This week’s blog entry will focus on the future of NiP and the recruitment of Draken.

NiP have struggled in the last couple of months and the team have switched around their roles in between tournaments. Initially, Jacob “Pyth” Mourujärvi was forced into the AWP role. However, when that didn’t work out, it resulted in F0rest taking over the primary sniper role mid tournament and ended up with Pyth floating around. Just as it sounds, the consistency and team balance is lacking in NiP and the losing results followed.

The big change came a couple of weeks ago when NiP let Pyth go from the roster. It remains to be seen if this will fix NiP’s team problem, but they need a new primary AWPer. Even though F0rest is a good AWPer, he is needed more as the all around player with the tactical awareness and the main carry for the team. He can’t always be locked up with the AWP and static in covering one spot for the majority of the rounds.

The second change was the recruitment of William “Draken” Sundin which freed up F0rest and brought on a designated sniper at the same time. Draken has very good positional awareness of his opponents while taking a lot of covered shots which quite often hit their mark. He also has some skill with the no scope flicks.

Since the recruitment of Draken, NiP have won all of their ESL games. It can be argued that the opponents have not been the strongest and the real test comes this week against Navi. NiP first beat Team Kinguin unopposed which was expected. Next up was Fnatic which they surprisingly beat in an upset with a 16-7 win on Cache, followed by another win on Inferno with closer numbers 16-14. Although Draken was in the bottom of the team score, he showed some prospect with some great shots. After Fnatic came Team LDLC which should have been a walk in the park. NiP convincingly took the first map on Train. In the second one, they established an 11-4 lead which almost slipped completely out of their hands. But Draken took a first swing with the scout, killing one and DMG two LDLC players while Friberg and F0rest cleaned up the rest to hold on for a 16-14 win.

All in all, it looks promising. But the real test comes this week on Wednesday the 29th when NiP take on NaVi. Draken will be facing off against one of the world’s best AWPers in GuardiaN. If he takes him out, the secondary is s1mple, so not an easy task. I will be happy if NiP manages to split the maps so they can walk away with one map win.

What do you think? Put your comments below.