It's been a riveting last six months as a fan of NIP CS:GO — we signed a monster, got a whole new team of Young Ninjas who are out there popping heads, won a big tournament and played in front of a massive home crowd. When we beat Copenhagen Flames in OT to make it to the arena, emotions were running high here at HQ. It wasn't just Legends stage — it was a long-awaited, tangible sign that the work we've all put in, players and organization alike, is truly bearing fruit. The system we've toiled away at for years now, it's working.
From the outside, it has looked weird at times. We're used to thinking about teams as a group of five people and a coach who win or lose together, and if they lose for long enough somebody gets replaced and the cycle starts anew. For us, those days are past. Our goal is to win, of course, but also to provide a stable environment for our players to perform and to grow, and a pathway to the top for the youngest talents in Sweden.
We want to support all levels of the ecosystem — taking responsibility and playing an important part in reinvesting in Swedish grass roots Counter-Strike. If you're crushing the opposition on Esportal, your team can join the Swedish Elitserien and if you can beat the Young Ninjas, you might become one of them. Once at NIP you're in an environment where some of the world's best coaches, analysts, performance- and team managers help you get even better.
Young Ninjas has thus far produced two players who are clearly capable of performing at the highest levels of Counter-Strike, and more will follow. Still, there's some things that only come with years of experience. The big stage at Copenhagen's Royal Arena is one of the most intense places in CS:GO and clutching that weird triangle trophy might require something a little bit extra.
We're announcing today the signing of monster rifler Patrick "es3tag" Hansen who, by the time you're reading this, is already on the ground getting worked into our system by Björn, Danny, David and the squad. For a behind-the-scenes look at how that's going, pop on over to our Youtube channel!