It has finally happened. NiP held the longest standing 4-man core in CS:GO history, but it stands no more. The core consisted of Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund, Patrick ‘f0rest’ Lindberg, Richard ‘Xizt’ Landstrom, and Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg since the beginning of CS:GO. Friberg has been harshly criticized for over two years now, despite NiP having success.
The New Kid
REZ has looked like an up and coming young star and does have clear upside. On the defense, he seems to rely on aggression and catching his opponents off guard. His style mirrors the playstyle of Jake ‘Stewie2k’ Yip when he was first brought up. NiP would be extremely lucky if this player even worked out half as well. REZ plays a relentlessly aggressive, entry-fragger style when on the offense. This makes him a good fit for this NiP team, all things considered. It will be interesting to see if he can round out his game at the top level.
His skill is undeniable, and he has looked good against the lower level of competition; although, it is very rare a player can pull off what Tomáš ‘oskar’ Šťastný did, and make the jump from tier two to tier one almost seamlessly. At the end of the day, the org is taking a risk, they needed to bring in a young talent. While they could’ve maybe taken someone like Fredrik ‘freddieb’ Buö, who looks a bit more ready for top level Counter-Strike, this is not a bad signing by any means.
The Future of friberg
friberg’s future as a professional player is quite dim, he could likely get onto Epsilon and win a couple of tier two LAN’s. Other than that, there isn’t much hope for the fabled ‘King of Banana’. It is likely he will retire here, and most likely live out his days working in the esports industry. His most immediate options include working for the NiP organization, doing analyst desks, casting professional matches, or coaching younger, smaller teams. He could even follow in the footsteps of former teammate Robin ‘Fifflaren’ Johansson and getting a job at Twitch. While it is sad to see such a long time pro leave, perhaps this is best for him moving forward.
Potential of NiP
I don’t think this iteration of the Ninjas will do anything special. In my opinion, more changes need to be made if NiP wants to be competing for titles again; however, this is a step in the right direction. There will most likely be some improvement from the abysmal showing they’ve been putting on for the past six months. I predict this iteration of NiP to hover around 10th-15th in the world rankings.
In terms of what they can do to really spice this roster up, there are limited options. I would say you move GeT_RiGhT to call the shots and replace Xizt with the long time up and coming freddieb. This guy has flown under the radar for so long, despite playing a supportive style and being very skilled. If you make a move like that, now you’re cooking with gas NiP. It takes a great amount of luck when dealing with unproven talent, but it’s the Ninja’s best hope.
As I said before, this move won’t instantly turn the Ninjas into world #1 spot contenders again, but it shows at least a little bit of drive on their part, to want to win again. It shows the public exactly what they wanted, rather, needed to see, that NiP still care. While they may not be 100% driven to be the best in the world, at least they are putting forth an effort to become relevant again.
It is sad to see NiP, a team that has produced so many incredibly exciting games, and won so many tournaments, lose a long time member like friberg. However, in the end, being a professional isn’t about friendship, it is about winning. NiP are showing they are ready to get back to that.
Featured image via http://wallup.net