Disclaimer : This is an opinion piece and does not represent the views of the website.
NIP recently made a roster change by replacing Pyth with Draken in their active roster. Pyth will still be a backup player in the roster while Draken will be wielding the role of the primary awper.
Draken is a 21 year old Swedish awper. He was a part of Team Epsilon and has now been included in NIP to replace Pyth. He has been on the horizon for long. In an interview, Device had mentioned him as a possible candidate during the next Swedish shuffle.
“Well I think that the Swedish player ‘draken’ could sneak on the list if he continues to develop. He is a strong AWPer as well, and could be in the next Swedish shuffle for a spot in one of the top teams they can create.”
NIP have always struggled for a consistent AWP player. The original NIP roster which included Fifflaren in the playing five always had a problem in finding a dedicated AWP player. While most of the other teams at the time had amazing players wielding the AWP, NIP won their matches solely on the basis of their superior aim ( at that time ) and better movement in CS GO.
Obviously we are all well aware of their problems with the elusive fifth player, who must also be the dedicated AWPer on the team. Over the years NIP have tried out Maikelele, Allu who are amazing players on the AWP. Maikelele and Allu did not work out due to personality issues. Their latest move replacing Pyth is just due to poor results over the last few months.
Draken does fulfil most of these criteria. His time on Epsilon has seen him play decent against most of the Tier 2 teams. He has had his games where he goes huge, but most of them have been mediocre against the Tier 2 teams. He has been able to maintain a good K/D ratio.
Draken has several positives going for his selection into NIP. His performance over the past year has improved significantly. The Swedish player has been able to dominate the Tier 2 scene. He was a part of the original Cringe Gods team signed by Epsilon on March 6, 2016. The team went on to achieve some good results over the course of several months.
Draken’s form over the past 3 months has shown a significant and continuous improvement.
NIP’s choices are limited from the available pool of available players .Epsilon is Tier 2 team and any player from that team would only dream of joining NIP & Fnatic. Disco Doplan was the first player to be chosen from that team into Fnatic followed by Draken for NIP now.
NIP did lack a dedicated awper and the inclusion of Draken will allow F0rest to wield the rifle. Over the past few months we have seen F0rest give up the role of the awper in favor of the rifle with some success.
Draken however is not be the perfect choice.NIP has not let go of their core roster since their inception. This decision limits their options for the fifth player and also severely handicaps them as they look to reform their team.
Draken is a good player with the awp. More than half of his frags have been with the AWP. However every coin has two sides. The statistics which heavily favor his awp also bring into question his game with the rifle.
When a professional player has more kills with the USP (6%) and UMP ( 5%) than with the M4 (3%), you know the player definitely has a problem with any other weapon than the AWP. If NIP are aiming to become a top tier team, it is important for the players to be able to wield multiple weapons.
What happens when NIP do not have the economy to buy an AWP? Will one of the existing star players in the team sacrifice their weaponry in order to facilitate the AWP for Draken?
Draken’s Epsilon has mostly faced off against Tier 2/ 3 teams. His results and statistics are positive, however they have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Draken has traditionally been matched up against lower tier teams as compared to NIP’s opponents. However his ratings have been mediocre to say the least. It’s still doubtful if he will be able to hold his own against some of the best players in the world.
NIP need a good In game leader. There is no doubt that Threat has worked wonders for the Swedish lineup. But with Valve’s decision not to allow IGLs communication during the match, it has severely impacted NIPs performance. They have not been able to recover from that setback.
Their slump in performance definitely coincides with this timeline. As an IGL, Xizt is quite outdated by current standards. He has not been able to make good and impactful mid round calls. NIP are strong in their initial setup but once things start moving away from the script, we see the players constantly out of position. The lack of a good and strong mid round caller is something that NIP desperately need.
The players on the roster are very skilful. I don’t think there is anyone who disagrees with the level of performance by Forest & Get_right. But NIP have definitely lacked in the strategic department. While other teams have improved in aim and strategy, the Swedish roster has been mostly stagnant in their evolution as a team.
I think NIP needed an In Game Leader who can AWP. If we look into the Swedish scene, there is not really anyone who can fulfil the role and still play at a high level. Ideally NIP should let go of a player from amongst Xizt or Friberg, but their stubbornness to dismantle their core will ensure they remain down and out in the rankings.
Draken is a young and extremely talented player in the Swedish scene. He fills part of what NIP need to become a strong team again. While he has some very good statistics with the AWP, his rifle play needs some work. At the same time, NIP need to reinvent their gameplay to include a more structured, calm approach especially when things don’t go their way. The mid round calling is one aspect where they are definitely lacklustre.
NIP has the potential to become a top team, but it’s not an easy path.