CS:GO 11 Mar 2021 10:06 AM +00:00

NiP 2012-2014: Part 1 - Sovereigns of CS:GO

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Ninjas in Pyjamas are the greatest team in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive history. In 27 months of play together, the famous five of CS:GO won more than $532,000 in prize money, took down 22 titles, reached 29 finals and placed in the top four of offline tournaments on 33 out of 37 occasions. This article series represents a comprehensive history of the CS:GO team which dominated the highest level of the competitive scene and showed the world the level of consistency a truly great team could impose upon their opposition.

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In part one, the story goes from NiP's formation in August of 2012 through to their streak of nine tournaments without a loss, winning 87 straight maps without defeat, and through to the era when they finally could be beaten and even lost a tournament.

Ninjas in Pyjamas (August 10th 2012 - November 3rd 2014)Christopher 'GeT_RiGhT' AlesundPatrik 'f0rest' LindbergAdam 'friberg' FribergRichard 'Xizt' LandströmRobin 'Fifflaren' Johansson

Part 1: Sovereigns of CS:GOPart 2: Impossible consistency

When worlds collide

On the 10th of August 2012 it was announced that the Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) organisation would make its return to esports, boasting a brand new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team. NiP had previously been the best team in the world back in 2001, led by HeatoN and Potti, and 2006, with young star zet leading the way. Between those periods of success and since the organisation had disappeared, though. Now it would look to begin competition in CS:GO with a star-studded line-up. With the announcement imagine bearing the boast "Five players from two worlds. One team to rule them all", the team looked to pair 1.6 and Source professionals in one team.

GeT_RiGhT and f0rest were legends from CS 1.6. Many considered f0rest the greatest player in the game's history and he had certainly won the most prize money, helping his teams rack up more than $850,000 in winnings. GeT_RiGhT was the best Swedish CS player for almost the last three years, carrying FNATIC and SK Gaming teams to success and runs of dominance. The third former 1.6 name was Xizt, who had climbed from a lesser star to captaining the FNATIC team which began a run of its own as the world's best side in 2012.

The two Source names who would round out the line-up were Friberg and Fifflaren, both veterans of Source competition and one having played in the CGS, Source's only true period as a premiere esports title. While the 1.6 players were known for having competed on a high level as recently as that year, the addition of the Source players was seen as an attempt to bring the 1.6 pros up to speed on CS:GO, since the new iteration of Counter-Strike bore more resemblences to Source than the original CS.

Dominant from the start

NiP's CS:GO debut came at the Swedish Steelseries CS:GO event. They would go undefeated and take down BuggIT, which featured future well known CS:GO pros twist and cype, in the final. Their prize for victory was a modest 30,000 SEK (~$4,000). Less than a month later, NiP attended their first international event, as they attended and subsequently dominated Dreamhack Valencia. Not dropping a map, NiP had rampaged over the field and not given up even 10 rounds on a map until the final. In that final, NiP would meet VeryGames (Ex6TenZ, kennyS, NBK, SmithZz and RpK), the dominant force from the latter era of the CS:Source scene.

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With CS:GO being considered closer to Source than 1.6, many predicted VeryGames may well school the former 1.6 stars in their first meeting. VeryGames even had their own star name to match-up with GeT_RiGhT and f0rest, in the young kennyS, French AWP star extraordinaire. VeryGames were able to give NiP their first test at the event, but they still fell in straight maps and NiP took their first significant title in the new game. Again, the prize money was far from the heights it would reach in later years, only amounting to €2,500 (~$3,137).

"I think we are probably the number one team in Europe right now. We haven’t played against the Americans, but I cannot wait to meet them at the ESWC."-Fifflaren, after winning Dreamhack Valencia (HLTV.org, 2012)

The first big international competition for CS:GO would be the Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC), a tournament which had been considered a major in CS 1.6. f0rest and GeT_RiGhT had won the tournament for the first time a year prior and their unbeaten offline streak in CS:GO would continue, with NiP running through the tournament to the final once more without even a map loss. Their opponents in the final would again be VeryGames, featuring four players who had also won the previous year's ESWC title in their previous game. 

