Ninjas in Pyjamas have been bootcamping for five days ahead of the return to Cologne, where one of the most famous teams in all of esports are facing the task to defend their only major title.
And despite being seemingly out of shape the recent months, Patrik ”f0rest” Lindberg says the team is ready for whatever the opposition throws at them.
– The time we have spent together not participating in recent tournaments is paying off, the superstar says to Aftonbladet Esport.
The second major of the year is upon us. Once again the best teams in the world is heading to Cologne to participate in ESL One where 250 000 dollar is on the line. And of the 16 teams travelling to Germany few, if any, have more fans – and more pressure on them to perform – than Ninjas in Pyjamas. As the whole community knows, the world famous Swedish side have yet to miss a final at any major in CS:GO. Something that many have attributed to the renowned ”NIP Magic.”
– I have no clue really why we’ve reached the finals at all the majors. But I believe that we get an extra kick out of the tournaments. At the same time we put a lot of effort preparing ourselves before the tourneys. Maybe we bring some magic as well, but that all stems from the audience, our fans, the emotions and the atmosphere during these events, Patrik ”f0rest” Lindberg says.
”We feel really great right now”
After a more than lackluster performance during the spring and into summer, Ninjas in Pyjamas took some time off and passed on a couple of tournaments in order to get ready for the major.
– Speaking for myself and for the team, the time we have spent together not participating in recent tournaments is paying off. We feel really great right now. Though it’s tough to analyze ahead of the tournament, we do feel prepared and we believe in ourselves.
Ninjas in Pyjamas have on numerous occations, alongside most other teams, voiced their opinion on the majors BO1-format. In January, Adam ”friberg” Friberg explained to Aftonbladet Esport that he felt that Counter-Strike should never be determined in a BO1. Now f0rest chimes in on the matter.
– The format is what it is, it’s not much we can do about it. There’s no good way of practicing for it either. What you can do, however, is to make sure that the veto process goes in your favor. After that, it might just come down to whichever team woke up on the right side that morning. In a BO1, anything can happen, we could see that during the ESEA/ESL Pro League where TSM and Fnatic were defeated by Keyd Stars (now Luminosity) and CounterLogic Gaming. It is a bit risky with BO1:s, but I think we will pull through – we’ve done it before, so to say.
Prepare tactics for individual matchups
How does the preparation for a tournament like this look in the NiP-camp?
– First and foremost we put Joona ”natu” Leppänen on analyzing the likely teams we will be facing. He’s looking into what their favorite maps are, and how they strategize on those said maps. For our own practice sessions, we focus a lot on developing and then perfecting new rounds that we can bring to the tournament. We make sure that all the timings are perfect and that everything is looking good. But not only that, we develop rounds that are designed to work against certain teams. We ask ourselves ’what could work against that particular team’ and then we create our own secret tactics that might work against those type of teams.
– We also play a lot as individuals. Overall what it boils down to is to make yourself as unpredictable as possible before the tournament. The other teams should not be able to read you and we as a group need to have complete control of the match.
Team SoloMid, and especially Fnatic, have been dominating this spring. Aside from them, are there any other teams you see who could disrupt the bigger powerhouses of CS:GO?
– The Brazilians in Luminosity have been putting up some really good results during practice and so on. But at the same time I believe that this might be the most open major to date. On a personal note I don’t think it is written in stone that Fnatic or TSM will make the finals. Titan have a new lineup, Team EnvyUs have showcased their fire power and I really believe that this tournament is anyone’s for the taking.
Including you guys, I presume?
– Of course.
”We felt like we needed a break”
You spoke about the fact that you have been passing up some tournaments in order to prepare for this major. At the same time you guys took a vacation during the summer. So how long have you actually had time to prepare for this event?
– I’d say about three weeks to a month. We felt like we needed a break and that we needed to redirect our focus considering the results we delivered during the spring. Now we have really put a lot of time in to this.
How does it feel to return to Cologne after last year’s victory?
– You’d love to experience the same thing we felt last year. This tournament is something that we all are looking forward to extremely much. We won our first major in Cologne last year and that will always be something special to us. We obviously want to experience that again.
And this year, the venue will be a lot bigger?
– Exactly. That fact alone is massive. To hopefully be able to play in front of that crowd will be amazing. And in order to do that we need to qualify for the playoffs. That would be magical.