Remember all the established players saying "LAN's different, just you young online-heroes wait till we get back there", and all the youngsters scoffing at them?
They don't scoff anymore, because LAN-NiKo just hits different.
In 2020 and 2021, where events were largely played online, NiKo was averaging 1.18 in rating. Respectable of course, but nowhere near the level he was at in 2017 and 2018.
Cut to the PGL Major and he is on 1.39 rating.
So if NiP were to have any chance of being first team since Cloud9 to win a Major on home soil, they'd have to neutralize him.
If that was their plan, it failed spectacularly. NiKo went 23:8 in the first 15 rounds on Inferno, posting a 139.5 ADR and 2.18 rating, and despite him faltering a little bit on the T-side, he stepped up and crushed the Swedes as they tried to mount a comeback.
The only thing more quiet than the coaches, was the Avicii Arena tonight.
In the end nothing that NiP did really worked out, and apart from leading 2-0 on Mirage, they were trailing the entire match.
It didn't help that LNZ ended up with an 18-35 scoreline over the two maps, but dev1ce went missing too, and whereas the former is an academy graduate, the latter was a $1,000,000 marquee signing, meant to lead the line at a Major.
dev1ce didn't, and his 37th place in the individual ranking places him as the 8th best Dane and only the 3rd best Danish AWPer of the tournament.
NiKo on the other hand? 4th in the individual ranking and looking to claim both a Major win and MVP if everything goes right.