With a view to building a new dynasty in “Siege”, Ninjas in Pajamas’ dream disappeared after an overwhelming performance in the group game in Mexico. The highly experienced list went from being favorites to win the event to falling twice against Korean debutants DWG KIA.
To make matters worse, the team’s results throughout the third split did not live up to what the viewing figure expected of the world champions. After just one regular win and two overtime victories, the Ninjas would have finished in ninth place if it had not been for the region’s combined points system, where the position is not restored after the end of each step. In a few words, they would not be in Sweden if it were not for Brazil’s unique format.
“(We worked) on new things (and) improved our map pool,” Dyjair “Mity” Soares said of his team’s performance during the third split in an interview with SiegeGG before NiP’s Copa Elite Six Stage 3 appearance. If that’s true, the team can have an ace up their sleeve.
In fact, the version shown in Brazil of the LATAM lists in Sweden may be far from their real potential. Due to LATAM’s unique scoring system, some teams had the chance to mathematically lock a Copa Elite Six place within two weeks in the third stage.
Although statistics do not always tell the whole story, a quick look at NiP’s gives us a small idea of what may be the main reason behind their bland performance. Compared to their step 2 numbers, it is clear that there is a lack of firepower and step-in kills. Gustavo “Psycho” Rigal may be the best example, with the 22-year-old finishing 4-20 (-16) innings – he finished the second split with a record of 13-6 (+7).
Given their overwhelming numbers during the third split, many expected them to miss Sweden. However, a second place in their Copa Elite Six group followed by a one-sided 2-0 victory over Team Liquid was enough to take a Major place.
Although they are far from their SI 2021-I, NiP are determined to strike back at home. The Brazilians are flying to Sweden for the first time and will be able to prepare for the major from their organization’s headquarters, which can make a decisive difference.
Something that distinguishes this team line-up from the rest is its experience together as a team. Ninjas in Pajamas’ last player movement dates back to October 2019, where the team has just made two changes since they came on stage in June 2018. This gives NiP a synergy that few have and a unique style of play that no one else has in the competition.
It is also worth noting that the team has some of the most experienced players in Pyscho, Julio Giacomelli and João “Kamikaze” Gomes, as they have played more than 40 major international matches each.
Ninjas in Pajamas have been drawn in the same group as BDS Esport, one of the hopes from Europe to end the Brazilian “Siege” dominance. However, the French team has not yet defeated Ninjas in Pajamas after facing them in SI 2020 and SI 2021. Both Invictus Gaming and Susquehanna Soniqs complete the group and will be NiP’s first two opponents in the competition.
The world champions group game will begin on November 8, when the Brazilians take on APAC South Stage 3 champions Invictus Gaming.