Despite finding its first game victory, Ninjas in Pyjamas fell 1-2 to Unicorns of Love on Saturday in Week 5, Day 3 of the European League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split in Berlin.
Ninjas in Pyjamas (0-7, 1-12 match record) drafted much stronger lanes than Unicorns of Love (5-1, 11-5) in Game 1, between the Renekton for top laner Kim "Profit" Jun-hyung and Jhin for AD carry Martin "HeaQ" Kordmaa. Predictably, this led to early leads across the board for NiP in farm, kills and objectives. Conversely, UoL's Rumble for top laner Kiss "Vizicsacsi" Tamas and Twitch AD carry for Samuel "Samux" Fernandez Fort granted it powerful teamfight potential should the game go late. While a handful of hiccups from NiP made things scary for a moment, ultimately its gold lead proved too much for the Unicorns to overcome, as NiP took Game 1 in 36 minutes.
Only a single champion was swapped out between Games 1 and 2, with Kassadin coming in for UoL mid laner Fabian "Exileh" Schubert in place of Galio, which was instead given to Vizicsacsi over Rumble. NiP had another strong early game, finding six kills in the first eight minutes of play. However, the objective lead wasn't there this time, leaving the gold close. With UoL's champions given the chance to scale, they were able to destroy NiP at 28 minutes with a clean ace followed by an inhibitor and Baron. UoL evened the up the series just two minutes later.
Despite finally seeing some variety in picks, Game 3 felt like a repeat of Game 2. NiP had a fantastic early game, largely thanks to plays by support Hampus "sprattel" Mikael Abrahamsson on Thresh, as the kill score was 6-0 by 17 minutes. However, once again, Ninjas couldn't translate the kills into objective advantages, and the gold remained within striking distance. As a result, the Unicorns were able to take a 3-for-0 teamfight at 19 minutes once two NiP ultimates fizzled. From there on, UoL maintained an iron grip on the game, which ended in 38 minutes.
With a game win under its belt, Ninjas in Pyjamas will hope to take the next step against Team Vitality on Thursday, July 13 at 11a.m. ET. Meanwhile, Unicorns of Love will be looking to carry its momentum into Rift Rivals, where it will face off against North America starting July 6.