From a Challenger ladder giant to the EU LCS
The decision to add a sixth player
The EU LCS is still new to incorporating more than five players to their rosters, compared to LCK and NA teams like Team Liquid who have chosen to have multiple in-house substitutes. The decision for Ninjas in Pyjamas to add a sixth player, was according to assistant coach Benjamin 'Zhergoth' Sanchez based on top-laner Kim 'Profit' Joon-hyung's own desire to develop further. Sanchez says there are several reasons to add a sixth player to any roster in League of Legends. It can both relieve and also put pressure on the players to perform better. Their final choice landed on former PSG top-laner Matti 'Whiteknight' Sormunen, who has long been known to be high up on the challenger ladder on EU West.
– We started looking for new players that were fitting our standards. Whiteknight being a top challenger player and a player with a great attitude and work ethic made the decision really easy for us.The NiP players are very welcoming, and I feel like Whiteknight's bright personality will fit in well with any group of people.
Sanchez continues to praise Whiteknight for his motivation and great personality, stating that he simply is a very nice person, who is extremely compelled to improve both as a player and a person.
– He is genuinely an amazing person to talk to, and every old teammate of his talks very highly of him.
A breath of fresh air
NiP head coach Nicholas 'NicoThePico' Korsgård explains that adding Whiteknight to the roster is only the beginning of a long term project they have in mind, that includes having good subs in all positions, who are ready to play or share scrim time if needed.
– Whiteknight has a lot of experience both from previous LCS split in season 4 and his time in challenger series. He's also been around forever on the challenger ladder and is known to be extremely flexible and having a good work ethic. He's a perfect fit for the team and it has been a very smooth transition to have him with us in-house.
Korsgård continues to say that Whiteknight has been a breath of fresh air, bringing along some much needed energy and an outspoken in game-personality.
– He's been a joy to work with so far and I look forward to helping him grow into the player I know he can become!
Soloq to competitive
Matti 'Whiteknight' Sormunen started playing League of Legends in season 1, and has since then managed to stay at the top of the EU West ladder for most of the time. During season three and season four, Whiteknight was the most prominent player in SoloQ play, holding the rank 1 spot on the ladder for most of the time.
– I haven't been playing competitive for very long, and so I haven't really proven myself yet in competitive play, so that's what I'll try to do.
Sormunen says that his addition to the NiP roster so far has been met with friendliness and warmth, explaining that while the other players may be new to him, he is no stranger to the support-player Hampus 'Sprattel' Abrahamsson, who previously played with him on PSG.
His daily routine is in most cases no different from the other players.
– I watch when Profit plays in order to learn, or help him in some places, I also give my thoughts during game analysis.
Thrives on pressuring the map
Matti 'Whiteknight' Surmonen says that he very much enjoys having a winning matchup in lane, so he can pressure his opponent and the map.
– My favourite champions right now are tanky bruisers such as Renekton and Jarvan.
While Surmonen has yet to face any of the current EU LCS top-laners this split, he says that Alphari is the one he respects the most.
– His play style is very aggressive and if he has a good matchup, he knows how much, and how hard he can punish the enemy toplaner.
The newest addition to the roster says, that while NiP top-laner Profit may have his problems, he thinks he is a very good player, and hopes he can make a stable performance in the team.
– I hope we can work together and improve each other.
You can catch the ninjas on the EU LCS rift tomorrow against Misfits, who are currently placed third on the ladder. Watch them play to keep their miracle run alive at 17:00 CEST on twitch.tv or lolesports.com!