This final would be a difficult one for VeryGames, as they would be destroyed in the opening game 16:3 on dust2 and then play the same second map as in Valencia, this time losing on train by only 14:16. NiP took the took and had now cemented themselves as the dominant force in CS:GO, with teams able to approach their level but never truly match it.  Less than three weeks later, it was time for Dreamhack Winter, back in NiP's home country of Sweden. In the group stage, NiP would face what looked to be a dangerous line-up of teams: FNATIC had been on a streaking of winning all the latter day 1.6 tournaments, even after Xizt had left for NiP, and had just switched to CS:GO for this event; mousesports featured a number of top UK former CS:Source pros; ESC (NEO, TaZ, pasha, loord and kuben) were the legendary second era line-up of the golden five, having won two major 1.6 titles with that iteration alone.

NiP managed to sweep the group, but not without facing a tight 16:14 mirage game against mouz. In the quarter-final, the opponent was Brazil's ProGaming.TD, led by cogu, the man considered by many to be the best sniper of all time in CS 1.6. That team had come close to upsetting NiP at ESWC, losing 13:16 and blaming problems with lost equipment and admin miscommunication. This time around there would be no excuses and NiP comfortably continued their winning streak. In the semi-final Friberg and the family would face the same mouz who had come close to taking a map off them in the group stage. This time, mouz looked set to accomplish that feat, going up big in the first half of the opening dust2. NiP battled through the adversity, though, and came back to win 16:14. mouz were broken NiP crushed them on nuke to move into another final.

"We were not in the match in the first nine rounds, we didn't play our game. Basically we just talked to ourselves [...], stepped it up and didn't stress too much cos we were down 9:0. [...] ended up with six rounds in a row, to make us able to play T as well and we managed to win"-friberg, speaking about NiP's close opening map against mouz in the semi-final of Dreamhack Winter (HLTV.org, 2012)

The opponent in the final was VeryGames, highlighting that while NiP had been the dominant force early in CS:GO, VeryGames were there with them above the other teams. The French side tried their luck on dust2 again in the opener, this time taking more rounds but still ultimately going down 0:1 in the series. For the second map NiP would play inferno for the first time against the Frenchmen, the result would be a 16:1 steamrolling from f0rest and his men. The Dreamhack Winter title meant NiP had won their first four LANs as a team. VeryGames had looked so good against the other teams in the field, but seemed to fall apart when facing the mighty Ninjas.

"I think that the other teams are looking at us a bit more [than other top five teams] [...] everyone keeps improving, obviously, but also I think it's gotten to the point as well where we win every single event, people watch us the most, they're starting to a get a hand of 'Ok, how does NiP play' [and] how to counter it"-Fifflaren, after winnig THOR Open (HLTV.org)

A December of destruction

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December would have NiP set to attend three LAN tournaments, making for both a very busy end to the year and a daunting task if they were to remain undefeated. At the beginning of the month was the AMD Sapphire CS:GO Invitational. NiP would not only remain undefeat, but send a message to the CS:Source world in doing so. During the play-off portion of the tournament, NiP defeated three French teams of former Source pros in a row, all 2:0 in maps and with five of the six maps ending without the opponent reaching 10 rounds won. In the quarter-final a side with many now recognisable names (Happy, Maniac, apEX and GMX) was blown away. In the semi-final it was the turn of ScreaM's BuyKey to bow to the masters.

Finally, the final saw a third straight finals date with VeryGames. nuke and inferno would be the maps of choice this time around and VG were able to come to play on inferno this time, winning 11 rounds, but would leave without having ever won a map offline against the new overlords of CS:GO. NiP took down the title and their dominance seemed almost routine and banal by now. A team playing their best might get within a few rounds of them, but NiP always had that extra spark they needed to win the map. VeryGames were stringing rounds together against them and getting kills, but it ultimately didn't seem to matter the eventual outcome, which was always the biggest cheque and the top spot on the podium going to NiP.

VeryGames would be off tending to their psychological wounds as a few days later the all-Nordic THOR Open event took place. Rolling through the group was an easy enough task, setting up a semi-final with Lemondogs, which featured twist and cype, who had played in the BuggIT team NiP had defeated at their first ever CS:GO tournament. This semi-final would prove quite easy and NiP were through to another final, predictably. Facing them would be Curse.fi and the Finns were able to play a surprisingly competitive series, winning 13 rounds on the opener nuke, the most NiP had ever given up in a finals map, and 10 on dust2, but still fell without scoring a map win. NiP had taken care of business at home and still reigned supreme.

