If you don’t know how I work my posts, this is a full-on article, and it is too long for most HLTV forum users, but the ones who read it usually appreciate it.
This is an article I write after I lost a bet to another user here on HLTV (hltv.org/profile/1317622/jktp),
https://www.hltv.org/profile/1317622/jktp), where I let him ask for an article of either a team or a player. He asked for either NiP or Farlig, and I don’t feel I know enough about the wonderful Danish AWPer to write about him, so I decided to go for NiP, since I already had an idea around a NiP article already.
It also comes in a great time where they acquired Hampus to the roster. He is a player I have followed for a long time and I know a lot about. I also got some inside information that I thought was public knowledge, especially since I hinted at it in my youtube channel back when I was able to do videos.
Considering NiP is among the oldest and most prestigious orgs, and that they have been in the news for a long time, for a various of reasons, I will limit myself to the history of this roster.
I did a similar thing for the young up-and-coming roster of Heretics hltv.org/forums/threads/2289672/heretics..
and I got one on Vitality and Movistar Riders in the works as well.
Longest lasting member of the roster is REZ. He joined the squad as a replacement for one of the most legendary entry fraggers ever, Friberg, back in the fall of 2017. Back then the 4 players were F0rest, Draken, GeT_RiGhT and Xizt.
It was one friend of his and three absolute legends, and he had some big shoes to fill.
Considering he is still with the team after nearly three years later, we can figure out that he did a great job.
REZ was also the first player who came in for one of the legends, since Fifflaren was benched. The Fifflaren role/position changed multiple times, while the Friberg one has only been held by two players since 2012: Friberg and REZ. That is a huge compliment to how well the youngster have been as a teammate and a player.
He has been the entry player for most of his time in the team. Sure, they have tried different solutions from time to time, but he hasn’t stayed away from the entry role (I will use the “old” roles in lack of better phrases) except for when Golden was IGL and entry during the Berlin Major. Then he played Lurker. Which later on created an issue for the roster. But more on that later.
The second player that came, out of the “current” 5-man roster is actually Plopski who joined 11 months ago. The youngster has been the talk of the town ever since he started playing professionally. At the beginning of his time in NiP he came in as a replacement for Dennis, which meant that he would be utilized as a support player. Even though he never had played a real match with anyone in the team at that point (F0rest, GtR, REZ, Xizt), before he joined, he early got the respect of both the players, the org and the fans. So much that it actually created an issue in the future. Because in his former two teams (x6tence Galaxy and Team Ancient) he was the “star player” follow-up guy… more or less the F0rest role, but with the pace and tenacity of REZ.
Third one of the current players are Twist. After being the AWPer of the arguably worst roster
Fnatic ever had, it seemed like he would get back to his “play with friends”-days. He had turned down the two bigger Swedish orgs for years, because he didn’t feel he could, or wanted to, take the step to the top. When he finally did, it was to a bad version of Fnatic (actually twice), and then he got into a team that had a history of not even utilize a primary AWPer from time to time.
Fourth one to join the team came less than 6 months ago. Another up-and-coming AWPer. He came in to be the secondary AWPer. Brought in from the German org with a full on Swedish roster of GamerLegion. He joined the team after Fnatic just 4-5 months prior offered WAY higher pay for the AWPer. So how come NiP could get one of the hottest players in Sweden, for way less than their biggest rival? I have heard that the big Swedish Gamble in GamerLegion, which lead to a plethora of stand-ins, took a big toll on his professionalism, and he did something “unacceptable” and unprofessional, which made GL more or less sell him for next to nothing. I don’t know what happened, but something most certainly did. If you just follow his rating over a longer period of time, you see it was something within him that changed.
And from ALL interviews and coms, you can see that “bad” version of him hasn’t been a part of NiP. He has been reborn as the star player he was meant to be.
There is a reason why legendary IGL, Ex6TenZ built his GamerLegion (back when they were #21 in the world) around Nawwk.
The 5th player haven’t yet become a part of the team, due to his current team need him for a few more games to keep their MDL spot, but is officially a part of the NiP squad. It came as quite a shock, especially as a replacement for the IGL Lekr0. His name is Hampus, he is the last inaugural part of GamerLegion where he has been back-and-forth between IGL and their star player, just as he has been in his previous teams Red Reserves and Godsent.
He has played with all of the players before, in different parts of his career.
During his time in GamerLegion there has been a number of rumors about him being unable to cooperate with certain teammates, and that he is the main reason for GamerLegion going fully Swedish because he didn't feel comfortable calling in Swedish. But with how this team is shaping up, I don't think that will be an issue.
So how will this form up, and how come they have opted for these 5 players?
Since neither I, nor anyone else, have "updated" the phrases used for role distribution I will use the old ones minted by Thorin in 2015.
IGL will be Hampus, but when it comes to creating protocols and strats, he will have more help from Threat than he has ever had from a coach ever before.
