Ninjas in Pyjamas were once a legendary team and name in CS:GO. Unfortunately for them they are far from being legends, literally. They have failed to qualify for the last three majors, the last two being in the minor qualifiers. What went wrong?
Lack of proper leadership in-game
Richard “Xizt” Landström has never been the best IGL in the world, and pretty far from it in most people’s eyes. For years his approach to the game hasn’t changed. The only times that NiP has looked their best is either when everyone is hitting their shots or when their coach Björn “THREAT” Pers takes the IGL role. Both of these instances are very rare nowadays, especially the latter.
Map vetoes have also been a very famous issue for this team. Xizt is known to pretty much pick and ban in the opponents’ favor. The most well known example of this issue is whenever NiP plays Cache. Aside from ESL One Cologne, NiP fail to win a map on Cache in almost every important matchup. FlipSid3 at Cologne 2016, Vega Squadron at the ELEAGUE Atlanta Main Qualifier and now PRiDE in the qualifiers for the EU Minor.
Not only is there these two issues, but from an outside point of view, Xizt doesn’t seem like the leader type. He doesn’t hype the team up as much as he should. While yes, you do have practically all your other teammates doing that aside from Fredrik “REZ” Sterner, not doing it yourself while being the IGL of the team isn’t a good sign.
A dying star and no compensation
Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund is seen as one of the greatest, if not the greatest player of CS:GO. But ever since a shift in the lurker meta, GTR, Spencer “Hiko” Martin and Vincent “Happy” Cervoni aren’t as important. GTR managed in 2016, but towards the end and into 2017 he dropped off into an abyss. Being one of the main reasons that NiP could even close out rounds due to his clutches, NiP lost the ability to win the rounds late.
Losing GTR in-game happened to be a huge blunder for the team, with only Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg consistently performing. It’s very hit or miss if William “draken” Sundin shows up on the server as well, and he’s also a huge part of any wins that this team will get. Xizt is also very inconsistent due to the IGL role. When taken away during the time that THREAT was calling, he was able to perform well without the pressure of shot-calling. REZ has also been mediocre since joining the squad, and it doesn’t look like much is changing.
There are very obvious flaws in this team, and unfortunately for NiP, fixing them is the hard part. Replacing a player isn’t always easy, especially when Sweden lacks any insane talent worth picking up that’s not already on fnatic or GODSENT.
Featured image via hltv.org.
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