The last offline event of 2012 for NiP would be NorthCon, held in Germany. The early part of a tournament for this era of NiP was simply a firing range, as the Swedes dispatched one team after another with a grinding inevitability and move through tournaments to the final. The semi-final opponent was Xyp9x's CPLAY, but they had nothing for NiP that day. With VG again back in France, the finalists for this tournament would be the Poles of ESC. NEO and TaZ were to provide the least resistance of any finals opponent yet, only managed nine rounds total over the two maps they would lose.

2012 was over for NiP and had seen them winning all seven offline events they had attended, never losing even a single map and totalling ~$71,970 in prize money won for the year. Truly these five players from two different worlds had formed the one team to rule them all.

Untouchable early in 2013

After such an action-packed end to the year, it wouldn't be until late February that the Ninjas would make their next offline outing. At Mad Catz Invitational Vienna, little had changed as Fifflaren and friends rolled through the group stage with ease, the only match worthy of note being a first time matched up opposite CS:Source legend Shoxie's Imaginary team. In the quarter-final NiP easily crushed a Nostalgia team packed with famous Russian 1.6 players, including Dosia, the player widely considered to be the greatest player from the region in the latter years. ESC would find themselves facing NiP in the semi-final, knowing they were down 0:4 in maps offline against Xizt's gang. Despite bringing the second map, inferno, to a reasonably close scoreline (16:12), ESC still failed to take a map from the f0rest and GeT_RiGhT duo they had tortured in so many big 1.6 finals.

"I hope that with time we see more teams battling for the first place, not only NiP, because at the moment the game is being killed by NiP's great performance. For some people they are like "Awesome! Great! Super!", but for other people, like more than half, they are killing the game, because there are like "Oh, this great game, VeryGame vs. Na`Vi, but who cares? NiP is going to win [the event]."-TaZ, speaking on NiP's effect on CS:GO (HLTV.org, 2013)

With VeryGames on the other side of the bracket, it was fully expected that the French-Belgian side would be joining NiP in the final for a fifth straight finals battle between the two top CS:GO team. With VeryGames having brought in skilled aim-star ScreaM, formerly of BuyKey and Imaginary, fans speculated that the additional firepower he represented could give VeryGames the push needed to get over the NiP hump. Instead, Ex6TenZ's men fell in an epic three game series, losing out to the Danish Anexis team. Anexis had already beaten VeryGames in the group stage, suggesting a new elite team was approaching from the horizon.

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This upstart line-up (Nico, Pimp, gla1ve, MSL and Nille) shared with VeryGames that their approach was largely tactics-based, with an emphasis on specific roles. Where so many CS:GO teams still lacked for a recognisable star player, Anexis could point to the AWPing of Nico, who was having a break-out event in his CS:GO career. The opening game saw Anexis push NiP on one of the Ninjas' strongest maps, losing nuke by only three rounds, tying the most rounds ever taken off NiP in a final. Switching over to inferno, NiP would give no such suggestion that they might be toppled, rolling to a 16:5 win an the title. 2013 looked set to a continued chapter in the story of NiP's domination, even a new contender could not change that.

"We won yet another final, but some day [laughs], we will lose"-f0rest, on NiP's victory at Mad Catz Vienna (HLTV.org, 2013)

Bring on the Eastern European powers

A month later, NiP attended the Techlabs Cup in Moscow. The four team tournament, featuring an double elimination format, would become a format which would soon be widely adopted in the CIS region, with StarSeries tournaments embracing a similar approach later in the year. In the first match, NiP met Natus Vincere (Na`Vi) in another match-up causing spectators to recall the CS 1.6 pedigree of the players. Na`Vi (Markeloff, Edward, starix, ceh9 and Zeus) was one of the three greatest CS 1.6 line-ups of all time, with the Ukrainian superteam having been formed and funded at the end of 2009 at the behest of an Eastern European multi-millionaire. In 2010, the team from a country who had never produced a championship level team in the game took over the 1.6 world, winning all three of the majors that year and breaking the record for prize money won.

Just as with the FNATIC and ESC line-ups, both of which had switched over wholesale and attempted to transition their success directly into CS:GO, Na`Vi had kept their line-up intact, with their star players being AWPer Markeloff and pistol deity Edward. Na`Vi's first event had been the Invitational in Vienna, but they had fallen in a very close three map series with VeryGames, sparking hope that the former kings of 1.6 might be a worthy contender to the NiP juggernaut. Playing on train, the map which had been Na`Vi's famed home in 1.6, NiP slapped aside the new converts 16:5.

