djL on impressions when first joining NIP: "I didn't feel that they were a team"

The NIP head coach opened up about his experience helping the team grow since joining in January.

* The interview was originally released on May 22

NIP have been attempting to reclaim their status as an elite-level team that can compete for titles ever since the loss of Nicolai "⁠device⁠" Reedtz, with rotating rosters leaving them with inconsistent results and an inability to make frequent deep runs. Their biggest effort to change that direction came ahead of the European RMR when they added former fnatic star rifler Ludvig "⁠Brollan⁠" Brolin, with whom they went on to earn a spot at the Major following a third place finish that included a win over ENCE.

Heading into PGL Major Antwerp, NIP remained a team that had limited expectations from the community, but they put their name back into good repute following a strong showing in the Legends Stage. They had their run in Antwerp brought to an end by tournament favorites FaZe in the quarter-finals, a series that went the distance but also one where the European combine were firmly in control for much of the proceedings, with Hampus "⁠hampus⁠" Poser's Swedish squad stumbling when they took to the stage despite a solid showing during the Legends Stage.

djL praised Brollan's abilities and communication

The day after NIP's elimination, HLTV.org caught up with their new head coach. Daniel "⁠djL⁠" Narancic, who has been behind the team since January working in tandem with Björn "⁠THREAT⁠" Pers, who has since transitioned to more of an analytical role. Speaking candidly of the team's run at the event, the 28-year-old explained some of the issues the team experienced during their match against FaZe, openly stating that the team's mentality crumbled on stage during key moments as they let advantages slip in the series.

djL also touched on what he has been helping with since joining the Swedish team, including focusing primarily on invigorating their T sides and developing more set game plans for rounds, and offered high praise for Brollan's communication and individual ability, as well as for Patrick "⁠es3tag⁠" Hansen's work ethic in improving with the AWP.

Let's get the quarter-final result versus FaZe out of the way, not what you would have hoped for obviously, and a rough draw in the playoffs. What happened there?

Going into the game, we had a really good plan, and we kinda knew their tendencies. We knew pretty early what their game plan was, going into the game, but I would say in the close moments and stuff, we forgot about what we actually talked about, and we improvised more than we should have done.

They're a super experienced team and you could definitely see that on the server yesterday, that they have more stage experience and we let the ball slip. The thing I said to my players was it was like a balloon that you just put a needle in and that was how it felt, like on Inferno at least. As more clutches went into their favor, we kinda lost it in the end.

Something I noticed yesterday is that your T sides were a little more rough compared to your group stage run, where it really looked really improved from the past. Since you and Brollan have joined this team though, in general those T sides have gotten much better, is that something you've played a big part in innovating?

Yeah, I would say that is something we worked on pretty much 100%. I didn't bother too much about the CT side because I knew they could play CT. It was definitely small, small things we discussed on CT side for like, the economy, because we were fucking up a lot, dying where we were not supposed to, where we should have saved. That's the only thing I actually talked much about.

But in terms of the T side, me, hampus, and THREAT, we talked so much about it, I implemented my stuff, my philosophy around it, and it has definitely gotten better but I still think usually when we don't have good T sides, we forget about our game plan, and we try to improvise too much. When we actually have a good start and we follow the plan, we are usually really hot, so that is my main focus as well, and will be still. That's usually what I do when I take tacs as well, tell them that we don't improvise.

I want to talk a little more about your philosophy since you mentioned it. You work in tandem with THREAT and hampus, but what is your actual philosophy that you bring to this team?

I don't want to say too much on the small details, because there is a lot, but in general we play, like, I wouldn't say easy CS, but we play pretty basic CS where, when we get an entry, we have the insurance part, we group up a little bit more, and we are smarter in these small details. Do they have an AWP? Do they not have an AWP? We do calls off of small, small details. Yeah, it's just way more basic and protocol CS in general, in terms of how we're supposed to react.

When djL scouted NIP ahead of joining, he thought they didn't play much like a team

We talked to hampus during the group stage, and he was talking about the difference between THREAT and you coaching. He said you bring more fire to the team in the way you talk, specifically he also said you "know what buttons to press." What does that mean from your side, are trying to make them more disciplined?

Before I joined this team, I actually watched the entire YouTube of NIP, just because I wanted to figure out how they are off the server, how are they in the server, because I only knew hampus, right? I had been playing a little bit of FACEIT and stuff with Plopski because I was playing myself, but I wanted a sense of what kind of group are they, do they do stuff together?

