draken's road to NiP

MIRAA
March 17th, 2017 19:45

The community was left in shock on Monday as William "draken" Sundin joined Ninjas in Pyjamas, but there had been a sense of inevitability that it was just a matter of time before the 21-year-old earned a big move.

Boasting the same nickname as former 1.6 player Pontus "draken" Johansson, who plied his trade for some well-known Swedish teams such as icsu, mTw and Check Six, William "draken" Sundin burst onto the competitive scene in January 2016, when his then-team, Cringe Gods, defeated HellRaisers in the European qualifier for PGL's European Minor Championship without having any sort of real practice prior to the tournament other than FACEIT pugs, according to the team’s in-game leader, Christian "rezex" Bjerregaard.

Ready to upset the odds, Cringe Gods travelled to Bucharest, where they would acquit themselves quite well once again, knocking LDLC White out of the tournament before losing out to PENTA Sports in an exciting series that went to three maps, two of which decided in overtime. It was a sign that the team was not a fluke, but the euphoria vanished just as quickly as it had appeared as the players went their separate ways shortly after the tournament.


draken at the PGL European Minor 

Before the European Minor, draken had already raised a few eyebrows with Aftermatch and European Misfits. It was on the latter team that the young Swede played alongside Robby "bLacKpoisoN" Da Loca, during the final months of the South African’s sojourn in Europe.

"When I started playing with draken on European Misfits, I saw that he had potential, but I felt he could not play to the best of his abilities because there was too much confusion with positioning,” Da Loca recalls."

“I often had chats with Dennis "dipparn" Muslijevic, who was also on our team, about draken, trying to make sure he could play to his full level. I remember saying during one of our last chats: ‘If we can use draken in the right positions/roles, he can do really great."

"draken always gave input and suggestions, whether we won or lost a round, which I feel is something extremely important when playing on a team. Whenever a player did something good, he would always be the first to compliment him and get the momentum and confidence going."

"He did have some tilt moments, but I cannot really blame him for that as he was still in the learning phase and we were a new team. We all have such moments."

"I knew that he would have a great future ahead of him, and look at where he is now. He might not know this as we have not had a chat in some time, but I am very proud of him."

In March, the three Swedish players from the Cringe Gods lineup that had been in Bucharest (draken, Andreas "mOkEn" Karlsson and Fredrik "REZ" Sterner) plus Fredrik "freddieb" Buö and Joakim "disco doplan" Gidetun joined Epsilon, an organization desperate for success following the frustrating experiences with their previous two teams (a French roster disrupted by a match-fixing case and a Spanish squad that accused the management of withholding salaries, only to retract such comments hours later).

The language barrier that had allegedly caused the disbandment of the old Cringe Gods roster, which featured players from Sweden, Denmark and Finland, was no longer an issue, but the team took some time to gel, winning their first tournament, the Swedish Esports Championship (ESPORTSM), only in June, after beating ArchAngels 2-0, with draken boasting a 1.37 Rating, the highest of the series.

The 100,000 SEK ($12,000) payout from ESPORTSM was not Epsilon’s only positive to take from DreamHack Summer as the team also competed in the prestigious event’s main tournament, sending HellRaisers packing before playing out a very close series against Ninjas in Pyjamas, who eventually ran out 2-0 victors following two maps that were decided by details.

Epsilon carried that momentum with them going into Chinese event Pro Gamer League 2016 Summer, where they were pitted against six local teams and X. As expected, the two Scandinavian teams faced each other in the final, with Epsilon getting their hands on the $50,000 cheque after a 3-0 victory. Despite a disappointing showing in the final, draken still had the fourth-highest Rating of the event (1.21) and the highest KDD (+54), and was the top AWPer by a long distance, boasting 0.46 kills per round with the Big Green.


draken and disco doplan, Sweden's hottest prospects

Following a runners-up finish at ASUS ROG Summer, the team cut ties with Jerry "xelos" Råberg and eventually brought André "BARBARR" Möller on board, initially on a temporary basis. Under the tutelage of the 26-year-old, one of the most experienced players in the Swedish scene, with a career that goes back to 2008, the team struggled at first, taking 9th-12th at WESG Europe and 5th-8th at ESWC, but then they gave a great account of themselves at the next Minor, which they attended with Karl-William "kalle" Haraldsen as a stand-in following disco doplan’s departure to fnatic.

Epsilon were just one map away from advancing to the offline qualifier for the ELEAGUE Major, ultimately losing out to GODSENT, who would go on to qualify for the Valve-sponsored event. At the Minor, draken solidified his status as one of the finest up-and-coming talents in the Nordic region, finishing the tournament with the highest AWP Kills/Round ratio (0.39) and the highest number of AWP kills (121), bettering players like Jesper "JW" Wecksell and Bence "DeadFox" Böröcz.

Missing out on the Major qualifier was a heavy blow, but the team bounced back and finished the year on a high, winning both the Nordic Championship and the World Cyber Arena Finals. At the Chinese event, Epsilon were twice surprised by Asian opposition in the group stage, but they made up for that with a flawless run in the playoffs, beating TyLoo and VG.CyberZen without dropping a single map to get an $87,000 cheque. Once again, draken was at the heart of the action as he finished the event with a 1.22 Rating (the third-highest overall), 147 AWP kills and a 0.45 AWP Kills/Round ratio.

draken’s impressive year went largely unnoticed in the scene, but he was still tipped for success by one big-shot, Nicolai "device" Reedtz, who, in his Top 20 players of 2016 article, predicted the Epsilon player to be at the heart of the next roster shuffle in Sweden. And while a shuffle per se did not materialise, draken would soon get his big break as a NiP team bereft of ideas knocked at his door, desperate to try something new after plummeting down the rankings and missing out on a Major for the first time in history.

With Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi having faced opponents of a much higher level than draken in 2016, we decided to compare the duo’s LAN stats prior to joining NiP to see what the new recruit can bring to the table, compared to his predecessor:

draken’s addition opens up a raft of possibilities for the Ninjas, who will once again have a dedicated AWPer in their ranks, 15 months after letting go of Aleksi "allu" Jalli. But with the youngster having no prior experience at big events, questions remain as to how he will perform, given the added pressure of playing for one of the most storied teams in the game and the fact that he will face, week in, week out, sides who are one level above that of Epsilon’s traditional opponents. It will also be interesting to see whether NiP will prioritize draken’s AWP on the CT side in situations when their money is low or go for a more rounded approach, with his M4A1 and M4A4 kills combined on LAN in 2016 accounting for just 4,3 percent of his total frags during that year.

The stage is now set for draken, the second Swedish hot prospect to make the jump to the next level within months, after disco doplan. It is hard to say if this move will improve NiP’s fortunes, but it is clear that the Ninjas cannot have another messy year like 2016, in which a last-minute replacement for the MLG Columbus Major, the failure to qualify for the ELEAGUE Major and a player injury in between marred the team's successes in Malmö, Kiev and Oakland.

Fans will look at draken hoping he is some sort of miracle worker, which puts extra pressure on the shoulders of the new player, who already knows that he could be next on NiP’s chopping block if he is not able to revitalise the team – regardless of how the core members of the squad perform.