In the upper bracket final, NiP met a Virtus.pro (Dosia, AdreN, ANGE1, Fox and kucher) team which looked like a CS 1.6 CIS superteam. Dosia was considered the genius of the region, as skilled as any player in the world, and had now been matched up with the former star players of teams like DTS and k23. NiP edged a competitive inferno 16:12, but the meeting in the grand final would be a more convincing 16:10 win for GeT_RiGhT's men. The next big international tournament, Copenhagen Games, would be in under a week, so perhaps Virtus.pro had put themselves in the mix as a team capable of staying with NiP in the server, where so many others were easily swept aside.

Dominating in Denmark

Copenhagen Games was another parade of domination from NiP. In the upper bracket another Danish team, Copenhagen Wolves (dupreeh, watz, FeTiSh, cajunb and 3k2) showed a little resistance, getting 10 rounds on both maps before bowing out, but NiP was recording stomps left, right and centre. VeryGames met for the long-awaited fifth Bo3 between the teams, even getting the opening inferno to 11 rounds before losing, but the following mirage was a 16:2 smash by the men flying the yellow and blue flag. In the final of the upper bracket, the same Virtus.pro line-up who had shown a little something in the Techlabs competition. Again, the CIS superteam challenged NiP, this time taking 13 rounds on dust2 and 11 on nuke, but still fell in a straight maps series.

VeryGames would again fail to reach the final with their new line-up, falling again the Western Wolves, the new name for Anexis. Anexis would get a second crack at NiP, but coming from the lower bracket meant they would have an even more difficult task before them. The map would be train, a map NiP had not lost six rounds in one instance of in their last four offline outings on. This final would be a truly emphatic display of NiP's force, blowing Western Wolves away 16:2 and in stylish fashion, with star GeT_RiGhT embarrassing the Danes with his unique auto-sniper usage on the CT side.

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In the the eight months since they had formed, NiP had won their first nine CS:GO tournaments, amassed over $114,500 in prize money won and gone a flawless 85:0 in offline maps played. This was a level of dominance unseen in the history of Counter-Strike, with the closest comparable point of reference being SK Sweden's run of more than 40 maps won with only a single loss in 2003, a team which had featured NiP founder HeatoN in its line-up.

NiP's excellence proved smothering to the extent that many otherwise neutral observers claimed they were ruining the spectator experience, so obvious it seemed that they would triumph and defeat the opposition. The people longed for a team who could take NiP down and inject some uncertainty into the top level of CS:GO competition. VeryGames had been given a handful of opportunities and proven unable to and the former 1.6 championship line-ups had all shown themselves ill-suited to being the successor to the throne. The closest competitor in recent times had been the Virtus.pro line-up, but even they were still 0:4 against NiP.

Falling from the ladder

At the beginning of April, NiP headed out to Kiev for the SLTV StarSeries V finals, the first season they were competing in. The tournament was akin to the Techlabs competition, with four teams and a double elimination bracket, but with each match being Bo3 instead of a single map. The first round opponent for NiP was the Polish ESC team. NiP in no mood to play, easily sailing past TaZ and his team 2:0. In the upper bracket final, it was another chance for the Virtus.pro line-up of Dosia. Where the past four maps had seen Virtus reaching at least 10 rounds but still unable to ever clear the final hurdle and win the map, this time around a different Virtus.pro showed itself in the server.

In one of the great series of all-time, Virtus.pro and NiP went back-and-forth in a battle of two teams playing at their peak level. NiP lost the first map of the series in the final round, falling 14:16 on mirage. Having suffered their first ever offline map loss, NiP then went onto nuke, considered a home map for the team. Virtus.pro took their level up even further, handing NiP their second map loss, this time by a six round margin. The NiP team which had come into the series on an unbeaten 87:0 map streak had now suffered their first two losses back-to-back.

As if to highlight the extent to which that upset loss had been Virtus.pro raising their level and not simply NiP lowering theirs, the Ninjas went down into the lower bracket and brutally massacred Na`Vi 2:0, giving up only eight rounds over the two maps combined. That set-up the finals rematch with Virtus.pro and a chance to prove that even losing their first ever Bo3 series would not stop NiP claiming a 10th straight offline event title. NiP had been the impossible riddle to solve, leaving even the wiliest and most cunning of opponents left scratching their heads and astounded, now someone had found an answer that had found success.

