Ninjas in Pyjamas have undergone a number of changes recently, but their performance at ESL One Cologne 2018 was disappointing even with that in mind. The team was knocked into the lower bracket in the first round by Cloud9 (16:3), where they were beaten by ENCE eSports in the elimination best-of-3 (2:1).
We caught up with Dennis "dennis" Edman after the team's games to discuss the new Minor circuit, his troubles in GODSENT before joining Ninjas in Pyjamas in February, and where the team would be looking to improve in the future.
Dennis, thank you very much for taking time to do the interview. Let's start off the questions with the Minor circuit. Do you think that a centralised system is a good idea? So we're having all of the regional Minors in the Twickenham Stadium in London, do you agree with this, do you think it's a good idea, or is there a better system?
It's a good idea, but they should combine all the regions to one. So we can play the guys from CIS, or Asia, or whatever. That's my only opinion.
About your time in GODSENT: towards the end you were kind of in a penned-up state and surely that wasn't an easy situation for you. How did it resolve itself, in the end? What process happened that allowed you to join NiP?
Actually, it was more like — I felt like, at first, I was like, "Yeah, maybe this could be good for me." But after some time it was not, so... I just wanted to get out, spoke a bit to NiP, and then they figured the rest.
At first, I was like, "Yeah, maybe this could be good for me." But after some time it was not, so... I just wanted to get out.
And in terms of the GODSENT roster, what do you feel were the main issues, why didn't it sort of pop off, as it were?
I would say because they are not as experienced as the other top players. But they are getting better and better, you can see that now. So I think they will just keep improving, actually.
Let's talk about NiP. How are you finding your time on the roster?
Actually, we were playing really good Counter-Strike before this tournament, so it came like a shock that we went out first. We were playing the best Counter-Strike we had done with me [on the team] so far. But maybe that's why we failed. But we're gonna do some changes, some big changes, not lineup changes, but within the team, so I think we're gonna be a lot better at the Minor.
It came like a shock that we went out first. We were playing the best Counter-Strike we had done with me [on the team] so far.
And in terms of the in-game leading role that you assumed, from what I understand it's relatively new for you. How are you finding it? How are you finding the role?
I don't really like it. It's a lot of pressure, and you have to do the right calls and just talk a lot. I like to just focus on my own game, and just do the plays, instead of just controlling everyone and so on, so I don't really like it.
And in terms of the system that you employ for the team, is it very much something that remained from Xizt leading, or did you implement your own system and your own idea of how you want the players to play?
It's my own system. Or our
own system: we changed a lot, we changed positions and how we do things, we still haven't played that much together, and we just received Lekr0
in the team as well, so we're still trying new things and just gonna keep improving. I hope we can play like we did at home before this tournament, at the Minor, and then we're gonna be fine.
You touched on Lekr0 there. What served as the reason behind picking him up? What's so good at about his skill set that fits the roster of NiP right now?
He's very calm and collected. And he's really good — he's an underrated player. He talks a lot, very good information, and he's good with the mid game calls. So he's just gonna help us improve a lot, I think.
And just to touch slightly on draken, what was the reason behind his departure? Why did you feel that perhaps he didn't fit the roster as well?
A lot of it comes down to [that] we didn't want to play around the AWPer as much, and he's a very aggressive AWPer — when it works, it works, when it doesn't, it's very hard to play with. And I would say anyone in the team can play an AWP, because it's the easiest weapon in the game. So we just felt like we need another Rifler in the team, and anyone in the team can pick up an AWP.
I would say anyone in the team can play an AWP, because it's the easiest weapon in the game.
Going back to the in-game leader stuff: if you had to point out an individual who you think is an outstanding in-game leader, who would that be, and have you kind of adopted anything from him, through watching demos or reviewing his performance? Is there an individual that inspires you in the role?
I don't really have one, but I would say I don't think that top teams have such good in-game leaders, I think they have good players around them, and that's why they perform very well. But if I have to say a leader that's impressed me, I would say maybe gob b
, maybe Ex6TenZ
in G2 Esports
, those kind of leaders.
And lastly, when you joined NiP in the capacity of an in-game leader, what kind of goals did you set both for yourself and for the roster and its future?
We can't get worse. So it's only gonna be better.
To try to keep my performance, which is hard. And just to make it to not go out in groups, which we failed twice now, so we have to do some things. So we failed that goal. Yeah, that's pretty much it.
And in terms of the things that you think aren't going well, have you guys identified them? Is there anything specific that you're going to work on?
Yeah, we have already started. We started the day after we lost, so we're gonna keep playing, bootcamping for the Minor, and for DreamHack Stockholm and every other tournament. We can't get worse. So it's only gonna be better.
While NiP are already busy working on improving their form in bootcamps, the drama at ESL One Cologne rages on. Keep an eye on our event hub
for further interviews, recaps, and more!