Post-game thoughts: Is a miracle run possible?

Last week the Ninjas managed what was long thought to be the impossible, they broke their 10 game losing streak, and defeated ROCCAT 2-0 in a convincing series. This Saturday, August 5th, NiP will be facing MISFITS, who are currently ranked 3rd in their group, above ROCCAT. If the Ninjas do the impossible yet again, winning their remaining games could send them into a tie if ROCCAT lose their matches. Is a miracle run for NiP possible?

Mentality in Esports

A strong mentality and a will to win can easily be the deciding factor between winning and losing in high-pressure games like League of Legends. After breaking their 10-game losing spree, the ninjas might finally be on their way back up to pose a serious threat to the other EU LCS teams. 

The mental side of Esports is incredibly important

 Jens Hofer, the mental coach of Ninjas in Pyjamas, explains that once a player reaches a professional level, the game itself is only one part of what they have to do to become successful.

- They have to get used to long and strict training days, becoming a productive part of a team, often times living far away from home together with a team, handling the growing pressure of the social media and of course being mentally strong enough to perform in big events all over the world.

Jens Hofer joined the NiP staff in the beginning of June as the teams mental coach, having worked together with Nicholas 'NicoThePico' Korsgård in Fnatic, who went on to place third in the EU LCS Spring Split. His job, as a mental coach, revolves around handling the mental aspects and making sure that the staff creates and maintains positive and productive daily routines for the team. 

-  Since the results haven't been there for us throughout this split, a big part of my role as a mental coach has been to help the players deal with their frustration and guide the team forward even when there seemingly is no hope. The hardest part of my job is to know how to approach all the different players to get the best out of them!

Important for the team to finally win

NiP's mental coach, Jens Hofer, says that the team's difficult start made their victory against ROCCAT even more important. It was not only proof to the players that they have it in them to win on stage, but also a reward for all the hard work they have put in. 

- The one thing that stands out the most for me with this team is that they have managed to work through all their frustrations throughout this split and have now found a way to create a positive team atmosphere where they are working hard together to make the best of what's left of this split. I am very proud of all five players for not giving up when times were really hard this split!

Hofer says that for the remainder of the split, the team is hoping to keep up the calm and controlled in-game communication, so they can keep playing at a consistent level. With relegation almost unavoidable, NiP will have to brace themselves for some rough times ahead. Hofer however, seems positive about the future. 

Support-player for Ninjas in Pyjamas, Hampus 'Sprattel' Abrahamsson, says that working with Hofer mostly has been beneficial for the team, for some more than others. 

Working with Jens has been a great experience. I have learned alot from working with him and picked up a few things and gained new perspectives both inside and outside of the game. 

We are usually our own worst enemy

On Saturday, Ninjas in Pyjamas face Misfits, a team they previously were beaten by 2-0. Support-player Hampus 'Sprattel' Abrahamsson believes that the result will be heavily based on his own teams mistakes, and how well Misfits will capitalize on them. 
- I think we stand a good chance against Misfits, just like any team in the EU LCS right now. That doesn't necessarily mean that I would put money on us beating them, but we are usually our own worst enemy when it comes to stage games. I believe that on a good day we can beat anyone.

Most impressed by the Misfits botlane

With honorable mentions sent to Splyce players Mikyx and Kasper 'Kobbe' Kobberup, Sprattel explains that the most difficult botlane to play against so far has been the Misfits botlane, consisting of Steven 'Hans Sama' Liv and Lee 'Ignar' Dong-geun. As for himself and Martin 'HeaQ' Kordmaa, he says its very hard to rate them.

It's hard to rate us, i think we are very solid and a hard to punish botlane on stage. I'm happy with our performances this split, there wasn't any changes for any other botlane in the league coming into this season and i think we have done a fine job adapting to each other and the rest of the botlanes.

Hampus 'Sprattel' Abrahamsson explains that Ninjas in Pyjamas are already setting their sights for relegation, and preparing for peaking in those games. 

I try to focus on my parts of the game and what i can bring to the team; winning or losing is just the result at the end of the day and it doesn't define a performance.

Follow Ninjas in Pyjamas on Saturday, August 5th, as they face Misfits in the deciding match for a possible miracle run or a guaranteed relegation. 

Kristine Hauge Thomassen