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Illustration by NovaH. Source: NIP

Nearly one year. That’s how long Aleksi has had the reigns over NIP. When he joined, NIP had managed to gain 6th position in the HLTV rankings, peaking as high as 4th and they didn’t even have a “Real IGL”.

So what happened when they signed Aleksib and got that “Real IGL” you ask? Instant regression.

Under the Finnish players leadership, NIP bled HLTV ranking points and struggled to show up at big events. Once they dropped out of the top 10, they only got it back once. For a week with the help of signing headtr1ck.

So is it any wonder that NIP has decided to bench Aleksib for a returning hampus?

For those who don’t remember, hampus originally left the active roster back in January citing personal reasons. k0nfig then signed a long-term deal to replace the Swede despite telling us hampus was only taking the spring season off.

So with k0nfig on a long-term deal, we wonder what the plan was. Did REZ just dodge a bullet? Or was Aleksi doomed from the start?

Regardless, hampus now faces a new challenge.

When he left the team, they were still speaking Swedish. Fast forward a few months and they’ve switched to English. There’s also no way back with headtr1ck being their marque signing and all.

For hampus, this is a double-edged sword. On one hand, he faces a language barrier he didn’t have to deal with originally. On the other, he finally has an AWPer, because let's not forget, hampus carried NIP to the top 10 with REZ of all players AWPing.

As for Aleksi, he’s left homeless on a bench, ever waiting. Maybe one day he’ll find the “team that suits his strengths” which Kassad apparently believes is out there. But with roster locks for the next tournaments just around the corner, we hope Aleksi’s bench is comfortable because it might be his only home for a while. Unless G2 wants to do the funniest thing of all time.

June 15, 2023

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