One thing I instantly saw was like, okay, I need to make this team into an actual team, because I didn't feel that they were a team. They were just individuals that played for NIP. So that is something that is super much better, we feel like a team and I think you can see that on the server as well. We trust each other more.

In terms of the thing with buttons to press, I know when to be harsh and I know when not to be harsh, I know when they need a pat on the back and when I have to scream at them. They have this Swedish mentality, right? When I'm your teammate and you're not saying what is wrong, I don't think you're a good teammate. You're supposed to say stuff to your teammates to get better, not to be like, 'oh, I don't want to say it.'

So I try to implement stuff like that as well. It is okay to say to a teammate that 'you're not doing a good job, I need you to step up' and stuff that. The Swedish mentality is like, 'oh, I can't say anything to anyone' because then you're arrogant or something. I just want to implement a good team chemistry where we can say pretty much everything to each other and we can be fine with it.

Has that gone over well in the team so far?

Yeah, I think it has gotten way better. Of course there's always small details to talk about and there's always stuff, but for every week that goes on, it just gets better and we will just get better over time.

Let's talk about Brollan's integration into the team — he hasn't been with you for too long, but how is it going with him so far?

I don't know if I have anything negative to say about Brollan. I always knew he was good, but I didn't know he was this good, like in terms of decision-making and just communication in general. I've never had a guy that talks so much, he basically talks for two people when he plays, especially on the CT side. Definitely he could take more initiative on the T sides when we have a rough time, but he is just that good.

One thing I remember, the first day he joined I basically told him, 'okay, do whatever you want,' and then I felt like he was pushing way too much. So I just told him in a rough way that he was fucking up, and I just wanted to see how he would handle this situation, when a coach says that he fucked up. But he just, how do you say it, he took it like a man, I honestly don't have anything bad to say about Brollan. He just is that good.

Can you expand on the voice he has on the team if he's talking that much, is he filling kind of a secondary caller role or what does that entail?

I would say he has been, but it really does depend. I want every player to have their own ideas, so when we play a T side I want every player to have their own idea how to play because you have to be good at adapting in CS, because everyone will know what you are doing, but you have to do small tweaks.

We're still trying to discuss and figure out what will be the best way for our team, but yeah for now, Brollan is one of the more vocal players I would say, but I want everyone to be vocal, I want everyone to be helping hampus on the T sides. There is never an IGL that will do everything for your team. That is not how CS works. The best IGLs have the best vocal players that help in mid-round situations.

djL had nothing but praise for Brollan

Let's talk about hampus a little more then, he has a lot of impact individually for the team, and he is also calling. What's it been like working with him so far?

I've been with a lot of IGLs, I've been an IGL myself. Something I really like with hampus is that we click, so when I have an idea for example, he basically just builds out of it, and he does it kind of like his way.

When he is in the zone, I would say he is the best IGL out there. Something we have been working on a lot is to have a strict game plan, or a game plan where hampus knows what to call and what to do. That is something that has been helping him a lot.

In terms of working with him, it has been really good, as I said we click on a good level outside and inside of the game. He's good at knowing what I want and when I have a plan, he's really good at building out of it, and he does it in his way.

es3tag had a really good group stage, doing pretty well with the AWP. There have been a lot of questions around him picking up that role, is that something you're trying to help him with or has that been his own individual effort?

I'm not going to take full credit for this because es3tag is one of the hardest working guys I've ever been with, so no I'm not going to take credit for that. Of course we've been talking some nights and I've been trying to give him some ideas of what he can do in defaults, what his role is in the defaults and stuff like that, but I will talk like ten percent credit out of that. He's doing all the work, I'm just here to help him basically.

hampus told us that this is the lineup he wants to keep going with. Obviously there are a lot of questions surrounding the fact that device has been out for a long time now — without getting into his personal situation, does that whole conversation about whether he is coming back affect the team at all?

When I'm in the zone, like for this Major, I just focus on CS. I'm focusing on what team I have, on what everyone is supposed to do. I'm in the zone when I'm at CS events, so I don't really care about the outside stuff really. I'm just here to try to win the tournament, and I'm just doing my best, so I don't really care about that stuff.

So this is the lineup you're going to be working with long-term then?

Uh, I mean, for now, of course this is the five players everyone trusts in, everyone believes in. We have been practicing with Brollan for about one month and we are still not at that level that we want to be, but we are in a good direction. We will be a team that win tournaments for sure, if we continue to do the hard work.

As I said at the start, the result here isn't what you would have wanted, a quarter-final elimination and a hard match against FaZe at that. You're heading to IEM Dallas pretty shortly after this, so what is the mentality for the team moving on from this result at the Major to Dallas?

We will take a couple of days off, and then we will just do as we usually do. We will practice, we have a plan with our practices, I mean there's not too many days to Dallas, so...

We still have implemented a lot for this Major that we didn't show because, I mean, it was just not the right timing, so we still have a lot of cool stuff. We will basically just focus on our own, and for Dallas, let's just hope we can find out A-game. The most important thing for our team right now I would say is that we get the stage matches and that we get the experience, because as I said, I think FaZe out of the experience and stuff kind of beat us.

Did you feel like the team just crumbled because of the pressure on stage?

I would definitely say that we crumbled because you see like the FaZe boys for example on Inferno, they lose the worst round ever, like I don't know what they were doing or thinking. We get a good start on CT, like 8-3 or something, we basically get an advantage every round, but we play the situations not right. Usually we know how the play those situations, so I would say yeah, definitely the guys need more stage experience.

It was for some of them the first Major they've ever played in playoffs, and for me as well, that was the first thing I thought about often, like what could I have done better and stuff like that. I think every one of us needs more experience in general I would say, to get a championship team. You can just see it, like Heroic for example, I think they play pretty decent CS, but they can't win tournaments. We actually play pretty good CS, but the mentality part we have problems with.

