NiP CEO: "We definitely thought dennis would be out for more than two events; he is feeling much better and is very eager to play"
draken, a former NiP member himself, filled in for the team in dennis' absence, attending BLAST Pro Series São Paulo and StarSeries i-League Season 7, where the Ninjas placed fourth and 5th-8th respectively.
The Swedish AWPer has since spoken on his stream about his situation and admitted that he was surprised to see dennis return this quickly. He also confessed that he does not know what his future holds, with his previous team having already found a replacement for him in Tim "nawwk" Jonasson after signing with GamerLegion.
When dennis announced that he had to take a break, did he ever give a timeline on how long he expected to stay out? Judging from draken's comments on his stream, dennis was expected to sit out something like six events, not just two.
We did not know how long he would be out for. The guidance was that it could be for a longer period of time, given the issue was likely burnout. From experience, burnouts can last for a very long time and we had to look for a person to fill his spot thinking long-term.
We definitely thought dennis would be out for more than two events. I am very happy he recovered faster and understand that it was not ideal for draken. It was impossible to know how long this would take.
NiP always mentioned draken as a stand-in, but in the interview that we did with him, he said that he was signed for the whole year. Could you clarify the sort of deal that he signed and whether or not he remains tied to the organisation?
The contract was signed for 2019 to make sure we had stability in the roster with only one change and did not have to look for a new player again in the worst-case scenario. When negotiating the contract with draken's father, we agreed on a termination clause to ensure he did not end up on the bench when dennis returned, so there is no buy-out required for draken. He is free to join any other team, and can terminate the contract in the event of benching. This was requested as draken would be standing in for the team, and ensured him full flexibility when dennis returned.
So until he has terminated his deal with NiP, he will continue getting paid, correct?
Yes. We can also terminate the deal but have not done so.
draken seemed disappointed that he missed out on the chance to sign for GamerLegion to play just two events with NiP. How did he react to the news that dennis was back on the team?
He was of course disappointed to not play more events with us, that is natural. He got thrown into the team at short notice, which is challenging. With only two events there is limited time to show what you can do and play at your best, he still feels like he had a lot to prove.
On a personal level he is a great person, and the tone has been positive since he got the news.
You have certainly talked to dennis in the last few days. How has he looked? What is his mindset like?
Based on our conversations, he is feeling much better; relaxed, in a good mood and very eager to play. I can’t wait to see our first games with him back tonight. I really like him on a personal level and really enjoy having him in NiP, I know the players feel the same way. He has a very high skill potential, but even when he is not performing at his best he gives a good sense of security to everyone by just being there.