A clash between Group D’s top seeds will bring an end to ESL Pro League Season 14’s group stage.
Team Liquid’s success has lit a fire under Gambit Esports and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The two teams will finally get to clash on the final game day of Group D. ESL Pro League’s $750,000 prize makes for plenty of motivation, but this event also marks the final proving ground before the $2 million PGL Major Stockholm. The odds are also close for this match at 1.45 for Gambit and 2.55 for Ninjas in Pyjamas.
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Ninjas in Pyjamas’ performance has been a bit of a mixed bag at ESL Pro League Season 14. The Swedish side ended the first game day with a decisive loss to Team Liquid but bounced back with a quick victory over Entropiq. Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz has put up a 1.25 KD ratio for the event so far. Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez Zamora trails right behind him with 73 average damage and a 50.7% headshot rate.
The 0-2 loss to Liquid isn’t a great sign for the Swedish icons. Dust 2 and Inferno are two of NiP’s stronger maps and Linus “LNZ” Holtäng managed just 23 kills throughout the series. Even though NiP’s two best players are in decent form, the squad needs everyone to contribute to make the $750,000 playoffs. dev1ce rarely needed to drop 30 bombs while at Astralis, but his new situation demands even more from one of the best CSGO players in the world.
Gambit’s incredible 9-0 record on Vertigo could make the difference. The Russians put on a monstrous CT performance to close game two in overtime against Team Liquid. A clutch 2-1 victory over the Americans has put even more wind in Gambit’s sails, especially considering that their final opponents lost to Liquid in pretty mediocre fashion.
While still the solid favorites for this match, Gambit’s performance has been uncharacteristically inconsistent so far. Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov put up an abysmal eight kills against Liquid on Inferno before rebounding to 34 on Vertigo. Then again, four of Gambit’s five players have the potential to go beast mode and bowl over Ninjas in Pyjamas. Add in the return to online play where the team has exceled, and Gambit could hardly ask for a better situation.
These two squads have only dueled twice in 2021. Both sets have gone to Gambit, one by a 2-0 margin and the other 2-1. NiP’s only map victory was on Ancient at IEM Cologne, something that Gambit captain Vladislav “nafany” Gorshkov is sure to remember.
In addition to matchup history, Gambit has a considerable advantage on maps. This series hinges on whether NiP wants to challenge Gambit on Vertigo. Both teams have a 100% win rate on the map, but Gambit looks nigh-invincible while NiP has occasionally struggled on the T side.
Assuming no Vertigo ban, expect Vertigo, Ancient, and finally Dust 2 for the closer. Gambit is the slated favorite for this match at 1.45 odds to beat NiP. The exact score is highly dependent on the map pool, but a -1.5 game handicap ups Gambit’s odds up to 2.33. The exact winner is tough to call, but a $20 bet on a three-map series can earn a $41.60 return on Winners.bet.