Ninjas in Pyjamas have announced the signing of Fredrik “REZ” Sterner from Epsilon.
The 19-year-old will replace Adam "friberg" Friberg, who has stepped down from the active roster, bringing an end to a long association that began in August 2012, when the NiP brand was revived by Emil "HeatoN" Christensen.
The Swedish giants hoped that by bringing in a dedicated AWPer to replace Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi they would be able to end a run of poor form that had seen them miss the ELEAGUE Major.
But results continued to worsen even after injecting some new blood as NiP finished 9th-11th at the SL i-League StarSeries Season 3, 5th-6th at cs_summit, 10th in ESL Pro League and 12th-14th in the closed qualifier for the Europe Minor, which meant that, for the second time in a row, they would sit out the biggest event in the world.
REZ is widely regarded as one of the most talented young players hailing from Scandinavia. He holds a LAN Rating of 1.15 and his biggest achievements to date are winning the World Cyber Arena Finals and placing 5th-8th at WESG.
"I am extremely happy to have been given the opportunity to play for NiP,” he told NiP’s website. “This is a dream for every player who is working their way into the top scene.
"Together with the NiP team, I strongly believe we will reach the top. Reuniting with draken is also something that I am really looking forward to as he has been a longtime teammate and a close friend.
"I am stoked to continue my career together with him and the other guys at NiP.”
While representing NiP, friberg won several international titles, including one Major, ESL One Cologne 2014. He also helped the team to finish second at four other Valve-sponsored tournaments, between 2013 and 2015.
"Our change took longer than what a normal esports team would have done, but again, we are not a normal esports team," NiP explained.
"The ties between players, management and staff are extremely tight, we all consider each other as best friends and a true family."
NiP now have: