Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) has made a significant roster change, welcoming back their Swedish captain, Hampus "hampus" Poser, after his five-month hiatus from competitive Counter-Strike. This decision marks the culmination of his determined comeback, while also resulting in the benching of Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen, the former in-game leader.
In January, hampus took a break from professional play due to health concerns, which compelled him to miss the entire spring season. As the tournament hiatus approached, his agent confirmed to HLTV that the Swedish player was eager and fully prepared to return to the competitive scene.
The Chief Operating Officer of Ninjas in Pyjamas, Jonas "calc" Gundersen, responded to the agent's comments by expressing the organization's intention to carefully evaluate their options during the off-season. He emphasized the importance of formulating a long-term vision and positioning the team in the best possible way to make a lasting impact in CS2.
This announcement signifies the end of Aleksib's nine-month tenure with NiP. Despite a lackluster performance with G2, the Finnish player garnered excitement when hampus was relieved of his leadership responsibilities, allowing him to focus solely on his fragging abilities. Under Aleksib's guidance, the team transitioned from Swedish to English communication, leading to a playoff appearance in the prestigious BLAST Premier Fall Final 2022.
Ninjas in Pyjamas took to Twitter to express their anticipation for hampus' return as the in-game leader. They remarked, "hampus is taking up the IGL mantle once more — well-rested and hungrier than ever." In the same statement, the organization acknowledged Aleksib's contribution to bringing much-needed structure to the team, expressing sincere gratitude for his time with the squad.
Guess who's back? Coming into the new season, @hampuscsgo is taking up the IGL mantle once more — well rested and hungrier than ever. We're seriously proud to have built a structure that can accommodate a player's need to take time off and recalibrate, and seriously happy to see… pic.twitter.com/xFlli3AIva— NIP CS (@NIPCS) June 14, 2023
hampus had previously served as the team's captain since joining from GamerLegion in May 2020 until Aleksib's acquisition last year. Under his leadership, NiP achieved commendable results in various tournaments, securing playoff berths at both PGL Major Stockholm and PGL Major Antwerp, along with a noteworthy second-place finish at IEM Winter 2021.
The eagerly anticipated return of hampus and his comrades in NiP will take place at BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2023 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Scheduled from July 13-23, this tournament will provide an immediate challenge as they face formidable opponents like Vitality, Heroic, and FaZe, setting the stage for their upcoming participation in IEM Cologne.