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IEM Cologne Team Profile: Ninjas in Pyjamas

Zakaria Almughrabi

IEM Cologne, the second IEM Masters Championship of 2021, is set to begin on July 6th. Among the top-level teams attending the event, Ninjas in Pyjamas might be the most interesting and unpredictable. The Swedish organization pulled off one of, if not the biggest trade in CS:GO history with their signing of dev1ce in April. NiP already had the foundations of a great roster, but dev1ce’s presence has brought them within shouting distance of the top.

IEM Cologne NiP

Ninjas in Pyjamas are in their best form in years. With the addition of dev1ce and LNZ, the Ninjas have both veteran presence and young talent. (Image Credit NiP)

Team: Ninjas in Pyjamas










In-Game Leader


Rifler (Lurker)

Most Played Maps

Highest WR Map

Most Banned Map






Finding their Footing

NiP wasn’t too high on anyone’s radars coming into 2021. Their all-Swedish lineup had been up and down throughout the previous year and nothing looked to be changing any time soon. NiP’s early results supported that, never quite breaking top four in any of their attended tournaments.

NiP then went into ESL Pro League as a long shot to even make it out of their group. They ended up advancing in first seed and eventually finishing top four, losing out to Gambit in the Semifinals. After that, NiP made the dev1ce trade and got to work. So far, they’ve scored a second place at Flashpoint 3 and a fourth at the BLAST Spring Finals, losing a very tight series to G2 Esports.

More Than Just Dev1ce

One misconception about Ninjas in Pyjamas coming into IEM Cologne is that they’ll need dev1ce to pop off to win consistently. NiP is actually a very well-rounded roster with multiple players able to carry. Yes, dev1ce is still a beast with the AWP and his veteran presence has helped the squad obtain an air of confidence. However, his teammates have been doing their share of the work and then some.

The most impressive NiP players in their last couple of outings have been REZ and LNZ. REZ is currently the longest-standing member of NiP by two years. His performance over the past six months has only gotten better. REZ has earned a 1.00 rating or higher in 10 of his last 11 events. Conversely, LNZ is the newest edition to the NiP squad having only joined one month ago. In that month, LNZ has put up insane numbers for an 18-year-old out of a youth development roster. In NiP’s recent close loss to G2 at BLAST Spring, LNZ was NiP’s best performer with a 1.10 rating.

Hampus and Plopski round out NiP’s roster. Hampus is an experienced in game leader at this point. Recently, he’s been able to improve his mechanical capabilities to the point where he can keep up with fragging specialists. Plopski is still a young player and likely NiP’s most inconsistent part, but he has shown the ability to fit into their system and be a source of stability.

Make or Break

This NiP roster is one of the most interesting ones to follow at IEM Cologne. Their project involving bringing dev1ce in and surrounding him with young Swedish talent is a recipe that could end in a championship or disaster. NiP have the veteran leadership both in the team and on the coaching staff. Only time will tell if they’ve been able to fit together all the pieces required to take down the favorites gunning for the trophy.

NiP’s first match at IEM Cologne will take place on July 6th at 6:00 A.M. EST against Team LDLC. How far will the Swedes led by dev1ce be able to go with this long road ahead of them?