AWPer - will be Twist for now, but they do have the potential to play without a dedicated AWPer with Nawwk and Hampus being extremely proficient with the big green gun.
So the roles I will distribute is more or less the order of entering: Entry. Follow-up, middleman, support, Lurker.
With a very cerebral and skilled lineup, the roles will be kind of fluid and might differ from map to map, or be situational. I also think Threat and Hampus will try to play as modern CS as possible considering the young age of the players.
Entry - REZ. If you could keep that role, more or less, for 3 years in NiP through good times and bad times, you are doing your job correctly. His experience in this particular role, make it stupid to change his role, even though he most likely would be great as almost any role in the team.
Follow-up - Nawwk. He is such a versatile player that he could more or less play any role in this roster. But due to his form and how well he is playing with Plopski, I feel he should be the follow-up. It is important that the Follow-up is confident in his own game, and during this 2020, Nawwk is most likely the player with most confidence. He is mobile and clearly fully capable with whatever role and weapon you hand him. He is kinda limited in his utility usage, and then Follow-up might be the best role to play with him.
Middle-man - Plopski. The arguably best player in Sweden right now. The issue is that he and REZ are similar regarding their skill set and they have been stepping on each other's toes past year. Until Nawwk joined it was uncommon both of them performed at the same time. That's why I don't want him being follow-up, because it would mean he and REZ might get into the same entry points and post-plant positions. He could maybe play as the lurker as well, but listening to their coms for the past couple of events, I don’t think he is experienced nor vocal enough to do his best work as a Lurker.
Support - Twist. In this post hltv.org/forums/threads/2301997/part-9-m..
I called him the JDM of Sweden. For those that don’t get that reference it is to the time that jdm64 played the AWP role in Liquid a few years ago. He was a supportive AWPer, which has never ever worked long term in a team going for deep runs in events. Simplified explanation: AWP is the strongest and most expensive gun in the game. To get far in events you need an AWPer to be as impactful as possible. But twist haven’t been that kind of player for three years. He has played the AWP role in a way that never played in favorable through any meta of the game. It is a waste of money, waste of talent and waste of potential for the roster. But with a limited player that clearly is mentally weak in the server, you can’t have him in any other spot than this.
Lurker - Hampus. During his time in Godsent, Red Reserve and GamerLegion he have played all roles but support. It comes to his incredible gamesense, which is his most significant strength. His call style doesn’t really need him to be part of the “main assault”.
I think they most likely will play a quite loose playstyle with a mobile CT-side and a aim-heavy, trade-effective T-side, with a lot of information plays.
One interesting thing I found while making this article is that not only did Plopski and Nawwk get their “opening fame” from playing with BARBARR, but Rez played wiht BARBARR before joining NiP, and Hampus did as well as a stand-in, before he became an IGL himself. That means 4 out of 5 players are taught the basics of their pro-life by the legendary IGL BARBARR and the 5th one has played with all 5 of the current squad members in previous rosters as well (Godsent, Red Reserve, Ancient).
So this might seem like a new and young roster, but they got lots of history together, they got plenty of experience and have worked under some of the greatest minds of Swedish CS.
If they just can find a good team spirit, I think they got a bright future ahead of them.
BUT - we cannot forget that there are some bad blood between Hampus and Nawwk aswell as Hampus and Twist, and someone pointed out to me that Nawwk was the only one welcoming Hampus to the roster on social media, even though all 4 players have played with him before. So maybe there is some dark clouds in the background.
It is a wonderful timing for NiP to have this roster right now when most (all) events are online, and THREAT can chime in a lot with the calls. If anyone could improve the weaknesses of Hampus’s IGL skills, I think it is Threat.
Another small note: Hampus haven’t really wanted to play in an international roster, so NiP more or less saved his career by buying him from GamerLegion.
End part: Why bench Lekr0 instead of Twist? A lot of people have questioned this part of the most recent roster change!
Former NiP coach Pita had a lot to say about it. I wanna say it is a great interesting read and I recommend all CSGO fans to read it:
Part 1: dbltap.com/posts/pita-csgo-draken-nip-de..
Part 2: dbltap.com/posts/pita-get-right-csgo-ret..
But I don’t think his reasoning and analysis of why it is Lekr0 leaving now is correct. It sure has value for the decision from NiP, but for me the reasoning should be: Hampus is IGL, he is 5 years younger, he is a versatile player, he has played with all of these players before, he is easier to “develop” for Threat. If they would’ve benched Twist, the future would be to just find a player that could be slotted in instead of Lekr0 (or whoever should be changed in the future), while now they can take away any of the players and add more or less any type of player, because Nawwk, Hampus, Plopski and REZ can change roles depending on whatever player becomes available.
It is also good to make the roster change a few weeks, two events, before the next RMR event, which means they can play together and find their strengths and weaknesses before the important event coming end of June.
I am sorry for the poor disposition and somewhat random ramblings in this piece. I hope I can make better work in the future.