It was an adrenaline-fueled day at Qudos Bank Arena as the IEM Sydney 2019 quarterfinals came to a bombastic end.
All four teams fought hard, but it was Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas who set IEM Sydney 2019 alight with their edge-of-your-seat quarterfinal series; playing 3 maps across 5 incredible hours.
Intel Extreme Masters 2019 Quarterfinals
MIRB and Mousesports kicked off the quarterfinals with a nail-biting first map that saw MIRB take a commanding lead.
Despite this, however, Mousesports fought back. This changed the match dynamic significantly, as both team quickly found themselves in a tit-for-tat point battle; resulting in not one, but two bouts of overtime.
Electricity ran through the crowd, with every point earned being greeted by an enthusiastic roar that shook the seats. No matter how hard Mousesports fans cheered, the team couldn’t secure the win with the first map slipping away 22-19.
The Pace Quickens
Things picked up with the second map. As with the first, MIRB took a commanding lead to make them the favourite to win.
But Mousesports wasn’t going down without a fight. The boys dug deep and clawed their way back up, revelling in the chaos of their own design.
Whereas MIRB approach situations with quiet calm, Mousesports excelled in creating hectic, fast-paced dogfights that often ended in their favour.
It still wasn’t enough, however, with Mousesports falling to MIRB 16-10; thereby securing their place in tomorrow’s semifinals against Team Liquid.
If you thought the first quarterfinal match ignited the crowd, the second lit up the entire arena in a wave of glorious fire.
Fnatic dominated the first map and quickly secured a 16-9 victory. But their early (and speedy) win was quickly upset by Ninjas in Pyjamas on the second map; Overpass, their choice.
Ninjas in Pyjamas dominated the early rounds before quickly finding themselves locked in a tit-for-tat point battle with Fnatic. This continuous back and forth pushed the map into overtime; which then resulted in double overtime; then triple overtime.
Finally, Ninjas in Pyjamas toppled Fnatic to equalise the series and push the match into a third and final map.
Play All Night
Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas continued to play point tug-of-war on the third map; Dust 2. By the time we reached round 15, the score sat at 7-7.
At this stage in the series the boys had been playing for 4 hours; how much longer could this epic nail-biter of a series last? Well, the answer was; as long as it takes.
Despite Ninjas in Pyjamas securing a comfortable 5-point lead early in the second half, Fnatic clawed their way back to within an inch of victory. But Ninjas in Pyjamas denied the win, pushing the third map into overtime.
Fatigue was clearly beginning to set in, but the crowd was electrified. With the action on-screen hitting hard and fast, Qudos Bank Arena shook with the roars of a crowd hungry for virtual blood.
There Can Be Only One…
As we moved into overtime on map 3, the tit-for-tat grudge match between Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas continued; right up until Fnatic finally reigned victorious at 22-20.
After 5 incredible hours, Fnatic managed to defeat Ninjas in Pyjamas and secure their position in the semifinal against NRG eSports.
Their win, indeed the entire series, was a spectacular feat of endurance and skill and is without a doubt one of the best CS:GO matches ever played at IEM Sydney 2019; or any other eSports event.
Jayden Williams travelled to Sydney, Australia as a guest of Acer. All accommodation and meals were provided by Acer.