Ninja in Pyjamas – a team with a coach as a starting player – had just secured their place in the quarter-finals of MLG Columbus.
The Swedish team had yet to begin their campaign in the tournament when they lost Jacob “Pyth” Mourujärvi to immigration problems. Current coach Björn “Threat” Pers then had to stand in for Pyth since the first game of the tournament against Flipsid3.
Despite winning against Flipsid3, the team fell to defeat against Brazilian team and tournament fan favourites Luminosity Gaming in the Group A upper bracket. Hence, their final group game against German-based Mousesports was a do-or-die.
But with their final 2-1 victory in the group stages against Mousesports, the team had ensured that they can move on to the knockout stages, and retain their “legend” status— thus ensuring their spot in the next official Valve major.
In the first map, Cobblestone, NiP strolled to an early lead only to have Mousesports rally and take the second map, Cache. But in the moment of truth, it was none other than Threat who stood up and essentially carried the team.
All long, Threat had also been the target in all previous games of the tournament—teams would try to single him out and exploit his lack of technical ability—however on Overpass he managed to put up 20 kills. That’s one more kill than Chris “ChrisJ” De Jong and Johannes “Nex” Maget combined.
Next up, the team will be facing Natus Vincere in the Nationwide Arena. While NiP are not the odds on favourites there, Na’Vi will also have an uphill battle ahead, for there is a good chance he who wins, faces Fnatic.
MLG Quarter-Final Odds
Na’Vi (81%) vs NiP (19%)
Astralis (27%) vs Fnatic (73%)
Liquid (75%) vs CLG (25%)
LG (73%) vs VP (27%)