By: Trevor “midway” Schmidt
Shock just does not seem to be the right word to describe the last weekend. While I was among the many who believed that Rixhack was all but NiP’s to lose, they did just that. CPL Spain revealed many things about the team that many believed, before Barcelona, to be the best in the World.
It didn’t expose them in the way most people think though. It wasn’t their strats, although they did overrun them and were way to complex for the teams they faced, sorry x6tence but NiP was a much more skilled team.
It was the mental aspect.
It’s very easy to know if NiP is going to win or lose, are they yelling? Is Heaton screaming loud enough to tear Hyper’s ear drums open? Is Ahl telling his teammates they are gods and we can get this round?
Mental toughness is what NiP really is missing and was the defining characteristic of Rixhack. While it was fun to play in a mix-team with the likes of Quick, Vesslan, Cogu and for a time Potti; the real interesting fact was how starkly different mentally NiP is from the SK.swe I remember a few years ago.
In 2003, SK.swe could have been down five rounds but everyone on the planet and especially the five guys playing would have known they were still going to win. This team, beyond a reasonable doubt, knew they were going to take every match they played.
They are more scared to lose then they are to win.
They have simply put too much pressure on themselves without the swagger they once had. Still it’s a snowball effect. Two years ago Skolpojkarna would never have dreamed of beating SK.swe. The thought of defeating them was similar to climbing Mount Everest but in a Double Elimination tournament, that meant doing it twice.
Just like climbing to the top; a persons hands got shaky, his breathing was labored and a fear of being in the same server as those godly figures that must live on top of tallest mountain in the World existed. Nothing like that happened to Skolpojkarna’s star player Goodfella while he was facing NiP this weekend. Quite the opposite, the biggest smile on Earth formed when he knifed three NiP members to win the knife round for sides. From there, it was all fun and games for five school boys.
Just like a pick-up game of Basketball on the school playground, the school boys seemed loose, energetic and excited. They knew the opportunity in front of them and seized it. Without a second thought they rallied back from losing the first map and put away a team that was once beyond approach.
One got the impression that they gave the first map to NiP, although that was far from the case. NiP worked hard, maybe too hard, in a desperate attempt to comeback and win Rixhack. Still the calm ones were no longer the famous names of Heaton, ahl, Potti and company – it was the school boys, a group of 4Kings and former Begrip members, who were there to steal NiP’s thunder and have a good time.
They accomplished both.