Their campaign for the MLG Columbus major has yet to start, but Ninja in Pyjamas has already been hit with a major problem: they could not field Jacob “Pyth” Mourujärvi on the first day.
Fans had predicted the possibility of NiP playing with just four starters in their first game. Contrary to their beliefs, current NiP coach Björn “Threat” Pers has stood in for Pyth in the first game of the tournament against Flipsid3.
NiP went on to win the best of 1 series by 19-17.
However, MLG had made it an inviolable ruling that all teams are not allowed to make changes to their starting roster as the tournament begins, which significantly hampers the chances for Pyth to play in the Columbus.
It was something of a recurring issue, as North American player Alex “LeX” Daily had alleged that Pyth deliberately provide false responses when trying to enter the U.S. to play for Winterfox last year.
LeX suggested that Pyth didn’t want to continue playing for the North American side, and so purposely failed his interview to enter the country.
Pyth has denied these allegations, although NiP founder Emil “Heaton” Christensen mentioned in a tweet that the problem arose because it was an issues recurring since the last time Pyth tried to enter the U.S. The tweet has since been deleted.
Pyth is due to arrive on the second day after clearing a number of issues with United States immigration. Still, he will be subject to clearance from Valve and MLG to play out the rest of the tournament.
As such, NiP must now wait on an official decision from Valve and MLG as to whether they can replace Threat after the first game. Either way, it’s a blow to the team’s chances, and unfortunately comes at a time where the stakes couldn’t be any higher.
Flipside3 Tactics (33%) vs mouseports (67%)
FaZE (83%) vs Splyce (17%)
NiP (17%) vs LG (70%)
Fnatic (89%) vs Liquid (11%)