NIP bench twist
The team will field a player from their academy squad in the short term.
Simon "twist" Eliasson has been moved from NIP's active roster, the team announced on Tuesday, citing poor recent results as the motivation behind the change. Stepping into the lineup for the upcoming BLAST Premier Spring Groups will be Young Ninjas player Erik "ztr" Gustafsson.
NIP is currently ranked 18th in the world, coming off a back of an underwhelming cs_summit 7 outing where they finished 5-8th. Performance issues have plagued the team for some time, as from the last 11 series played, the Swedes managed just three wins.
"Moving twist from our active roster wasn’t easy, but ultimately something had to happen", NIP's Chief Operating Officer Jonas Gundersen says about benching the 26-year-old, whose 0.90 rating over the last three months is the lowest in the lineup.
"We’ve been unable to release the massive potential and energy in our team, and over time, energy like that ends up becoming a negative spiral which is incredibly hard to break, without changing up the group dynamic. New, positive, and fresh energy is needed, and thus we ended up at changes in both roster and backroom staff."
The team decided to call up the first addition to their academy squad to fill in the gap left by twist's benching. Therefore, the 17-year-old ztr will be a part of the roster at the upcoming BLAST Premier Spring Groups, with his debut for the main team coming against the world's #1, Astralis, on Thursday.
"Despite his short time as a Ninja, Erik (ztr) has already shown formidable work ethic and potential. The whole idea behind this project was for it to be a pathway into the first team and although it might have come a bit earlier than anticipated, we’re excited to try it out," Jonas Gundersen said about bringing up the young shotcaller.
Alongside the player change, NIP announced David McGowan, Australian former Olympic rower and coach, as their Performance Manager, as well as the addition of Frederik "JAEGARN" Andersson as the main team's Assistant Coach, although his primary focus will continue to be the Young Ninjas project.
NIP will have the following lineup for BLAST Premier Spring Groups:
Simon "twist" Eliasson (benched)