Sweden Ludvig 'Brollan' Brolin
Ludvig 'Brollan' Brolin
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
978
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.67
Denmark Patrick 'es3tag' Hansen
Patrick 'es3tag' Hansen
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1303
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.66
Sweden Björn 'THREAT' Pers
Björn 'THREAT' Pers
Age:
34
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.78
Maps played:
54
KPR:
0.52
DPR:
0.68
Sweden Hampus 'hampus' Poser
Hampus 'hampus' Poser
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1357
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.70
Denmark Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Nicolai 'device' Reedtz
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
1793
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.62
Sweden Daniel 'djL' Narancic
Daniel 'djL' Narancic
Age:
28
Team:
#1
 | 
Poland Astoner55
Nice
2022-05-22 15:24
6 replies
#69
 | 
Finland Kashmiir
This post was release days ago, lol.
2022-05-30 14:43
1 reply
Yeah nice repost
2022-05-30 15:15
#73
based | 
United States Virgin Islands zj2
i swear ive read this already i can see future ?
2022-05-30 14:45
3 replies
same here
2022-05-30 14:46
it says post released may 22, not sure why they released again
2022-05-30 14:59
+1, I pressed F5 again immediately
2022-05-30 16:03
#2
Xizt | 
New Zealand Rabb5t
First EDIT: nvm
2022-05-22 15:24
4 replies
#7
NBK- | 
Germany ChazPaz
Unlucko
2022-05-22 15:26
#32
 | 
Denmark Rubix__
RUBIX
2022-05-22 16:50
2 replies
RUBIX
2022-05-23 00:33
1 reply
#48
 | 
Denmark Rubix__
+1
2022-05-23 03:59
#3
 | 
Singapore 2200DPI
Wow...cool
2022-05-22 15:24
1 reply
#67
 | 
Russia zykeNj
I have deja-vu I've seen this before lol
2022-05-30 14:40
Gg
2022-05-22 15:25
#5
 | 
Lithuania CEOofwomen
okay
2022-05-22 15:26
#6
 | 
Estonia simondoggo
Cool
2022-05-22 15:26
#8
 | 
United Kingdom emobe
They've definitely improved in the past year or so
2022-05-22 15:26
who?
2022-05-22 15:27
daddy djl smoke my top mid )))
2022-05-22 15:28
Ok
2022-05-22 15:29
Oof, words with a lot of weight
2022-05-22 15:38
#13
 | 
Sweden frizzahh
djl is a really good coach <3
2022-05-22 15:40
#14
 | 
Germany who|cars
nice if djl make 1 book with 1000 papers
2022-05-22 15:41
#15
REZ | 
Belgium w4lt3r
Interested to see where the team is headed, with or without devve
2022-05-22 15:45
#16
KRIMZ | 
Sweden Cveta
Dodged the device questions hard lmao
2022-05-22 15:47
5 replies
Everyone on NiP dodges them lol
2022-05-22 15:55
#21
REZ | 
Belgium w4lt3r
as they should
2022-05-22 16:10
lmao was thinking the exact same thing
2022-05-22 16:14
#25
 | 
Finland Khroni
To be fair to djl he probably doesnt give a shit, he wasnt coaching main NiP when dev1ce was there and it was pretty clear when he was appointed dev1ce was gone so he must have known he wasnt going to be working with him anyway
2022-05-22 16:24
#44
 | 
Sweden morotN
What would you want him to say lmao?
2022-05-22 22:54
#17
 | 
Palestine 500
gg device
2022-05-22 15:49
No1 wanna talk about cryvice situation...
2022-05-22 15:49
1 reply
+1
2022-05-22 16:20
When a coach comes with stage experience, when your own team has played many t1 tournaments... Then it is just bullshit and the coach has probably no idea what went wrong.
2022-05-22 15:59
1 reply
#41
 | 
Portugal rruunnee
Playing tier 1 tournaments and playing on stage is very different, only Rez and Brollan have some stage experience, only Brollan has some victories on it, like Hampus and Plopski and Es3tag haven't been to many, compared to Karrigan, or Twistzz or Ropz or Rain, like it takes time !!
2022-05-22 21:10
#23
 | 
Sweden kWahoho
dodging the device question hmm
2022-05-22 16:20
4 replies
#26
 | 
Norway mistertipp
I think we need to come to terms with Device not coming back to NiP.
2022-05-22 16:31
3 replies
I can't. The only reason is I looked at Devve's faceit game history and he doesn't play nip's permaban. When it was vertigo, he didn't play it. When it was changed to dust2 he started playing vertigo and stopped dust2.
2022-05-22 22:54
Thanks god, this crybaby paycheck stealer ending his life for a girl deserves to lose his career
2022-05-23 19:12
#57
 | 
Greenland Fenrirrr
if he wasnt, why would they countinue to not answer it? Surely he wouldve said that this is the lineup they are going to be playing with, instead of saying that this is what they know for now
2022-05-24 19:46
#27
 | 
Norway mistertipp
Very interesting interview! IEM Dallas will be interesting to follow!
2022-05-22 16:31
1 reply
+1
2022-05-30 16:30
dJL +rep insane workup on NIP I think this is the only thing even the trollers in hltv agreed on.
2022-05-22 16:39
Hampus <3
2022-05-22 16:40
man ffs dont make devve another bubzki story PLEASE. atleast kick him with some penalty or something, clearly he doesnt wanna play for u guys now.
2022-05-22 16:41
1 reply
#95
 | 
Argentina Saazu
Not exactly the same situation. Device benched himself...
2022-05-30 15:59
#31
 | 
Sweden axelious
Nice!
2022-05-22 16:41
#33
 | 
Denmark Rubix__
-Device when?
2022-05-22 16:50
holy fuck can someone from nip just say already if dev1ce will return or leave like this shit is getting boring
2022-05-22 16:52
5 replies
