The Ninjas' new captain is off to a good start.
Ninjas in Pyjamas have moved to the 1-0 pool of the IEM Rio Major Europe Regional Major Ranking (RMR) A’s Swiss system stage following a 16-12 win over Astralis today.
This was the first time that NiP fans watched their team play since ESL Pro League season 16 on Sept. 4. The Scandinavian squad brought Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen to replace Nicolas “Plopski” Gonzalez and take over the in-game leadership duties that belonged to Hampus Poser, changed the communication from Swedish to English, and moved star rifler Fredrik “REZ” Sterner to primary AWP.
It’s unclear whether this change of direction will be enough for NiP to make the Major, but it was more than enough to beat Astralis today on Nuke. NiP had the game under control, for the most part, having won the first half by 10-5 playing as CT. Astralis put some pressure on the Scandinavian squad once they switched to CT, but NiP had some great calls from Aleksib and the firepower of hampus to put them over the finish line 16-12.
Hampus finished the game with a superb 30-15 K/D and 117 ADR. Aleksib was the second-best player of the game, with 24 kills of his own and 100.8 ADR, and Ludvig “Brollan” Brolin also played an important part with 24 frags as well. REZ and Patrick “es3tag” Hansen were the only ones to finish with negative ratings.
It was important for NiP to start with a victory, especially against this version of Astralis, who is having to play with academy player Mikkel “MistR” Thomsen in place of Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke as a result of the latter’s fractured ankle.
The first day of the RMR will carry on with the Europe RMR B matches as the Europe RMR A matches have been concluded.