Ninjas in Pyjamas is a professional eSports organization based in Sweden and is best known for their highly successful Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team. The organization was founded in 2000 and enjoyed widespread success in Counter-Strike until the dissolution in 2007. One of the key players from the early team, Emil “HeatoN” Christiansen, would eventually become the organization’s manager. After some time absent from the world of competitive gaming, NiP would reform with a new player lineup. And it would compete at Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, coinciding with the release of the CS:GO game.
The new NiP CS:GO team roster was headed by former Fnatic players. It included notable players like Christopher “GeT RiGhT” Alesund and Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg. NiP also have a league of Legends roster that actively competes at the League of Legends Championship Series, along with teams competing in Overwatch, and one formerly competing in Dota 2.
Ninjas in Pyjamas History
In June 2000, Ninja in Pyjamas was founded as a LAN-based clan by Christoffer “Tootzi” Olsson and Tommy “Potti” Ingemarsson. With time, the team grew and would soon leave their mark on the Counter-Strike scene in Sweden. Their reputation steadily grew due to wins at both online and offline tournaments and leagues, making sure they were recognized as Sweden’s top clan. Several names changes offline LAN events later, the team would compete at the CPL Cologne in December. They took 4th place, even after several players were unable to compete at this event and replacements had to be brought in.
A sudden split in the team led to the NiP players being in two rival teams, which would ultimately meet up in the finals of CPL Holland 2001 and face off. Soon afterwards the NiP team would come up with a new roster consisting of HeatoN, Hyb, MedioN, Potti and XeqtR. The team found success at the CPL World Championships, taking first place and easily defeating their competition. Two more wins at events followed before the team competed at the Birdie LAN. After that the entire team would dissolve due to several players leaving to join SK Gaming.
After most of those players who left NiP in order to join SK Gaming left that team due to contract disputes, Potti decided to reform NiP in early 2005, this time enlisting Heaton, ahl, Hyper, Fisker and SpawN. Their first tournament was CPL Barcelona, where they managed to take 3rd place. It didn’t take long for some players to decide to go back to SK Gaming, which left the team looking for new players. NiP found a regular roster in Potti, Heaton, ins, walle and zet. This would only last a certain time before the team called it quits again.
NiP returned to the competitive eSports scene in 2012, to compete in the new discipline of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The squad competed and won their first LAN tournament at DreamHack Valencia 2012, defeating VeryGames in the finals and pocketing $2,500 in prize money. They went on and won the Nordic qualifiers for the Electronic Sports World Cup 2012, without even dropping one map. They received a fully paid trip to the event for this achievement. Their success continued to the end, where they took first place and defeated VeryGames again, pocketing $12,000. Their rivalry with VeryGames continued when they competed at DreamHack Winter 2012. There they would defeat them in the finals once more.
2013 saw the team facing their first loss at the EMS One Season Cup #1. This didn’t stop the team from winning several LAN events and focusing on the StarSeries V Finals. Here they would face up against seasoned veterans Virtus.pro, who would deal NiP their first international LAN and map loss, ending their successful winning streak.
Ninjas Finding New Success
After their loss at SLTV StarSeries V Finals, NiP would go on undefeated winning streak to win the Raidcall EMS One Spring 2013 Finals. They defeated VeryGames once again in the quarter finals and demolished Fnatic in the finals. Not resting on their laurels, the team would compete and win ESEA Invite Season 14 and the SLTV StarSeries VI finals. 2013 was a year of multiple notable victories at online tournaments, with the DreamHack victories standing out the most. NiP would then end the year with taking first place at two other online events and closing the year on a positive note.
2014 started off relatively well when NiP managed to take 2nd place at DreamHack Stockholm Steelseries CS:GO Invitational 2014. But their first real win in 2014 came at Counter-Strike Forever: London, where they defeated Fnatic and took the 1st place. At the SLTV StarSeries IX Finals, NiP managed to reach the finals, but lost and took 2nd place. They also managed to once again compete and win at the DreamHack Summer 2014, taking home $10,000.
The rest of 2014 would see the team see a decline in their performance, losing to teams they would previously have easily defeated. However, at ESL One Cologne 2014, the team showed their true power and moved through the competition on their way to winning the tournament and taking home a Major. Several online tournament wins and losses followed, before the team would perform poorly at ESWC 2014, which ultimately led to Robin “Fifflaren” Johansson leaving the team, the first roster change since the CS:GO team’s creation.
The Slow Fall
2015 didn’t seem to be a good, or even decent year for the team, since they only managed to often take either 2nd or lower places, even coming in at 5-8th place at ESWC 2015. NiP would go on to attend the CS Major ESL Cologne 2015, where they would come in at 5/8th rank, their lowest ranking at a CS Major.
At several events that followed, NiP would only come in at 3/4th place. Teams that usually lost to NiP would now go on to handily defeat them. The beginning of 2016 saw the team announcing THREAT as the new team coach. But this would ultimately do little to secure that the team would return for their former glory.
NiP faced a lot of backlash when it came to light that the team owed its CS:GO players a large sum of prize money from the tournaments they had attended. The eSports community and other organizations pressured the team to come to terms with their players. The team then released a statement that said they were properly paying their roster and all allegations were made up.
Current team roster:
- Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg
- Christipher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund (captain)
- Richard “Xizt” Landström
- William “Draken” Sundin
- Fredrik “REZ” Sterner
- Björn “THREAT” Pers (coach)