by Esports Pocket in

NiP bested Astralis in their BLAST Premier Spring Europe Showdown best-of-one opening match on Train, 16-7.

BLAST Premier Spring Europe Showdown marked the beginning of Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer’s period as a stand-in for Astralis. The 29-year-old is taking over for Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth, presumably until the end of the month, when Patrick “es3tag” Hansen is expected to join the Danish organization.

The Danes paired up against NiP, who recently made changes of their own by bringing on Hampus “hampus” Poser in place of Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson. The Ninjas started off with two losses after making their roster move, going down to Vitality and Natus Vincere, but have since evened the record out with a victory over ENCE in DreamHack Masters Spring and now with a victory over Astralis in their BLAST Premier Spring Europe Showdown opener.

NiP got off to a good start in the best-of-one match-up on Train, winning the CT-side pistol round before taking a clean anti-eco. The Swedes were then able to put up a solid A defense in the first gun round, which they won thanks to doubles by Fredrik “REZ” Sterner and hampus.

The Ninjas made it to 5-0 without much of a struggle before Tim “nawwk” Jonasson denied Astralis with back-to-back multi-kill rounds with the AWP. Down 0-7 the Danes were finally able to get on the board with upgraded pistols, after which they slowly built up their momentum to a very respectable 6-9 score at the half.

NiP defended their lead by winning the second pistol round, going on to double the amount of rounds held by Astralis before the first gun round, 12-6. nawwk and Simon “twist” Eliasson were then able to pull off a 2vs3 on the A site with the clock ticking low to keep closing in on a victory. Astralis denied the Swedes match point, going 7-14, but then ran out of fuel falling 16-7.

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