As the news of Patrik ‘f0rest’ Lindberg, the last standing member of the legendary and inaugural Ninjas in Pyjamas lineup, leaving the organisation was beginning to seep in, the OG NiP fans were treated with news of the reunion of the legends under the banner of Dignitas.
Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg, Richard ‘Xizt’ Landstrom and Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund have teamed up with f0rest again, with former Nordavind star Hakon ‘hallzerk’ Fjaerli completing the active lineup. In all fairness, the true reunion is complete, with Robin ‘Fifflaren’ Johansson joining Dignitas in the capacity of a Coach and the General Manager.
There are only positives for Dignitas from a commercial point of view and for their brand from this move. Bringing the band back together will not only ensure allegiance from former NiP fans but also a fraction of the loyal ones, who could have become disenchanted with NiP as an organisation after the revelations surrounding the management and more.
The point of scrutiny shall come in the form of their own announcement done after the culmination of the Starladder Berlin Major 2019. Dignitas had announced their wish to build a dynasty. With this lineup, they seem to have brought together a former one under their name.
The team will be held to high standards but the individuals themselves will have a lot to prove. Starting with the designated IGL, Xizt proved himself away from the band at Fnatic to an extent. Despite the success, the former NiP IGL continued to be on the receiving end of criticism, mainly for picking into the favoured maps of his opponents and his somewhat ‘ancient’ calling style. In the end, the Swedish organisation chose to go with a more progressive style, benching Xizt in favour of Maikil ‘Golden’ Selim.
Now at Dignitas, all eyes will be on how Xizt manages to adapt to the new meta of calling. Or maybe, the 28-year-old won’t need to do such a thing. Maybe, this lineup will prove to be the perfect fit for his ‘style’.
f0rest was the only active player from the legendary NiP lineup for a couple of months leading up to the announcement. While there was a noticeable improvement in his individual performance in 2019 (HLTV Rating 1.07) compared to the last two years, the year also marked his worst average at Majors, with a Rating of just 0.90 over 14 maps.
One of the most clutch players of the game, f0rest will be keen to prove his performances at the Majors in 2019 was merely a blip rather than proof of his decline.
Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg, the one who had the most diversified journey after leaving NiP, which could also be chalked down to the fact that he was the first one to leave the team after Fifflaren. friberg took on the role of IGL at Optic and subsequently, found success with a Heroic lineup that many often overlooked.
Perhaps, friberg’s growth as a player will be crucial to the lineup’s success. The absolute condition for success though, will be hallzerk and how the legends can utilise the 19-year-old’s potential. When we talk of hallzerk, people mostly refer to his time at Nordavind and his recent performances under the said banner.
Although, it is his unfathomable 136-game winning streak in FACEIT that surely proves his potential and rightly puts in the bracket of modern-age CS prodigies that FACEIT have managed to unearth through their platform.
hallzerk is ballsy, consistent and out-and-out AWPer. Shortly put, hallzerk is the kind of AWPer the NiP lineup were in search of after they chose to part ways with Fifflaren. There is one area though, that would need immediate improvement for him to be the star for the new Dignitas lineup.
To explain it in numbers, hallzerk averages almost the same kills per round as f0rest right now (0.75 – 0.77). But, the 19-year-old manages to get kills in less than 50% of the rounds he plays, which is something that he or the Dignitas lineup cannot afford from their Primary AWPer or star player.
There’s lot of room for hallzerk to improve right now and the opportunity to play with such legends and experienced members of the CSGO scene could accelerate his growth exponentially.
The one with the most to prove though, is definitely GeT_RiGhT. While friberg, f0rest and Xizt have all had success stories of their own, the 29-year-old has seen his performance levels drop drastically over the last 3 years.
Consider the year 2016, when GeT_RiGhT averaged 1.09 through the calendar. His rapid decline started from the turn of the said year, ending 2017 with 1.01 and 2018 with 0.94. 2019 was his worst as a player in his career, with GeT_RiGhT averaging merely an HLTV Rating of 0.88 on the server.
The 29-year-old is someone who revels in a steady lineup and in a team he feels comfortable. So, it should come as no surprise that as NiP started changing their lineups with increased frequency from the start of 2017, GeT_RiGhT’s performances started dwindling.
One more correlation that could be found was that the worst two calendar years for GeT_RiGhT came after his long-time captain Xizt departed the lineup in February, 2018. The lack of leadership within NiP since Xizt’s departure could have been one of the reasons for his dismal displays.
Although, even GeT_RiGhT would be the first one to accept that his individual performances have taken a massive hit over the last couple of years and it is something that will need addressing at Dignitas.
Even Fifflaren will have tough shoes to fill, having taken up the Coaching role for the first time in his career. One thing is guaranteed; the Dignitas GM will have the respect of his players and the attention of the entire room when he airs his views.
Dignitas have, in GeT_RiGhT, someone who understands the art of lurking; in Xizt, an IGL who developed the unabashed style of CSGO that resulted in the 87-0 run and other successes beyond; in f0rest and friberg, two pillars; and in hallzerk; the light that should shine bright enough under the right guidance and in an ideal setting.
There will be the question of whether the quarter can still function smooth enough as a team. If they can; with the addition of hallzerk’s firepower, the stage is set for a renaissance.