Ninjas in Pyjamas: from local LANS to filling stadiums
The name Ninjas in Pyjamas has already secured itself a place in the history book and they're not done yet.
The beginning – (2000 – 2002)
Ninjas in Pyjamas are one of most recognised names in eSports of all time. Their history expands across decades and the original line-up was created in 2000 by CS 1.6 legends; Heaton and Potti.
So where did the name come from? The name Ninjas in Pyjamas was originally used for fun but the name stuck while they established themselves as one of the best teams in the world.
The first iteration of NiP had a lot of success but by far the most impressive achievement was securing themselves $50,000 and a 1st place finish at the 2001 CPL winter. Six months after their victory at CPL Winter, the core of the team signed for SK.
Reforming NiP (2005 -2007)
After a successful three year spell with SK, their relationship with the organisation broke down. As a result, many of the players decided to leave SK and reform NiP.
The new NiP line-up consisted of well-known players including Heaton and Potti from the original roster, and also the formidable Spawn; who is widely considered one of the best 1.6 players of all time.
In their first tournament at CPL Barcelona, the revamped NiP only managed to secure 3rd place. However in 2006 they managed to beat Chinese team, WNV, in the final of KODE5, winning $25,000.
Shortly after their victory at KODE5 the team disbanded and the players went their separate ways.
The domination of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (2012 Septemeber – 2013 April )
When Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was first announced, Heaton started to put a team together that would once again represent Ninjas in Pyjama’s.
Little did he know how dominant this team would become in the early stages of CS:GO.
The line-up consisted of Get_Right, f0rest and Xizt from 1.6 and Friberg and Fifflaren from Source.
This ground-breaking line-up would go on to smash records with an 87-0 winning streak; a score that is extremely unlikely to be topped anytime soon.
NiP looked unbeatable until their first online defeat which was at the hands of n!faculty in the quarter final of EMS One season 1. This staggered the community.
But despite the slight hiccup, NiP continued to be the best team in the world, online and at LAN.
Coming off the back of a strong showing at Copenhagen games, NiP looked confident to continue their LAN streak at StarLadder.
However it was not to be, as Virtus.pro had other plans and ended their LAN win streak on an impressive 87-0.
Continued Success: (2013 April – 2014 June)
But NiP’s first LAN loss didn’t faze them; nothing was going to deter the feisty Swedish powerhouse.
The next LAN they attended was the 2013 Raidcall EMS One Spring in which they went undefeated and were crowned champions.
Following this tournament win – NiP couldn’t quite recapture their former glory that took them on the most impressive unbeaten run in Counter Strike history.
The end of 2013 saw NiP secure a 3rd/4th place at ESWC, and they went into 2014 with a 2nd place finish after they were unable to pry victory from a thirsty Titan at DreamHack Stockholm.
But it wasn’t long before they satiated their hunger for a win. At Counter Strike Forever: London, they beat Fnatic for the second time in a row (after DreamHack), taking the title and winning their first tournament of 2014.
A new NiP 5th and partial recovery (2014 June - 2015 April)
The ESEA Invite Season 16 Global Finals marked the first occasion where NiP finished outside of the top 4 in an offline tournament since the beginning of their roster.
In fact, the tournament proved to be cataclysmic for the Swedes, as they were the first to get knocked down into the lower bracket by Complexity.
However, they quickly reclaimed bragging rights, beating Fnatic in the grand finals of ESL One Cologne and winning their first Major.
Performance-wise, NiP had seen a dip in quality, with a string of unfortunate losses both online and offline.
This provoked a sharp roster change, and the departure of longstanding Robbin “Fifflaren” Johansson, marking the first roster shakeup since NiP’s CS:GO inception.
Mikail “Maikelele” Bill was drafted in for a short time before being replaced before by Aleksi “allu” Jalli
And on April 2015 it was announced that Joona "natu" Leppänen would replace Faruk "pita" Pita as coach for the team.
Continued fall off (2015 April - 2015 September)
It was at ESL Cologne 2015 where we saw, for the first time, NiP finish 5th/8th place in any CS Major.
They were unable withstand the onslaught from Virtus.Pro, who knocked them out of the playoffs; a disappointing turn which forced Natu to step down as coach.
Despite a somewhat poor execution, they still managed to nab an automatic qualify for the next Major, Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca 2015.
NiP's 2nd partial recovery (2015 September - Present)
At their last Major of the year NiP, brought it back and ploughed through the group stages at Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca 2015, even defeating then favourites Team SoloMid.
Finally delivering the goods, they finished a respectable 3rd/4th place, and earned themselves an invite to MLG Columbus 2016.
Unfortunately, NiP suffered a loss at DreamHack Winter 2015, unable to fight their way out of the group stages.
Their next loss to Fnatic at Fragbite Masters Season 5 Finals marked the last tournament Aleksi "allu" Jalli played with the Ninjas.
With the need to make a change becoming increasingly clear, it wasn’t long before NiP would reveal their 2016 roster.
It was a formidable lineup – Patrik ‘f0rest’ Lindberg, Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund, Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg, Richard ‘Xizt’ Landström, and Jacob ‘pyth’ Mourujärvi.