Mysterious Monkeys finally found a series win Thursday in the form of a dominating 2-0 sweep over Ninjas in Pyjamas to open up Week 5 of the European League of Legends Championship Series in Berlin.
Mysterious Monkeys (1-5, 2-10 match record) got off to an explosive start to the series by drafting a high-profile composition featuring top laner Mateusz "Kikis" Szkudlarek on Mordekaiser and the vaunted Xayah and Rakan combo in the bottom lane. While Ninjas in Pyjamas (0-6, 0-12 match record) started off nicely with a double kill in the bottom lane, it didn't take long for Monkeys to earn a lead of its own. Starting with the first tower at 14 minutes, Monkeys began placing a focus on securing picks, opening up the map for major objectives, including a 23-minute Baron. NiP threatened to come back into the game by dodging teamfights in lieu of objective control of its own, but this passive approach eventually allowed Monkeys to grow into teamfighting monsters that cut through its opponents in the late game. A 33-minute Baron and Elder Dragon gave Monkeys enough wherewithal to take Game 1 in 37 minutes.
Ninjas in Pyjamas drafted a composition comprised of three carries in Game 2 to try and remedy its teamfighting deficiency from Game 1, but the strategy ended up backfiring tremendously. It didn't look like that early on, however, as Ninjas earned a solid 4,000-gold lead by the 18-minute mark, thanks to two early tower kills. But in the span of a few seconds the lead completely evaporated, as Monkeys mid laner Sofyan "CozQ" Rechchad's Cassiopeia found two kills, giving way to a 22-minute Baron, completely flipping the game on its head. While Ninjas used top laner Kim "Profit" Joon-hyung to try and split push with his Jayce, Monkeys continued to come up with picks on a consistent basis to build an insurmountable lead. One last Baron was more than enough for Monkeys to raze Ninjas' entire base, securing a final 5-for-0 ace that locked up the 36-minute win.
Both teams will hit the stage again on Saturday, with Mysterious Monkeys facing G2 Esports at 11 a.m. ET, while Ninjas in Pyjamas will continue to look for a single game win against the Unicorns of Love at 2 p.m. ET.