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MOUZ NXT and Spirit Academy square off in the upper bracket, both with a point to prove in this tournament. Both teams are well matched but Spirit have the edge, given that they topped their group and their IGL Owner is in the form of his life.
MOUZ NXT have looked very promising throughout the tournament and could be on their way to bagging their second WePlay Academy title of the year. Their form in Season 4 back in June was tremendous, and ended with them being crowned winners after taking down BIG 2-0 in the final.
They look well on track to repeating that result now. After standing second in their group with a 7-5 record behind NAVI Junior, they marched on through the play-ins beating OG Academy 2-1. MOUZ scripted an impressive comeback after dropping the first map Inferno. It was a close fight and ended 14-16 in OG’s favor despite Q-Q’s 22 kills and 88.4 damage.
Now needing to win Overpass to level the score, it was Jimpphat who stepped up this time dealing the most kills (22), most damage (99) and ending with the best rating (1.55). He also grabbed four assists and finished with a KAST score of 82.6% as MOUZ wrapped up a comfortable 16-7 win.
The deciding map, Vertigo, was a lot closer than the other two. MOUZ fought hard to finally secure a 22-20 victory, which s0und was threatening to take away from them. Jimpphat once again, along with Chr1zN, set up victory for their side with a whopping 75 kills and 27 assists between them, Chr1zN dealing 87.1 overall damage and Jimpphat at 90.4.
Sixteen-year-old Jimpphat has been in a league of his own the last three months, maintaining an 1.25 HLTV rating and 1.25 impact rating since August. He's held a 72.7% KAST score, and averaged 88.1 damage, 0.64 deaths and 0.84 kills per round.
Three months ago at the WePlay Academy Season 5, Spirit were dealt heartbreak in the Grand Final as Fnatic Rising swooped in on the title after handing them a 0-2 defeat. They came so close to pulling off a fairytale win, but couldn’t hold their nerve in the end.
Spirit have looked very convincing in the group stages this time around, even better than last time. They topped Group B with a 9-3 record, securing a direct spot at the upper bracket semi-finals and skipping the hassle of the play-ins altogether. The three games they’ve dropped so far have been against Youth Ninjas, BIG Academy and 00 Prospects.
While each member of the roster has chipped in with impressive performances throughout the tournament, no one’s been able to touch in-game leader Mykhailo ‘OWNER’ Lymar. He has maintained a 1.20 HLTV rating and 1.25 impact rating throughout all 12 maps of this tournament, as well as a KAST score of 73.7%. In addition OWNER has averaged 0.65 deaths, 82.2 damage and 0.77 kills per round.
Let’s not forget the contributions of Myroslav 'zont1x' Plakhotia and Danil 'donk' Kryshkovets either, who are rated at 1.16 and 1.19 respectively in the tournament so far.
Both teams have struggled on the sidelines for most of 2022, and this is finally their chance to shine. Though both teams haven’t procured any titles in recent months, Young Ninjas have generally had a better record and should be able to take this one away.
NAVI haven’t had a great year. This is the first time in 2022 that they have made it to the knockout stages of a tournament, and now is their chance to make up for a disappointing year. They topped their group with an 8-4 record, kicking off their campaign with four wins in a row before losing to Fnatic Rising on day five. Their performances dropped a bit toward the end of the group stage with two losses from their last four games, but they had already done enough in the first half of the tournament to cement their place in the playoffs.
NAVI have owed a lot of their success in the tournament to the form of Andrii 'nipl' Kukharskyi. nipl has inflicted an average damage of 87 per round, along with 0.66 deaths and 0.81 kills per round.
Over the last month he's maintained a HLTV rating of 1.24 and impact rating of 1.33 along with a KAST score of 73.5%. He’s also gone for 23.8% of his team’s opening kills, and found success 49.5% of the time. Yuriy 'rendY' Halyshyn has also attempted the opening kill 25% of the time with a 50.9% success rate.
Young Ninjas, like NAVI got off to a roaring start in the tournament, easily winning five in a row against ENCE, BIG, Spirit, MIBR and 00 Prospects. They were well on track to secure their group’s top seed, but losing four of their next seven games paved the way for Spirit to claim that spot instead.
After the group stage they found themselves tied for second place with Astralis. At the tie-breaker, they sent their opponents packing with a 16-13 score in Vertigo. adamb and eraa took 24 and 22 kills respectively, along with six assists between them. Vertigo has been their best map by far, where they hold a 9-2 record in the last three months.
Ninjas’ opponents at the play-ins was 00 Prospects, and they made short work of them again just as they did in the group stage with a 2-0 sweep. eraa inflicted 47 kills across both maps, while nilo managed 41 in total.
Linus 'nilo' Bergman has been at the top of his game since the start of the tournament, maintaining a 1.22 HLTV rating, 1.12 impact rating, and 73.6% KAST score. Plus he's averaged 84.6 damage per round, along with 0.63 deaths and 0.80 kills per round. eraa too has been pivotal to the Ninjas success with a 1.17 rating, 0.77 average kills per round and a KAST score of 73.9% since the start of the tournament.
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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