Ninjas in Pyjamas have picked up a fifth player, though they still aren’t willing to make any long-term commitments.
The Swedish Counter-Strike team announced today it had officially signed Finnish sniper Aleksi “Allu” Jalli on a trial basis.
On Feb. 13 the team publicly announced it was seeking a replacement for Mikail “Maikelele” Bill even while the player was still under contract with the team. That decision opened the team to a round of criticism from fans who felt that Bill was being treated unfairly, especially given that he had been one of the squad’s top performers and had played a pivotal role in helping lift them out of an extended slump.
As justification for the move, the team cited Bill’s lack of experience at the highest level of play.
Jalli was one of two players to play with the team on a trial basis following the announcement, with the other being Marcus “Delpan” Larsson. Ninjas in Pyjamas ultimately decided to reach outside their national border, passing on fellow Swede Larsson for the Finnish Jalli.
Jalli hasn’t been signed long-term. The player will be evaluated based on his performance, with ESL’s upcoming major in Katowice, Poland standing out as a significant trial. Whether this puts Jalli in the best position to succeed is debatable, but the decision is hardly a surprise given how the team handled Bill after making the call to move in another direction.
Results for the team and for Jalli in particular have been mixed since the trial period began, but there appears to be enough confidence in Jalli’s performance and chemistry with the existing roster to move forward. Should Ninjas in Pyjamas fail to impress in Katowice, questions will surely linger to as to whether dropping Bill was the right move.
Image via Ninjas in Pyjamas/Facebook