Friberg: We're gonna show that we're the best team in the world
Ninjas in Pyjamas looking to bounce back after their tournament slump
They've underachieved and their form has been questioned by the community.
But Ninjas in Pyjamas aren't gonna let the latest streak of bad results weigh them down.
Now they're looking forward to ESL One where they plan to show the world that they're still #1.
– We get really psyched when people say that we suck, says Adam ”Friberg” Friberg.
Within the CS:GO community, there are few teams that are discussed as often and as intensively as Ninjas in Pyjamas. The victory machine, now celebrating two years as a team, won just about everything during their first year together. That was, up until the fall of 2013 when the slump started. Since then, NiP:s major victories at live tournaments can be counted on one hand (Copenhagen Games 2014, Dreamhack Summer 2014, Irongaming RTX 2014). And even though they've been a top three team in basically every event attended, their future has been debated after each tournament that hasn't ended with them winning. So when they just the other week put up their worst effort yet, finishing 5th at Gfinity in London, many saw that as a sign that the true glory days of NiP were over. The site HLTV.org went as far as to say that the team is ”in serious trouble”.
”Our stats were because of the vacation”
But within the team, panic is nowhere to be found. That is, atleast, if you were to believe Adam ”Friberg” Friberg who claims the players have already analyzed what went wrong at their last tournament.
– We came off a three week vacation without bootcamping and I can easily say that our stats at Gfinity was because of that. We usually have a two-three week preparation period and now we only had four days. We couldn't reach our potential at all, he says.
How did you discuss the event within the team after the fact?
– We've talked about how we weren't good enough individually, but also that the teamplay wasn't working. People had forgotten some stuff. Now, we've gone through all those things we thought we knew but might have forgotten. It takes some time to go through all our setups and stuff like that. But mostly, we try to get our game together so that everyone can help eachother all of the time. Plus, we've looked into some new things to have up our sleeves at ESL One.
”Maybe we thought we're better than we are”
He openly admits that after Dreamhack Summer, the team hasn't been practicing the way they should.
– I think it has to do with us being too comfortable and maybe thinking we're better than we really are. We've had to change our mentality coming into ESL One because at Gfinity we realized that we might not be as good as we think. You can't come back after a long vacation and expect to jump right in to a top spot. You have to put some effort into it even though we've been together for so long.
After the setbacks at ESEA and Gfinity, NiP has once again focused hard on bootcamping. And Friberg claims that the latest results have only made them more motivated.
– I have a good gut feeling and we're really calm now. Since Gfinity we've been more psyched than ever. It was really a wakeup call.
”Shouldn't have a problem with them”
Their first opponents at ESL One will be Indian team MTS Gamegod Wolf. A team that probably no one in Cologne has kept track of. But all things considered, they should prove to be an easy start for NiP.
– We shouldn't have a problem with them... I think. We don't know anything about them so we don't know what to expect.
On paper it looks like the weakest team in the tournament. How important is it for you to come into the competition with what looks like an easy first win?
– It's always good to enter a tournament with a win, to start rolling. So you get the feeling that ”now it has started” and you get your game tempo up. To be seeded against the easiest opponent first feels good for us.
And looking at the rest of the group, what are your thoughts?
– We're preparing to face both Hellraisers and Epsilon. The group actually feels tough because we've had problems against Hellraisers before and have faced them an extreme amount of times. Epsilon beat us at Gfinity and when they get their game going they're really strong, with lots of young talent. On a good day they can beat anyone. Richard ”Shox” Papillon is an extremely good player.
Expecting upsets in Cologne
Besides looking at his own group, Friberg's thoughts are about the same as former rival Jonathan ”Devilwalk” Lundbergs: The CS:GO scene has become incredibly hard to predict since the gap between teams has closed considerably.
– I think we're goona see a lot of upsets since the teams have reached a level where anyone can beat anyone. It wouldn't surprise me if a top team is eliminated at an early stage. I think we benefited from attending Gfinity so we could get to know more teams instead of coming straight from a vacation into ESL One.
What's it like playing in a team where you get flamed as soon as you don't win?
– We get really psyched when people say that we suck. We've always been a winning team and that's what we were created to be. People think we're bad now and have to change players or whatever, but within the team we're all really eager to show that we're still the world's best team. That's what we believe and we're gonna show it in Cologne.