BLAST Spring Series Preview: NiP
Loads of roster changes were made at the end of last year and the start of this year, but the NiP organization has completed its lineup transition and have officially entered into a new generation of talent. With no players left from the glory days, the Swedes can now look forward to etching themselves into a newer part in history. Their reascension into greatness starts at the Spring Premier.
Six months into 2019, Plopski joins the lineup … NiP goes to Berlin Major and bombs out (without Plopski) … NiP legend Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT” Alesund leaves and is replaced with twist … Fellow legend Patrik ‘f0rest’ Lindberg leaves for Dignitas and is replaced with nawwk, ushering in a new era of talent.
Fredrik ‘REZ’ Sterner | 1.02 RAT, .66 KPR, .69 DPR, 75.7 ADR
Has shown the ability to play hero, but not consistent enough to be a top player.
Tim ‘nawwk’ Jonasson | 1.03 RAT, .68 KPR, .65 DPR, 67.2 ADR
Little to no reps on a stage as large as this. Players in his position are brought in to be the x-factor. Time will tell.
Nicolas ‘Plopski’ Gonzalez Zamora | 1.05 RAT, .68 KPR, .68 DPR, 76.3 ADR
At seventeen, NIP is sitting on a talent they think has immense potential. If they want to win, they have to turn that star potential into star talent.
Jonas ‘Lekr0’ Olofsson | .98 RAT, .64 KPR, .69 DPR, 72.2 ADR
An IGL with one of the meanest deagles in the world. Leading the new wave will be a tall task, but will reap great rewards if they win big.
Simon ‘twist’ Eliasson | 1.02 RAT, .65 KPR, .65 DPR, 70.7 ADR
He struggles to consistently dominate a game with the AWP, but he has shown that he can sometimes take over. Getting him comfortable in the new lineup is pivotal.
A Fresh Start: With every member of the famous undefeated NiP squad gone, the organization can start fresh with a new lineage of players and hopefully become a world-beater once again. The lineup carries a healthy mix of veteran knowledge and rookie tenacity. Finding the best of both worlds is going to be a challenge, but if it is figured out, it could make for a very talented team.
Can Lekr0 Lead?: Lekr0 has led at the top level for multiple lineups in various large tournaments, but the slate is clean in this lineup. Lekr0 has an opportunity to work the lineup however he wants, and a lot of their success will ride on what tactics he has prepared for the team. As the oldest member and leader, Lekr0 has to work tirelessly on keeping his team focused against a strong group.
Someone Steps Up: One of the three longer-standing members of the lineup has to do their part in stepping up the production. Between REZ, Lekr0, and twist, at least one has to step up immensely to make up for the firepower f0rest accounted for. In the lineup with f0rest, those three members produced less than Plopski. The team cannot realistically expect him to carry them to titles.
Plopski - Each member has to do their part to lift the team, but the NiP project is dependent on him panning out as a top talent in the game. At 17, Plopski has a high ceiling and loads of time. He has all of the tools available, it is just a matter of execution. Time will tell if he becomes a world-class talent, but NiP will need that to happen if they want to lift any trophies.
The Bottom Line:
On paper, this lineup does not look like they could move mountains, let alone win their group. They are facing top teams that are a lot more refined and talented, but Plopski and nawwk together could do enough damage to save the group. These two could force their way into the next stages and forge a new reign of dominance for NiP. It is incredibly unlikely, but it is possible.
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All statistics used are from the HLTV database.