4/5ths of the new Dignitas roster are made up of the incredible 2014 NiP team. How will this team fair together?
It has been announced that Dignitas will be signing the former NiP core alongside promising Norweigian talent Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli as part of a ‘new dynasty’ in CS:GO.
This is the return of a group of players many never expected to see together again. Last year, there was even speculation that some of those names could well retire before getting a chance to join a new team.
When Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund stepped down from NiP, many felt it was his time to go. As heartbreaking as the drawn-out process was, it was the right thing for him and the team.
It left Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg as the last man standing and an unintended duo split before the Dignitas reunion. This is the best way to describe the new lineup. It is a reunion tour rather than a resurgence. Dignitas aren’t going to pick up the NiP flame from 2014 and make a miracle run to the top again.
The big question is why so many are excited to see these players back together again with Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson in the hybrid role of coach and manager.
Ninjas in Pyjamas is a name that can never be erased from the history of Counter-Strike. When Global Offensive released, it was NiP that first combined talents from 1.6 and Source to create a team under the direction of Emil "HeatoN" Christensen. This early team had a headstart that they were able to turn into a sprint away from any competition.
It was during this time that the Ninjas were able to cement one of the greatest feats in GO by going on a map win streak of 87-0. This included a 32-0 run on Nuke.
Astralis, coming off an incredible 2018 run and playing only a handful of tournaments in early 2019, saw their own Nuke streak end at 31 after falling to ENCE in the BLAST Pro Series Madrid grand final.
While NiP’s run was in a less competitive era, there were challengers that attempted to take them down. Most notably,
A rotating fifth spot in the squad saw the four man core attempt to fix their issues with numerous signings from 2014 to 2017, with Mikail "Maikelele" Bill, Aleksi "allu" Jalli, Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi and William "draken" Sundin all failing to retain their spot.
It was not until June 2017 that one more core member would be removed from the squad. It was the remaining former Source player Adam "friberg" Friberg that took the fall that made way for young talent Fredrik "REZ" Sterner.
With REZ, NiP were able to once again win IEM Oakland 2017 after lifting the trophy in 2016 and their newest Ninja claimed the MVP title.
NiP plagued by scandal will have an uphill battle to keep and regain fans while the drama remains fresh in the minds of fans.
They will have to hope that the NiP magic was indeed the organisation’s and not in the hands of the players.
After a trophy drought of over two years, it might take more of a miracle than magic for them to get back to winning ways.So many iconic and popular lineups are lost to history:
- The VeryGames roster that saw NiP as their fiercest rivals containing Ex6TenZ, NBK, ScreaM, shox and SmithZz
- The Fnatic lineup that won multiple Majors with Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer in his prime
- The Polish Virtus.pro that captured the hearts of so many fans across their long presence towards the top of the scene
- The Gambit team that won the PGL Krakow Major against all odds only to fall apart when in-game leader Danylo “Zeus” Teslenko returned to Na’Vi
- The Cloud9 roster that won the ELEAGUE Major Boston 2018 that also saw departures following the victory
These are just a fraction of the lineups fans new and old would probably like to see one last time or in a showmatch capacity in the future, but most know the chance of a full reunion is unlikely as more and more time passes.
For those who missed a team like NiP the first time around, this is a chance to see the team that defined the earliest competitive era in the game.
The hope is that they are able to do justice to their legacy rather than being a novelty act in a future league.