It's bold to say that when you still have a player of the caliber of dev1ce sitting on the bench.
Ninjas in Pyjamas have secured their spot in the PGL Antwerp CS:GO Major playoffs after a dominant 2-0 victory over FURIA today in the Legends Stage, and the captain Hampus Poser couldn’t be happier with his men.
Although it was a strong collective performance, Patrick “es3tag” Hansen once again did a superb job with the AWP. Es3tag finished the series against FURIA with a 30-18 K/D, which is more than great for someone who is not incredibly familiar with the precision rifle.
The Dane has been in charge of using the “Big Green” during the absence of Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz, who has been out of the NiP lineup due to health issues since December 2021, and has been slowly nurturing into a solid AWPer. Hampus is so impressed with es3tag and the current lineup that he doesn’t want to change it.
“It’s very important to have a stable five and now I think we have a very good five,” hampus told HLTV in a post-match interview. “This is the lineup I want to see us keep going with. We just need a little bit more time, we’ve only practiced for four weeks in total with this lineup. We changed some roles, es3tag is on the AWP, Plopski [is] a bit more lurking now with Brollan. But yeah, I think having a stable lineup is something you need if you really want to win a lot of tournaments and I believe that we’re on a really good path right now.”
It has been unclear for months whether dev1ce will return to NiP’s lineup, especially after it was reported in December 2021 that he wanted to play for Astralis again. If es3tag keeps playing well, it may not make sense to remove anyone in favor of dev1ce.
NiP will head back to the servers once the PGL Antwerp Major playoffs kick off on Thursday, May 19 at the Antwerps Sportpaleis venue in front of a live crowd.