Nici reaches Final Series

What a difference a momentum swing makes…

After winning Game 4 earlier today to tie the Qualifying Series and snap a 6-game losing streak, Nici won the decider against Harry to win the series 3-2 and reach the Final Series of the 2023 XLeague.

In the Final Series, Nici will be facing her Mom, “Queen” Sissy, who will go into the first-to-4-wins series with a 1-0 head start.

Nici dominated the board from start to end. She established red as her go-to colour early enough, had great green blockers and also, mostly, the die on her side.

Her Dad, meanwhile, had problems getting his pawns around the track or keeping them on the track and hardly ever posed a serious threat to his daughter’s allied colours.

Nici wasn’t even in match-point position as her fourth red pawn was 12 fields away from home when she threw consecutive “6” to win the game 4-2 after only 31 minutes, officially on her first match point.

Harry, who had been picked by many as favourite to win the XLeague due to his previous double-threat success, expressed his disappointment after the game.

“Well, for sure, Nici deserves to play the Final Series,” Harry said. “I couldn’t be prouder of my little girl. But I really thought I could overcome the 1-0 handicap and pull this out and go for the trophy. But I can’t complain. At this level, you just can’t afford a 2-10 stretch during the Round Robins. It will make you pay.”

Unsurprisingly, Nici was over the moon after the game.

“Gosh, I can’t believe I really did it,” she said. “Losing six at-boards in a row was a tough pill to swallow. But you have to stay focused and keep believing. It could have been over when Daddy had match point this afternoon.”

“Going into the Final Series with a 1-0 handicap against the world’s best XMädn Player is not what you want,” Nici said about her chances to win the trophy against her Mom. “But it’s a first-to-4 series and we were tied at 6-6 head-to-head during the Round Robins. If I can win the first at-board, I will be in good position.”

Round-Robins winner Sissy is looking forward to the Final Series against her daughter.

“She fully deserves to be in the Final Series and I know it’s gonna be a close series,” Sissy said. “Yes, I’ll have a 1-0 head start but make no mistake, it’s not gonna be a stroll in the park by any means. The way she put that losing streak behind was really impressive.”

The first to at-boards of the Final Series are scheduled for Thursday.

Leave a Reply