Sweden Andreas 'mOkEn' Karlsson
Andreas 'mOkEn' Karlsson
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
123
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
Norway Karl-William 'kalle' Haraldsen
Karl-William 'kalle' Haraldsen
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
264
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Denmark Christian 'rezex' Bjerregaard
Christian 'rezex' Bjerregaard
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
235
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
Sweden Jacob 'pyth' Mourujärvi
Jacob 'pyth' Mourujärvi
Age:
24
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
537
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
Sweden William 'draken' Sundin
William 'draken' Sundin
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
542
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.10
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
1011
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.13
Sweden Joakim 'disco doplan' Gidetun
Joakim 'disco doplan' Gidetun
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
457
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
Sweden Jesper 'JW' Wecksell
Jesper 'JW' Wecksell
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1191
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Sweden Fredrik 'freddieb' Buö
Fredrik 'freddieb' Buö
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
498
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
Hungary Bence 'DeadFox' Böröcz
Bence 'DeadFox' Böröcz
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
534
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
Sweden André 'BARBARR' Möller
André 'BARBARR' Möller
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
484
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Sweden Dennis 'dipparn' Muslijevic
Dennis 'dipparn' Muslijevic
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
190
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Finland Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1030
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.12
South Africa Robby 'bLacKpoisoN' Da Loca
Robby 'bLacKpoisoN' Da Loca
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
115
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
Sweden Jerry 'xelos' Råberg
Jerry 'xelos' Råberg
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
378
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
Sweden Fredrik 'REZ' Sterner
Fredrik 'REZ' Sterner
Age:
19
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
496
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.14
NIP will be atleast top5 with draken
2017-03-17 19:45
#14
 | 
Germany GeoRg___J 
yes
2017-03-17 19:45
yes
2017-03-17 19:54
i hope so
2017-03-17 20:01
+1
2017-03-17 20:01
LOLERCAKEZZZZZZZZ NiP JUST A MONEYMAKING BRAND SINCE AT LEAST 2016
2017-03-18 05:58
NiP will be best again i think
2017-03-19 08:37
i hope so because being a NiP/Liquid fan has made for a hard couple years
2017-03-19 17:49
no way dude :)
2017-03-17 19:47
No
2017-03-17 19:47
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
2017-03-17 19:54
#46
 | 
United Kingdom Lightning_DC 
Not guaranteed at all. Will they really be better than most of: Astralis VP SK NaVi North FaZe G2 Fnatic Liquid (if the OpTic trade comes through) Lesser teams like IMT/Gambit? Top 10 definitely possible, top 5 not guaranteed
2017-03-17 20:01
I agree but Liquid kicking JDM and keeping nitr0 is a MASSIVE gamble tbh, nitr0 has been in and out of form for awhile now, and so has jdm but I feel having JDM and Mixwell double awp would be insane.
2017-03-17 20:06
#53
 | 
United Kingdom Lightning_DC 
Fair point, they could have been the best NA team with just the stanislaw signing, but if they fancy reliving the glory days of Cologne then you can't knock them for gambling on this trade.
2017-03-17 20:09
If jdm joins optic who will get out?
2017-03-17 21:58
No i'm talking about the possible Mixwell and Rush to Liquid, if it were to happen it would be -JDM -Pimp +Rush +Mixwell.
2017-03-17 22:04
#102
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
No lol. It's already confirmed that rush and mixwell will stay with optic
2017-03-17 23:23
Link?
2017-03-18 00:01
#106
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
twitter.com/NWDeKay/status/8425226970242.. . he's not lying i watched the video myself
2017-03-18 00:34
Wasn't talking about peacemaker, but I looked at more of his tweets and found the tweet about Rush and Mixwell thanks for telling me about this.
2017-03-18 00:52
#122
BnTeT | 
Other TEEZY 
Oh yeah i see i sent you the wrong tweet rip
2017-03-18 10:27
#104
 | 
Brazil TonimSan 
No reason to kick JDM, he is the best dedicated awper in NA, not counting the brazIllian ones.
2017-03-17 23:39
Astralis will enter choke mode VP will turn to onlinebots SK will fall apart NaVi will fall apart North will turn into choke FaZe will disband G2 will disband Fnatic bestr team Liquid is shit NiP top 5 ez
2017-03-17 20:30
agreed except nip part, nip will be pretty bad
2017-03-17 20:32
