Ninjas in Pyjamas are tough to beat, but Team LDLC did it. The latter made their No. 1 ranking stand up in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Sunday. LDLC took the gold medal in the first ever Major League Gaming X Games from Aspen.
After winning at DreamHack, the French squad came in highly touted. Sunday's 2-1 series win has solidified them as the team to beat in every tournament they'll enter for the foreseeable future.
Most of the members of the squad played well, but Vincent Cervoni (aka "Happy") was the standout. Take a look at him securing match point for LDLC in this tweet from MLG.tv's Twitter account:
Happy was voted the match MVP, and it was an honor well deserved. CS:GO Scoreboard agrees and congratulates LDLC on their victory:
The winners took home the $25,000 grand prize while NiP had to settle for the silver medal and a second-place reward of $12,500. Once the sting of falling short wears off, the team will realize that's still not too shabby.
While NiP failed to come out on top, they deserve credit for their effort and resiliency.
They dropped the first round but battled back in the second frame. Behind clutch kills by Mikail Bill (aka "Maikalele") and Christopher Aleson (aka "GeT_RiGhT"), NiP forced overtime and evened the series at one.
The Swedish team took an early lead in the third round but couldn't sustain it. Led by Happy's onslaught, LDLC overtook a seemingly weary and spiritless Nip group and marched to victory with a masterful performance on the de_cbble map.
LDLC's route to the gold medal was made difficult by NiP, but the bronze-medal game wasn't as competitive. Here's a breakdown of the day's results. Just beneath the table is a focus on the bronze-medal winners.
|MLG X Games Aspen - Counter-Strike Global Offensive Results|
|Bronze Medal Match||Score|
|Team Dignitas defeats Fnatic||2-0|
|Gold Medal Match||Score|
|Team LDLC defeats Ninjas in Pyjamas||2-1|
Team Dignitas Takes Bronze
While they weren't playing for the top prize, Team Dignitas earned $7,500 prize for their third-place finish. That too is nothing to sneeze at. Hailing from Denmark, this group came into the competition ranked fourth. Thus a battle with No. 2-ranked Fnatic should have gone to the higher seed.
Anything can happen in CS:GO, and Dignitas not only pulled off the win—it swept the series against the squad that was supposed to challenge LDLC for the top ranking at the end of the tournament.
Instead, Dignitas will carry momentum and confidence into their next competition after pulling off such a decisive win.
Fnatic must improve moving forward, but the team was gracious in defeat.
With over 180,000 viewers taking in the finale on the MLG.tv stream, it seems fairly safe to say that the inaugural CS:GO X Games event was a success. Fans of competitive gaming should be looking forward to more high-profile events in the future.
Follow Brian Mazique aka FranchisePlay, the Sports Video Game Journalist