Handsken: ”Would be a disappointment if we didn’t get to TI”

av Björn Ehrnberg

Ninjas in Pyjamas have landed on Swedish soil after an extensive adventure in Malaysia.
The newly signed roster took home a bronze medal from the trip, and now have their eyes set on the biggest of tournaments in the eSports world.
– It would be a disappointment if we didn’t get to TI, the team captain, Simon ”Handsken” Haag tells Aftonbladet Esport.

The International 5 looms large on the horizon. The biggest tournament in terms of prize money is the goal for all professional Dota2 players. The millions of dollars the pros can win in Valves enormous tourney makes TI the competition everybody wants to win. Among the teams hoping to be invited is a Swedish roster, which prior to the new year played under the name of Lajons – but now are signed with Ninjas in Pyjamas.

”Will have the contact with fans in our minds”

During Tuesday NiP came home from Malaysia. Alongside remote computers, no working voice communication, cockroaches and fires the Swedish team managed to come in third place among some of the best teams in the world. Simon ”Handsken” Haag, the captain of the team, tells Aftonbladet Esport that the experience in Malaysia was incredible, especially the warm reception NiP got from the fans.
– We will most definitely have the contact with the fans in our minds if we get invited again.

A third place in Major All Stars, how does it feel now a few days after the loser bracket final?
– It feels good. We are relatively pleased with the result. At the same time it feels like we could have gotten to the final. We were tired, had just played a best of three and experienced jetlag and it made us miss the opportunity to win the game against Team Empire, an opportunity we should have taken.

The game started so good for you?
– We took the first map pretty convincingly with a Chaos Knight-pick and stuff like that. And the second game also began fairly well.

”We messed up a bunch of stuff”

What happened in the second game were you had an early lead and then lost everything?
– We were overexcited in one specific moment in the game. Adrian ”Era” Kryeziu had just teleported back to base and at the same time we saw a bunch of their heroes walk in to our jungle, we were psyched and said ’lets take them, we can do it’ and in that moment we obviously didn’t have everybody closeby. We messed up a bunch of stuff, we died, they took a tower and also the Roshan. It was not like they had a better late game, if I’m honest it was a bit of a ’throw’ – if you can call it that. The loss in the jungle wasn’t something extreme, but it turned the tides in their favors.

If there is anything positive to take away from the tournament, is it that you might learn for the future not to get over excited in certain spots during crucial games?
– Yes. To some extent I believe we will learn from what happened. But at the same time we can also point to bad conditions. We had no voice communication because the organizers could not hook us up to Skype or Teamspeak, so we basically couldn’t talk to each other in our normal way. It is obviously not the only reason we lost, but the game becomes really hard when you can’t communicate.

What did that look like? Were you forced to use the ping tool in-game and shout to each other?
– Yes. Exactly. We used the ping system and open mic in-game. We also chatted to each other. But this was just a problem in the game against Team Empire. Before everything had worked fine. I don’t know why, but they could not hook us up on Skype for that game. They couldn’t host a call between more than two people and they had not set up a Teamspeak server – and using our own was out of the question due to obvious lag issues.

”We are planing on reaching the International”

During the first day of Major All Stars the organizers only managed to finish one game. Reports on cockroaches in the player booth, burning computers and an overall messy event started to flood social media. At the same time many pro players posted tweets about the excellent fans that had gathered at the arena.
– Our experience from the tournament became a lot better after the first day. From the first day onwards they made remarkable steps forward. What the organizers did was to gather the managers and captains on each team to meet with them and the esport federation of Malaysia to solve the problems. From what I’ve gathered they didn’t sleep anything that night just in order to make everything work for everybody. They switched out all the computers so it felt like they really took us serious and respected us. Meanwhile the crew and the fans were fantastic.

”It’s still a long way to go before TI5”

If we look to the future. It starts to more and more look like you guys might be invited to the International. How close do you think you are to such a big accolade?
–  It would be a disappointment if we didn’t get to TI. An invite might not be crystal clear for us right now, but we should make it through the qualifiers, even though it is still a long way to go before the tournament begins, Simon ”Handsken” Haag tells Aftonbladet Esport and continues:
– But you always speculate in terms of invitations and I believe it stands between us and some other European teams when you look at who might be invited from the EU scene. To summarize, we definitely are planing on reaching the International.



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