North are fucking retarded players that magisk is a retard I hate him. He plays relative well flbut too emotional that's why he will never be an awesome playrr
2017-03-17 21:01
also his face is red
2017-03-18 12:54
he looks like a tomato
2017-03-18 13:43
In your dreams xD
2017-03-17 22:52
and dont miss the vegasquadron
2017-03-17 20:33
Better than Na'Vi, Liquid, IMT, Gambit for sure. On the same level as VP, SK, North, FaZe. G2 and fnatic are as much wild cards as NiP atm.
2017-03-17 20:53
#93
 | 
Sweden Lillajo 
I can defintily see them being better than north, fnatic, faze, g2, liquid. mby even some of the other 4, I mean nip could put up a damn good fight against astralis during katowice
2017-03-17 21:52
#50
 | 
France t3r4byt3 
tbh, everyone thought NiP would flop with pyth and while they did flop in the end, they managed to reach top 1 at one point, not just top 5
2017-03-17 20:05
top 1 at one point? they were never top 1 in the rankings if thats what you meant, they did win some tournaments though but those were some miracle runs tbh and one was with maikelele, if they play at the same level this year with how competitive the scene is they won't win a single top tier tournament.
2017-03-17 20:34
oh, I don't remember that at all, that was a pretty bs top 1 ranking tho since the top scene was pretty dead at the end of the year and hltv base the ranking soooo much of much recent event, but ye u right but most teams were so damn inactive at that time.
2017-03-18 04:24
not when they have friberg
2017-03-17 20:14
LUL
2017-03-17 20:17
#68
KQLY | 
Russia band1 
xD
2017-03-17 20:28
you forgot to put "KAPPA" my friend
2017-03-17 20:50
#87
 | 
Denmark beastd 
ahhahah
2017-03-17 21:13
that will never fucking happen,not untill they kick xzist friberg and gtr gets his shit together.
2017-03-17 22:01
#98
 | 
Poland sajlent 
lol xd hahaha
2017-03-17 22:09
#99
ScreaM | 
Norway Ghost96 
nip is shit will still be top 10
2017-03-17 22:16
No They still have friburger and bot xizt and bot_left
2017-03-19 10:21
#4
 | 
Sweden Daquan 
That's a very cool road
2017-03-17 19:45
ez
2017-03-17 19:45
#6
shox | 
Estonia Noverr 
gg
2017-03-17 19:45
its good to see draken in nip
2017-03-17 19:45
#16
 | 
Other ptg 
najs
2017-03-17 19:45
#18
 | 
Lithuania jiffoe 
LUL
2017-03-17 19:45
gl draken
2017-03-17 19:45
ROFL, KICK FRIBERG
2017-03-17 19:45
now + rez on nip and maybe that sinking ship can be saved
2017-03-17 19:45
#23
 | 
Turkey trouble91 
WAKE UP NIP!
2017-03-17 19:45
cool story bro
2017-03-17 19:46
lol
2017-03-17 19:46
#31
 | 
Portugal dracø 
NiP is RiP Poor draken, hope they don't burn his career
2017-03-17 19:47
why not lelelelle ?
2017-03-17 19:48
#61
 | 
Sweden MrIgnii 
Mikail is making his own team
2017-03-17 20:19
#35
 | 
United States DuerSoftly 
hype for my man draken
2017-03-17 19:49
#36
 | 
Palestine NesTa_a 
Finally ♥ NIP ☺ Draken ♥
2017-03-17 19:53
yeeeayyytt
2017-03-17 19:54
dafuq, why are you acting like this will solve everything, and NiP will return to their former glory? lmao what a worthless article
2017-03-17 19:59
great pr for nip..W no "road to x" for the other newcummers? Keep on sucking it up to the once great NiP ;E
2017-03-17 19:57
you will see how fast will be his way out of NIP
2017-03-17 19:59
I miss old NIP. :(
2017-03-17 20:00
#63
 | 
Sweden MrIgnii 
Its same roster but players are older
2017-03-17 20:20
Still -draken +maikelele, ez top 5 again.
2017-03-17 20:21
#49
 | 
Sweden crindz 
leaving draken with a rifle or gun in tight money situation is fine, but you want him with the awp that's for sure. i like that they have clear roles in the team now, and i really wanna see f0rest with a rifle. draken was a very wise choice, it was his time to step up
2017-03-17 20:04
whats fribergs role apart from not fragging? :D
2017-03-17 20:29
#81
 | 
Sweden crindz 
he also throws the most amazing flashes but sometimes he's dead and can't amaze us
2017-03-17 20:50
most of the times*
2017-03-18 13:48
#54
 | 
Germany Gloin 
Nip will never work without Fiffy's laugh, at least hire him as psychologic consultant
2017-03-17 20:09
#55
 | 
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
good job HLTV! We appreciate that! We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2017-03-17 20:11
#83
 | 
Sweden crindz 
always so nice and excited yay!
2017-03-17 20:52
#57
 | 
France France98123 
seriously ?
2017-03-17 20:15
#58
 | 
World shield12345 
for some reason i read "draken exit NiP" LUL
2017-03-17 20:15
it's time to shine draken
2017-03-17 20:18
#75
friberg | 
Sweden FnerZy 
I'm glad NiP got Draken on the roster, but cutting Pyth for him is like dealing with a zit when you have a dislocated shoulder you could pop back in place by cutting friberg instead. Oh well.
2017-03-17 20:35
if they didn't see a future in pyth they probably would have kicked him. NiP players are so conservative if they keep somebody as a sub it's a clear message.. pyth will be made ready to replace f0rest i hope.
2017-03-17 20:39
Youre tired so retire!
2017-03-17 20:42
#89
NEO | 
Poland MaraR 