Honestly. I'm getting tired of the same "maybe, maybe not" shit that they keep feeding us. Just make a decision whether he is coming back or not, or when you atleast expect him to come back. Feels like they don't actually give a shit about us.
2022-05-23 04:26
3 replies
#51
REZ | 
Sweden 1malte2
They probably have no idea? It could also be device to blame here
2022-05-23 10:35
2 replies
100% Also, he isn't even a good option right now having been out for so long and clearly has issues with his mental and physical health. People want him back for name-value only, living in the past with their 'member berries ;) I hope nip stick with es3tag and let him develop as he's proven he is a great teammate with a high skill ceiling Obviously hope device sorts himself out and returns to CS. But no team should be waiting for him or kicking anyone to make room for him in his current form and condition
2022-05-24 11:06
1 reply
#59
 | 
Germany raynox_cs
drop plopski, device main awp, es3tag back to support, where he shines
2022-05-26 10:46
#63
 | 
Other Zollbit
2022-05-30 14:33
Ok.
2022-05-22 17:09
#36
 | 
Sweden Berqvi
I love the hard-nosed mentality he brings. We've needed someone like him behind these boys for a while.
2022-05-22 17:28
they still arent tho
2022-05-22 17:45
2 replies
Well they’re much more like a full team. Taking FaZe and NaVi to a third map being the only two teams that defeated them isn’t too bad. 16-2 against Furia on their map pick and so on. Might not be the greatest team of all time right now, but they’re on their way
2022-05-22 22:58
1 reply
Yep 2 majors in a row where we have to face the eventual winners super early
2022-05-30 16:18
device is done his ex gf broke him
2022-05-22 18:00
1 reply
same he seems finished
2022-05-30 15:41
#39
 | 
Finland dianimo
they have improved under him for sure. he isnt going to care about device, hes only been coaching the team since device has been out of the team, so he only thinks about the players he has.
2022-05-22 18:07
#40
 | 
Ukraine Daddy_Ropz
this is devices fault, he built that team up hoping they could rely on him but he left soon as he realize nip wont work for him so he used his "breakup" as an excuse to get put on vitality.. all he does is talk about vitality now lol.
2022-05-22 20:25
5 replies
#54
 | 
Sweden Phalkz
Where is he talking about vitality?
2022-05-24 01:04
4 replies
#56
 | 
Ukraine Daddy_Ropz
he made 2 twitter posts "jokingly" about joining vitality then deleted them. he wants on vitality, it wasn't a joke, he was dead-ass serious.
2022-05-24 19:22
2 replies
#61
 | 
Germany raynox_cs
vitality is a dead team
2022-05-26 10:50
where ? why would he want to join vita , he is an awper and zywooo > >>>>
2022-05-30 14:47
#60
 | 
Germany raynox_cs
i would have seen this posts, his socials are dead
2022-05-26 10:49
#42
fnx | 
Russia P0vTr
-Plopski/Es3tag +device and you have a mentality of champions
2022-05-22 21:35
Think he is a really good coach. Someone that everyone can rely on 100% for support and is solid like a 200 year old tree when the wind blows.
2022-05-22 22:05
i think nip going right direction
2022-05-23 15:50
32k dj salary
2022-05-26 00:17
1 reply
djW
2022-05-30 15:42
HLTV bumping their own threads like PINNACLE_MAJOR_IN_2023
2022-05-30 14:36
1 reply
Bump
2022-05-30 14:36
why did hltv bump this
2022-05-30 14:36
5 replies
was wondering the same
2022-05-30 14:39
#68
 | 
Ukraine Kellso
+1
2022-05-30 14:40
+1
2022-05-30 14:45
#74
 | 
Ukraine VoidWave
+1 lol
2022-05-30 14:46
Orgs can now choose to boost featured articles on HLTV about themselves for a fee
2022-05-30 16:27
Djl 32k month?
2022-05-30 14:44
I remember reading this before
2022-05-30 14:45
3 replies
+1 Why is this being bumped?
2022-05-30 14:47
1 reply
Orgs can now choose to boost featured articles on HLTV about themselves for a fee
2022-05-30 16:28
+1
2022-05-30 15:09
lol they bumped the article up cos no one cared at first
2022-05-30 14:46
#79
 | 
Israel fvlion
stopped reading at "The"
2022-05-30 14:52
#80
 | 
Korea Axiotimos
Hltv reporters are so lazy that they even bump their own articles to avoid posting a new one lmao
2022-05-30 14:53
1 reply
+1
2022-05-30 15:06
To whoever bumped this at hltv, nobody cared when you first posted this, nobody cares now.
2022-05-30 14:58
i swear i read this before
2022-05-30 15:20
* The interview was originally released on May 22 Did you even update the post? If not, why bump it?
2022-05-30 15:35
HLTV drier than sahara desert
2022-05-30 15:37
#91
 | 
Poland Hanse
HELLO BUMPING IS BANNABLE?
2022-05-30 15:49
This reminds me of the olof situation, where people said he is coming back... but not coming back took ages to finally have an announcement where he said he would need more time off lol. It's really disrespectful to his entire fanbase and his teammates (unless they know what's up already). I mean I really love dev1ce as a player and as a personality, but he's really digging his own grave with this silence. It doesn't take the best effort to post a quick update...
2022-05-30 15:57
#94
 | 
South America Huascaran
Huh??
2022-05-30 15:58
rerun
2022-05-30 16:10
why reposting
2022-05-30 16:13
Why repost mens
2022-05-30 16:37
Why Belgian flag
2022-05-30 17:56
#105
 | 
Sweden frizzahh
Nice repost
2022-05-30 18:14
This device situation has turned into a travesty.
2022-05-30 22:53
why repost mens
2022-05-31 05:00
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