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S1mple and the curse of the fifth ninja

fifth ninja

At Global Offensive’s beginning, every conversation began and ended with the Ninjas in Pyjamas. The legendary lineup encompassed; the world’s best player by leaps and bounds, Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund; second best player, Patrik ‘f0rest’ Lindberg, dominant entry fragger Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg, in-game leader Richard ‘Xizt’ Landström, and role player Robin ‘Fifflaren’ Johansson. When Fifflaren decided to retire, the Ninjas went with a strategy of keeping a core four, and just finding a new fifth every year or so, until just recently when friberg was removed from the team. As of late, people have been using this same argument that the curse of the fifth ninja suggested, against the young prodigy Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev.

Natus Vincere

fifth ninja
Natus Vincere

People seem to forget, there was a reason that Na’Vi felt they needed a change. Following a highly mediocre start to 2016. The two finals appearances in MLG Columbus and Dreamhack Malmo were impressive; although, their routes to the finals were rather unimpeded. Overall, for an organization with championship aspirations, the year had been unsuccessful. They needed to bring in another superstar to pair with Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovács, as Egor ‘flamie’ Vasilyev, is a player that tends to shrink as the lights get brighter.

fifth ninja
s1mple

S1mple, after stomping Na’Vi in the quarterfinals of ESL One Cologne 2016, was recruited to the CIS powerhouse. After going out in last place at SL i-League Invitational, they scraped together a win at ESL One New York, off of the back of a fantastic performance from s1mple. A long line of disappointing performances ensued, and the general public seemed to agree that it was the fault of s1mple, despite his stellar play. While this was happening, it just reminded me of the NiP curse of the fifth ninja.

 

fifth ninja
electronic

Thankfully, the story didn’t have the same ending as NiP’s, as they bought in on s1mple as their franchise centerpiece; they added more firepower and leadership around him. The current Na’Vi roster heavily intrigues me. I cannot wait to see them in action as, on paper, their players should fit fantastically well together. They still have one of the best role players money can buy, the criminally underrated Ioann ‘Edward’ Sukhariev. A leader like Danylo ‘Zeus’ Teslenko only comes around once in a lifetime. Denis ‘electronic’ Sharipov is a very good playmaking lurker and flamie when hot can click his opponents face off before he even sees flamie’s shoulder.

 


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