The upper bracket had been equally thrilling both for the level of play and the novelty of a team pushing NiP outside of their comfort zone, but the final was an even more wild and exilerating affair. The opening map was inferno, where NiP had beaten VP 16:12 in the upper final of Techlabs. The game again mirrored the opening map of the upper bracket at this tournament, reaching the last round of regulation. This time, overtime was forced and it was there that VP would take NiP's hearts again, sweeping the overtime session to take a second map and record three straight wins over NiP.

The second map was dust2, a map NiP had beaten VP on twice already offline, but with the last meeting being a 16:13 affair. As if to highlight the almost non-existent gap between the teams on that April day, the map again reached the final round of regulation, for the third time in the four meetings in Kiev. NiP fell in the thriller 14:16 to lose their second offline Bo3. NiP suddenly found themselves without a winning record against an opponent offline, tied at 2:2 in series and 4:4 in maps with Virtus.pro, but more importantly they had left a final without the trophy. After NiP's 10th offline event, they left with the second place cheque and a now less-than-spotless 89:4 offline record.

Hopes that Virtus.pro would be the new dominant team in the game, or simply give some back-and-forth to late tournament battles with NiP would not materialise, as the Russian side would not be in attendance at a number of the upcoming tournaments, ensuring NiP would retain their world number one ranking in spite of the incidents in Kiev.

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Retaining the crown

ESL's first offline venture into international CS:GO competition came with the RaidCall EMS One Spring Finals. Taking place a week after StarSeries, the tournament was an eight team single elimination bracket. Rushing through an easy opening series against Portugal's k1ck, NiP reached their sixth offline meeting with VeryGames. The French-Belgian side found the opening game humiliating, as NiP wrecked them 16:3 on inferno, but fought to a heart-breaking 14:16 loss on dust2 in the second map of the series. Despite having recorded 10 rounds or more on six of the 12 maps they had played against NiP, NBK and his comrades could not find a way to actually inflict a map loss on NiP. NiP's loss to Virtus had clearly been more about the play of the Eastern Europeans than any failing on the part of the superlative Swedish soveriegns of CS:GO.

The way the bracket had been drawn meant that NiP bizarrely ended up with their most difficult test in facing VeryGames in that semi-final, the final being a fairly mundane beatdown placed upon FNATIC. Despite being pushed to their limit and beyond in Kiev, NiP had quickly returned to the old play-book, racking up 2:0 Bo3 score-lines, breaking VeryGames's hearts and taking another offline title.

"they once again proved that they have what it takes to beat us, they just have to figure out how"-f0rest, on defeating VeryGames again at EMS One Spring (HLTV.org, 2013)

That April was a busy time for CS:GO competition, with the ESEA Invite Season 13 LAN finals taking place less than a week after the conclusion of EMS One Spring. Flying out to Dallas, USA, the Ninjas would face some North American competition for only the second time in CS:GO, having beaten DaZeD's Area51 in the group stage of ESWC. The local competition seemed to be no concern early on, but anger and Skadoodle's Curse.NA were able to give f0rest and friends something to sweat about, almost upsetting them 14:16 in the opening map of the series. NiP closed the Curse side out and arrived at their seventh offline meeting with VeryGames.

Anyone could be forgiven for imagining the VeryGames side must be broken men at this point, having lost six straight series to NiP, four of them in finals, and going 0:12 in maps. If their best efforts failing previously had worn VeryGames down, then they came into this match otherwise unduly inspired, somehow summoning an effort which closer to beating the Ninjas than any team outside of Virtus.pro had so-far done. VeryGames would bring both maps to the end point of regulation, but lose both 14:16 and see NiP record another 2:0 series win and bump the match-up record to 14:0 in NiP's favour.

Another familiar pattern played out as NiP sat in the upper bracket, as the wait for VeryGames to reach the final and rematch them again proved unnecessary, as this time it was Quantic (hiko, DaZeD, tck, frozt, semphis) who took the French-Belgian side out of the competition, winning two impossibly close maps to provide NiP with a new finals opponent. Despite displaying such form against VeryGames, Quantic were no match for NiP and fell in two maps, managing only 14 rounds over the two combined. NiP had reached their 11th offline title in 12 events played, so much for their fall from the top spot.

