIG originally looked like they were going to come out swinging with three rounds swept up on T side with eliminations.
NiP clapped back with four elimination rounds and two defusals, dropping one round, and then scoring the rest on eliminations alone to bring the scoreline (4-11). Whether it was fatigue and exhaustion that had set in after spending well over an hour on Nuke or if NiP was simply better prepared is an argument that has no clear winners.
NiP cleaned up the Germans in the seconds half by putting five more on the board while BIG notched three, bringing the closing score (7-16) for Mirage and (1-2) for the series. BIG is officially out of the tournament in the first bottom-bracket knockout match, throwing multiple tourney predictions out the window.