From a self-proclaimed ‘slump’ in the ESL Pro League to a superstar performance at IEM Fall, dev1ce has been working hard to improve his game on NiP.

CS:GO returns to LAN and to Sweden with the PGL Stockholm Major later this month. The IEM Fall 2021 is the final RMR event of the season and the last chance for many teams to secure a spot at the Major. So far NiP have been dominant in the group stage with a 5-0 start and momentum on their side.

The Ninjas have breezed through the group stage with a 5-0 score taking down teams like FaZe and Fnatic en route. With its impressive performance in this tournament, NiP has secured its spot at the Stockholm Major. And it’s an important step forward for the organization, especially for a Major that takes place on home soil. With no Fnatic and no Dignitas at the PGL Major, NiP is essentially the ‘Home team’. It will get the loudest cheers and these cheers will hopefully propel an already in-form NiP to another Major win.

Finding Form, The Superstar Way

Dev1ce: “Number one thing for consistency and performance in CS is confidence”

Known as the team that was ‘once the best in the world’, NiP has been slowly but surely rebuilding its roster. The latest addition to NiP, Dev1ce, needs no introduction. Its been nearly six months since Dev1ce joined NiP. And as with any new roster change, there was a transition period, where Dev1ce and NiP saw a dip in form. ESL Pro League, in particular, was a disappointing event for the Danish superstar. 

“Ofcourse, the Pro League was pretty disappointing for me. For so long, I’ve never really had a bad tournament, which is kind of spoiled in some ways.”

Players always see dips in form, the superstars are those that can stay afloat, and in this case on a cruise ship. After a 1.05 rating at ESL Pro League S14, dev1ce is one of the top performers at IEM Fall. He has a 1.45 rating with a +46 K/D after the group stage. Only G2’s huNter- is slightly ahead with +47 K/D, but G2 have played more rounds than NiP.

His departure from Astralis was a big move for dev1ce. Not only was he in one of the best teams in the world, but the Astralis players were (and are) his close friends. He is still in close contact with his former teammates and speaks regularly, especially during events.

“We’ve managed to dodge each other for almost all tournaments now. I’d love to play with them as I speak with them pretty much on a daily basis especially during tournaments.”

Joining NiP meant that the 26-year-old player had to make some changes to his routines, even outside the game. dev1ce made an effort to be more dynamic in the game, change up things a bit. He has also tried to disconnect from the game for some time, as it only helps him bounce back harder. And he has.

It would be funny to see what they are going to do with the lineup going into the Major, since Glaive is probably going to be back.

dev1ce on Astralis’ roster at the PGL Stockholm Major.

NiP Players are Excited to Play their First Major

An image of Hampus and the rest of the NiP squad playing on their computers.
For some of the NiP players, this is going to be their first CS: GO Major. And on home soil as well. Image Credit: NiP.

I think all players are looking forward to it. It’s going to be sick for the three of us, Plopski, Hampus and me. We’ve never played a Major before. I don’t think the audience will affect us too much, since we are really eager to play, now that we’ve qualified to the Major.” – LNZ

The PGL Stockholm Major will be the first Major for the majority of the NiP roster. While dev1ce is a CS:GO veteran, the rest of the squad will make their debut Major debut at Stockholm. 

Judging by their form at IEM Fall, the Ninjas are surely going to be a serious contender for the Major title. And one thing necessary for a strong performance is an understanding of the roles within the team. With dev1ce as the star player and Rez as the star rifler, NiP’s players are working on defining their roles and ensuring optimal performance.

“We are trying to clarify the roles even further cause then we think it helps the players when they really understand their roles,” said Threat.

IEM Fall Format and Schedule Needs Improvement

Several players across teams have complained and been extremely critical of the IEM Fall format and the schedule. The final RMR event features a Bo1 round-robin group stage with several matches finishing way past midnight. IEM Fall is the final opportunity for many teams to secure their spot at the PGL Stockholm Major later this month. 

“I think it’s a bit of a gimmick format. Having it right before the Major is stupid in my opinion. Especially since there’s more time in the day. We had to wait for other tournaments to finish. […] It’s the one tournament leading up to the Major that decides who’s going to be there. We are playing it on bad terms in my opinion.”

Dev1ce


On the match times, with some matches ending way past midnight, the players hope for a better schedule next time. 

Obviously, we still played very good even though it was late games except for the last day. But overall, I don’t really like the late games. It’s a very long day and there’s also you can end up playing at 2 in the night, which is not the perfect way for anyone.” said Plopski. “I don’t really like it, I don’t think anyone likes sit. Hopefully, it will be better the next time.”

What does a Major in Sweden mean?

The CS:GO Major will take place in Stockholm, but it wasn’t without its share of apprehensions. PGL has already shifted Dota 2’s International to Bucharest after the Swedish government failed to amend some laws that would allow for easy movement of the players. The CS:GO Major was also in a similar boat for the most part, although it will now take place at the Avicii Arena. Ubisoft recently announced the Six Major Sweden that will take place in November.

NiP has been a Swedish team for the longest time in CS:GO. From its dominant 87-0 run to the most recent iteration of the roster NiP’s CS:GO identity is closely tied with Sweden. The Ninjas have a Dane on their roster but the rest of the squad is from Sweden.

“I think it means a lot because Sweden is still working on accepting CS as a sport. There are still discussions about that. It’s really good that we bring it home to Stockholm, Sweden so it gets more attention. It’s good for Sweden and it might be on TV one day.”

Rez

Having a Major in Sweden, the first for several players, is a huge step forward for Swedish esports. It comes at a time when there is an ongoing debate on Counter-Strike’s acceptance as a sport in the country.

The Stockholm Major is still some time away, and NiP has a few teams to overcome if they want to win IEM Fall. They start with Movistar Riders in the quarterfinals, a team whose success at the event is partly due to the randomness of the format says dev1ce. However, he also goes on to mention, NiP will not do the mistake of underestimating the Riders.

NiP will next face Movistar Riders in the quarterfinals of IEM Fall EU 2021.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest CS:GO news and updates

Filed Under
Rohan Samal - Eurasia Editor

Rohan Samal

Eurasia Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Eurasia Editor for esports.gg. Found esports through gaming nearly 6 years ago and has been involved ever since. Primarily a Dota 2 player, but has the occasional experience in FPS games. Even tried (unsuccessfully) to go pro in Overwatch.