"After the Starladder final we came back and we have been analysing things, what went wrong [...] we usually don't lose clutch rounds, I think that's one of the [reasons] we lost to Virtus.pro. We are really thrilled to play them again, we want to play [Virtus.pro] at the next event, it would be fun."-friberg, discussing the possibility of a rematch with Virtus.pro (HLTV.org, 2013)

The domestic triple

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After so many events abroad, the next three competitions would take place on home soil in Sweden. In late May it was the Svecup Västerås. Lemondogs (Delpan, twist, cyphe, xelos, maxAki) showed the volatility of domestic match-ups, handing NiP their fifth ever offline map loss, with Delpan and company winning the opener 19:17 in overtime on train. NiP bounced right back and took the next two maps without too much to worry about, moving into a final they would again win without such difficulty.

In the middle of June it was time for Dreamhack Summer, but before that tournament could begin there would be the Swedish Championship, being hosted at the same event but prior to the main tournament. Easily taking care of Lemondogs, NiP would still face a threat at home, as Epsilon (schneider, flusha, jw, Devilwalk, cENTRYZ) were able to snatch the opener, on inferno, in the final. NiP still refused to give up the series, winning the third map on dust2 an emphatic 16:6 and showing that no domestic side would get to claim a true victory over them.

In the main Dreamhack tournament, NiP would find themselves tested in a fashion they had never before experience in a big tournament. In the second game of the group stage, facing the Western Wolves line-up they'd battled in the Mad Catz Vienna and Copenhagen Games finals, they were not only handed a map loss, but brutally shocked to their core by a 16:2 battering at the hands of the Danish side, on the Swedes' home map of nuke no less! Facing pronax's Publiclir.se to get out of the group should have been a routine victory for NiP, having convincingly beaten the same team on two maps in the Swedish Championship the previous day, but NiP found themselves entirely unable to assert control in the match.

Publiclir went up 7:0, but NiP dug deep and battle back to lose the first half of dust2 only 9:6 to their opponents. pronax and company blew the game open in the second half, reaching 12:6. Some back-and-forth from NiP could not stop themselves seemingly destined to lose the game and be eliminated, going down 10:15 and reaching map point for the opponent. At this point, one of the most unbelievable sequences in CS:GO history was to unfold. Publiclir.se managed to get themselves into an after-plant situation with five men alive to the two of NiP. NiP leader Xizt killed two opponents but lost his team-mate, putting him 1v3 and facing a ticking bomb, the clock seemingly counting down NiP's tournament lives. 

With the bomb planted at the A bombsite, there was no time to hunt down and engage the opponents, so Xizt went all-out with a defuse inside of a smoke. Inexplicably, the opponents were too slow to figure out what was happening, pushing up to challenge his defuse mere moments too late and allowing Xizt to secure the defuse, the win and new life for his team. In a fashion fit for a movie script, NiP battled back to overtime and then took the map and a spot in the play-offs there. 

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The challenges were not passed as NiP entered play-off competition, with Copenhagen Wolves (dupreeh, wantz, FeTiSh, cajunb and device) shocking them on the opening map, with a 16:14 inferno win. NiP would roll through the second map and win the decider with a little cushion, but it was clear that there was blood in the water and NiP were capable of being beaten in this tournament. Meeting Virtus.pro, the only team without a losing record against the Ninjas, in the semi-final came with a new wrinkle, as the CIS team had removed AdreN and added in Slovakian AWP star GuardiaN, who spoke very little Russian. NiP would get their revenge, of a sort, with a solid 2:0 series win and move into their 16th straight offline final. 

The opponent for the final was the very same Epsilon who had scored a map win off them the day before. Despite all of NiP's challenges and moments of weakness over that week in Sweden, this final was a display of NiP at their best. Giving up only seven rounds combined over the two maps, NiP blew their opponents off the stage in Jönköping and added the Dreamhack Summer title to their collection that lacked only for that fateful StarSeries V crown.

Dark days ahead

NiP had been put through the wringer in Sweden at those three events, losing maps at a frequency that would have been unthinkable beforehand. Suddenly, there seemed to be a handful of teams who could all pose a threat for Friberg and his friends, with danger poised from more than just the elite contenders. NiP had prevailed at Dreamhack and come through the darkness, but their dominance was clearly on the verge of slipping. The next chapter of NiP's history would see them give up their undisputed spot at the top of the CS world, even eventually enterting a slump without an international title for eight month.

Part two of this comprehensive history of the Ninjas in Pyjamas line-up will be publish tomorrow evening.

Photo credit: ESL, Dreamhack, Fragbite, In-Games Multiplayer

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