Getting hurt sucks. In traditional sports, injuries are par for the course. Torn achilles’ tendons, sprained ankles, it’s normal when you spend so much time running around and jumping. And yet, for some reason, when an eSports player gets carpal tunnel problems and has to sit out some matches to get better, it’s met with derision. Well, it shouldn’t be. Fortunately, Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi, the long-time rifler for Ninjas in Pyjamas doesn’t have to sit on the sidelines anymore.
Once ESL One Cologne 2016 and ELEAGUE Season 1 were over with some disappointing results, news broke out that pyh was having problems with his hand. It was announced that Joakim “disco doplan” Gidetun would stand in while pyth is working to get better. Disco doplans stay on NiP was short-lived, however the former member of NiP, Maikel “Maikelele” Bill rolled in on his white horse to try and stand-in for pyth.
WIth Maikelele on the roster, Ninjas in Pyjamas actually had some decent performances, finishing first at StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 2 with a 2:0 record against G2 Esports, they qualified themselves for the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals in Brazil by finish 2nd in the European leg of the tournament, stumbled a bit, finishing 7-8th at EPICENTER 2016, and finally reached the Semifinal of the ESL Pro League Finals, where they lost 1:2 to SK Gaming.
Considering what they managed to achieve with a stand-in, one has to wonder if they are going to make quick work of storming the Olympus of the best teams in the world once again now, when pyth is back. They will try, of course, but it remains to be seen if they’re successful.
One thing to consider, Ninjas in Pyjamas are actually one of the top teams in the world to feel comfortable on Nuke, together with Virtus.pro and Team Dignitas. The significance of the map at the moment is that teams, which can play it, hold an advantage over those who cannot when they actually force it. The problem is that NiP was good on Nuke with Maikelele. How will they do with pyth? Is he just as good on it? We Just. Don’t. Know. Hopefully, however, the prodigal rifler of NiP comes back better than ever, ready to smoothly take over helping his team more than his stand-in, Maikelele. It is actually quite a tall order, however. Maikelele didn’t drag NiP down, after all.