All eyes were on DreamHack Malmo, as it was the first premiere CS:GO event after all the chaotic roster swaps over the break. FaZe Clan was looking like the team to beat after they picked up olofmeister from Fnatic, and Guardian from Na'Vi. This is why it was such a surprise when Ninjas in Pyjamas was able to crush FaZe in their opening match of Group C on Nuke.
It would be easy to dismiss this as the Ninjas just getting a little bit of that NiP magic they’re so famous for or FaZe not having enough time for the roster to gel. In reality this victory for NiP came from f0rest playing out of his mind along with the carefully executed strategies planned by NiP’s returning coach THREAT.
Let’s take a look at one of these strategies, an Outside fake that turns into a lethal A Site execution from Round 5 of the match, a pivotal round considering the economy of both teams.
Right away you can see the Ninjas prepping for the execute by buying a smoke grenade, a molotov, and flashbangs. The first stage of this strategy is laying down the standard wall of smoke outside. Notice how NiP plays it safe by having Xizt smoke off the Garage peek first. Then REZ and f0rest lay down the smokes that cover from red box to secret. You can see how FaZe starts to take the bait. Niko immediately smokes off squeaky and drops down vents to back up Guardian, who rushes down ramp room to cover secret from the hallway. This means that there’s only one player, olofmister, holding the A site.
One subtle thing about this strategy is, while the wall of smokes is hitting outside, you’ll notice GeT_RiGhT spamming through the smoke at Ramp Room. This is a key step in selling the fake. A common tactic on Nuke is to split push the B site, with half the team utilizing the wall of smokes to get down Secret while the other half of the team pushes Ramp Room. By spamming shots into Ramp, karrigan is stuck waiting for a push that will never come.
While the CTs are occupied trying to get information on where the Terrorists are, f0rest and Xizt run up to the roof of lobby and shoot out all the skylight windows. This ensures that NiP can throw nades inside A Site from the roof without the glass messing up their trajectory. Notice how f0rest and Xizt line up for the grenade execute. These two molotovs clear out the rafters above hut, as well as the roof of hut itself. Once the mollys rain down along with some Flashbangs, the execute is on. REZ throws another molotov from squeaky door flushing olofmesiter out of the far vent corner.
Before NiP rushes in to take the site, take a look at these two popflashes GeT_RiGhT throws. He carefully lines up in the lobby so that these flashbangs will pop right as they bounce into the site, guaranteeing the CTs won’t be able to avoid the flash. GeT_RiGhT also pre-aims for the far vent corner as he's running out of hut. He didn’t need to move his mouse at all to get the kill on olof. This well thought-out coordinated attack is further demonstrated by how Draken and REZ push into the site. Draken knows GeT_RiGhT has his sight on the 2nd Vent, so all he has to care about is Heaven, and REZ is able to freely run out Squeaky and clear Close Vent knowing that Get_Right has him covered. There’s no danger from rafters or hut because the mollys clears them out.
As soons as NiP hits the site, FaZe players start dropping like flies. Draken and Get_right win their entry frags without any trouble and f0rest cuts off the rotations from Vent and Ramp. From here, FaZe is in an unwinnable position. Rain tries to save his equipment by pushing outside towards T Spawn, but f0rest reads the play and gets the final kill from silo.
NiP easily takes this crucial round, breaking FaZe’s economy while building up theirs. Thanks to this massive momentum swing NiP easily builds off this economic advantage, eventually winning the half and then the match.