After more than five months since the conception of their new roster, Ninjas in Pyjamas finally secured a golden finish in a premier tournament after pulling off an upset against FaZe Clan, 3-2, in the grand finals of the Intel Masters Extreme XII - Oakland.
There’s no doubt that Ninjas in Pyjamas is one of the most iconic esports organizations in Counter-Strike. Their long list of achievements reach way back to during the glory days of Counter-Strike 1.3 when they dominated the tournament series organized by Cyberathlete Professional League in 2001.
When they returned from their competitive hiatus in 2012, the Counter-Strike:Global Offensive line-up of Ninjas in Pyjamas, which was composed of Adam “friberg” Friberg, Patrik ‘f0rest’ Lindberg, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund, Robin “Fifflaren” Johansson, and Richard “Xizt” Landström, made history by attaining an undefeated streak of 87 maps in a row.
Despite those historic achievements, however, Ninjas in Pyjamas also experienced low failures. NiP failed to catch up to the increasing level of competition in the CS:GO scene. They constantly finished with underwhelming results, which eventually led to their inability to qualify for premier and major tournaments.
Ninjas in Resurgence
In June 2017, the NiP organization, recognizing the need to address their lacklustre results, welcomed a 19-year old CS:GO prodigy, Fredrik "REZ" Sterner, to fill in the slot left by friberg.
RELATED: Friberg leaves NiP roster
Winning both Hellcase Cup #6 and DreamHack Valencia 2017, two minor CS:GO tournaments which were held earlier this year, indicated that the addition of REZ to the Ninjas was a good choice. But it was only in Oakland this weekend that the return of the Ninjas was cemented, as they beat FaZe Clan and SK Gaming, the first and second-best CS:GO teams respectively, in the playoffs of IEM XII.
Whether it’s the Ninja’s surprising strength at Oakland or their renewed mental composure, Ninjas in Pyjamas are undeniably returning to legendary form.
With their win against FaZe Clan, Ninjas in Pyjamas were able to put up a score in the Intel Grand Slam Season 1, an overarching event by Intel which will award teams that win four out of ten premier tournaments by either ESL or DreamHack $1,000,000. In the running for this large incentive alongside NiP, each with one win, are FaZe Clan, G2 Esports, and SK Gaming.