This is so pathetic that every move that NIP does, hltv glorify. Why do we even need another article about this change. Draken won't be the solution. There isn't problem in their fifth player as we've seen since fiflaren was kicked/retired.
2017-03-17 21:19
+1 Jesus amen.. -.-'
2017-03-17 22:29
+1 amen
2017-03-19 05:40
#90
 | 
Sweden lagcats 
swedish scene needs to do something drastic. Cause its not really looking hot atm. fnatic needs time to get back NiP is in denial with friberg being on the team still... Epsilon is hmm atm GODSENT needs to fking become a real team, they're pretty much a mix team at this point,.
2017-03-17 21:23
fnatic needs a new coder.. cause their current one is really dog shit
2017-03-17 21:35
Darken Swedish dragon
2017-03-17 21:40
#97
 | 
Norway MonoclePig2 
HS% doesn't matter for awpers
2017-03-17 22:06
LOL at that picture, pyth looks like runescape goblin and draken looks like draco malfoy xd
2017-03-17 23:28
so glad pyth is gone
2017-03-18 00:41
pyth was a good rifler for nip but obv nip needs an awper,and as you can see he got like 10 entry frags with his agressive awp plays.hope its gonna work for nip
2017-03-18 00:51
#110
f0rest | 
Argentina GZ^ 
draken hype :3 I hope he wont get so nervous and develop well to nip. GL man
2017-03-18 01:14
since nip never gonna kick friberg they need try use him to do something, he is so useless
2017-03-18 02:55
HAY LMAO HLTV..........
2017-03-18 03:18
#115
 | 
Australia ovaD 
Rofl, typical nip fans thinking replacing the 5th guy will solve their problems.
2017-03-18 04:31
overrated af
2017-03-18 04:43
dev1ce you can message me if you'd like a job as an expert, im an expert
2017-03-18 04:59
I wonder if after this year, I mean after sucking donkey one more year, they will finally kick Friberg. It's beyond stupid to keep shuffling the 5th as long as that bot is on the team.
2017-03-18 05:28
in another words: draken is the 100000% perfect fit for nip. why? because he is trash, everybody knows it, you know better now with all this info, and thats why he is perfect, he is a lowkey player, getting the opportunity of his life, and the 4 nip og's will be secure, as they will be able to blame the new 5th as always, cuz he will not be a superstar that will carry and make the other 4 look bad =D ez retirement scrilla for 4 og's forever, happy fanbois, happy twitch viewers... house is secure... gg ez :>
2017-03-18 06:04
This is so true, NiP relies on the 5th player to step it up lmfao
2017-03-19 17:23
-berger +pyzza
2017-03-18 12:51
#125
 | 
Sweden lagcats 
holy fk a lot of comments got removed
2017-03-18 13:02
#126
 | 
Singapore Trisha 
Honestly friberg should have been kicked instead of pyth. His underperformance in games just throws the team off but draken should be able to balance the team GL draken!^^
2017-03-18 13:24
sad for north european. they have first class breaker like Karrigan, dozens riflers, but lack of AWP star. 2015-2016 world Top 3 AWP GOD(Why-Guardian, What-Kennys, How-Fallen), no one comes from north european. Bot ALLU may the famous awper in north eu, i guess.
2017-03-18 14:49
nothing can safe nip, they time is pass. old players. nothing fresh. the community is for the youngest players !
2017-03-18 15:30
Virtus.Pro, young as hell.
2017-03-19 18:08
#132
 | 
United States destrossive 
Sup Tyrell Wellick
2017-03-18 18:48
#134
 | 
Lebanon Delsol 
Lul
2017-03-19 00:21
1 year and you will be kicked from NiP. Start searching new team
2017-03-19 14:24
I am so glad for this change. #GODraken
2017-03-19 18:11
It's okay everyone this will definitely stop Friberg being dogshit and washed up. He's gona put in consecutive good performances for the first time in nearly half a decade. Just watch!!!
2017-03-19 18:21
#145
 | 
Malaysia phyzell 
Apparently no Swedish teams are in top 5 right now. It's like Arsenal vs Bayern 1 - 5.
2017-03-19 19:08
nip no chance my friend
2017-03-19 19:31
This probably won't help NIP at all, seeing as their other 4 players are constantly lacking... I just don't think they've got the chops for it anymore.
2017-03-20 15:49
The head to head of the two isn't even relevant considering Epsilson wasn't going up against the same tier of competition that NiP was on a regular basis. Honestly, Pyth was a solid player and played his role quite well. He made more impact kills and clutched more rounds than probably anyone on the team except maybe F0rest. If anything, get rid of Friberg and keep Pyth as a support player then have Draken step in. Removing pyth was a mistake in my opinion, but what do I know? Unless Get right steps it up soon, he's next on the chopping block. I know he is still an incredible player, and an all-time great, but he's been playing terrible lately. I can see a world where NIP is Xizt, F0rest, Draken, Pyth, and Disco Doplan.
2017-03-20 20:12
"The head to head of the two isn't even relevant considering Epsilson wasn't going up against the same tier of competition that NiP was on a regular basis" That's why we added pyth's stats prior to him joining NiP! 2015 stats ;)
2017-03-22 18:53
DOH! I didn't even notice that!
2017-03-22 19:30
release the KRAKEN
2017-03-22 19:03
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