Ninjas in Pyjamas has taken home their first Counter-Strike: Global Offensive championship title of 2017 at DreamHack Valencia in stunning fashion.
The team kicked off their weekend in Valencia with a 2-0 record in the group stage, defeating Red Reserve on Inferno 16-3 and CLG on Overpass 16-10. Fredrik “REZ” Sterner sat atop of the team with a combined 49 kills and 117.7 average damage per round stat between both matches. Their group stage sweep earned them a spot in the semifinals against Team EnVyUs.
NiP’s only map loss of the weekend was to Team EnVyUs on Inferno, which ended 16-8. Despite being down 1-0 in the semifinals, the Swedes bounced back and reverse swept them. A 16-10 win on their best map, Cache, and 16-9 win on one of EnVyUs’ best maps, Train, put them ahead of the struggling French team. The original NiP duo of Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund and Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg played a huge factor in the team’s resilience in the later maps, as they top-fragged above 20 kills on both Cache and Train.
After defeating EnVyUs in the semifinals, NiP played Red Reserve in the grand finals where they easily crushed the flourishing Swedish team led by their former NiP comrade, Mikail “Maikelele” Bill. Although they started off slow, NiP won the first map, Mirage, with several solid Counter-Terrorist defenses to put them ahead 16-10. Cache was completely one-sided, ending at 16-2 in favor of NiP–the largest win margin of any team at Valencia.
The Swedes’ trophy win in Valencia is their first since IEM Oakland of last November, when they beat SK Gaming in the grand finals for their second title of 2016. Thereafter, the team’s form took a steep decline, as they failed to qualify for the ELEAGUE Major in December and the PGL Krakow Major in June.
The Ninjas have done a complete 180 performance-wise since they replaced Adam Friberg with REZ. They recently made the playoffs of ESL One Cologne and earned $50,000 by winning DreamHack Valencia, showing that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the Counter-Strike ecosystem.