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Ninjas in Pyjamas Bench Hampus, Re-Add Es3tag
- Ninjas in Pyjamas benched Hampus “hampus” Poser
- To fill in the gap, NiP re-added Patrick “es3tag” Hansen
- The roster change comes following a stretch of poor results
Patrick “es3tag” Hansen (credit: via Twitter (@es3tag))
On Tuesday, October 25, Ninjas in Pyjamas announced that its Counter-Strike in-game leader Hampus “hampus” Poser has been benched and replaced by Patrick “es3tag” Hansen. This marks es3tag’s return to NiP’s active lineup for the first time since 2022, when he was removed from the team amid a roster reshuffle.
The roster change news came shortly after NiP’s General Manager Bjorn “THREAT” Pers talked about how leadership was a big issue in the NiP’s CS squad and how the team will be looking to make some changes to address it. So, while benching hampus is a big change, it was expected to happen.
Ninjas in Pyjamas haven’t accomplished much this season and haven’t been able to find any success at the top-level. Besides their upset win at BLAST Premier: Fall Groups 2023, NiP have consistently fallen flat at top events, which includes early exits from Intel Extreme Masters Cologne 2023 (13th-16th) and ESL Pro League Season 18, where NiP only managed a 21st-28th-place finish.
However, the team’s poor form dates further back. Ninjas in Pyjamas haven’t made the finals of an S-Tier tournament since Intel Extreme Masters XVI – Winter in December 2021 and are currently ranked no.21 in the global Counter-Strike rankings.
NiP’s struggles began after Nicolai “device” Reedtz stepped down from the roster in 2021, when NiP won their first S-Tier tournament since 2017 and were ranked no.2. Since then, Ninjas in Pyjamas have made several roster changes but couldn’t find more success in top events.
Most of their struggles were due to leadership issues, which was a problem even before the signing of hampus, who replaced Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen.
Ninjas in Pyjamas will now look to bounce back by re-adding es3tag, who was last seen playing for NiP in December 2022 before he got benched from the active lineup. Since then, the Danish rifler has appeared as a stand-in for FaZe Clan at BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2023 but was otherwise not seen competing in a professional scene.
Ninjas in Pyjamas will debut its new-look roster at Roobet Cup 2023 on Thursday, October 26, 2023, when they face off against Fnatic in the first round of Group D.
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