NiP CS player ReZ competing on stage.
Photo by Helena Kristiansson via ESL Gaming

Ninjas in Pyjamas benches most of CS2 starting roster after missing Major

Another rebuild for NiP.

A roster shuffle in Counter-Strike usually gets going after the conclusion of a Major. But when one of the most recognizable names in the game’s history fails to qualify for the first CS2 Major, a change has to happen.

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Ninjas in Pyjamas management announced today that Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke, Patrick “es3tag” Hansen and Daniil “headtr1ck” Valitov have all been moved to the bench, confirming earlier reports. Additionally, coach Daniel “djL” Narancic and analyst Thomas “haste” Dyrensborg have been let go from NiP.

K0nfig celebrates with NiP teammates on stage at BLAST event.
Another setback in the k0nfig comeback story. Photo by Michal Konkol via BLAST

Three academy players on the Young Ninjas roster in maxster, Silence, and BluePho3nix will stand in for the upcoming BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, with general manager THREAT temporarily returning to the head coach role. The three youngsters will play alongside longtime starting player Frederik “REZ” Sterner and recently brought in IGL Alejandro “alex” Masanet.

In a lengthy letter addressed to fans, the members of NiP management said consistency and AWP usage were major areas of concern with the roster. The letter also mentioned there was an unwillingness to initially part with the core players needed to retain an RMR spot.

In a follow-up post, NiP’s director of esports Erik Wendel said he was “fascinated by the amount of people celebrating [the team] bombing out of the RMR, not only the amount but also the size and importance of some people participating in it.” K0nfig shared similar sentiments last week when NiP were eliminated, calling the amount of hate “unreal.”

As a whole, NiP has struggled to find consistency in competitive Counter-Strike since the legendary Major-winning roster of the early 2010s departed. One of the highlights of this struggle was the massive transfer move for multiple-time Major winner dev1ce in 2021, who only played less than a year with the Ninjas.


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Author
Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.