Opinion: Ninjas in Pyjamas CS:GO Struggles Are Just The Tip Of An Organizational Iceberg

by Kevin Knocke

Ninjas in Pyjamas has a major problem as an organization on its hands: This CS:GO-first team is currently bad at CS:GO.

NiP is essentially synonymous with Counter-Strike, but unfortunately the team has had a sustained period of declining results, once again dropping out in groups at this past weekend's StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals in the Ukraine.

Falling through the ranks of the WWG CS:GO Team Rankings to No. 15, NiP's slide has been well documented.

Many speculate openly about whether the team needs a new roster shakeup or if there's something fundamentally wrong with the organization itself.

Moreover, NiP has limited capability to lean on other titles. The Dota 2 roster is brand new, and Overwatch still has yet to prove it's a sustainable major esport.

Take a team like Fnatic, though. Fnatic too has had strong success historically in CS:GO. Through early 2016, Fnatic was incredibly dominant and widely regarded as the consensus pick for best team in the world.

After a time, though, star player Olofmeister had an injury and the team retreated a bit from the top of the pack.

Fnatic as an organization, though, didn't take much of a hit from that specifically. With strong teams in League of Legends, Dota 2, and other games, Fnatic could afford to spend time retraining and retooling the CS:GO squad (although of course now the original lineup is back, so who knows) while leaning on other titles to expand its brand.

In addition, Fnatic has diversified to other streams of income as well, setting up official Fnatic stores that contain not just merchandise for the team but also actual hardware accessories for gaming.

Many other squads have realized this is the direction they should be pursuing as well. In a conversation with Reynad, owner of Tempo Storm, on WWG Esports Today on SiriusXM he revealed that it's not possible for organizations to be just one game or one developer teams.

No one esport is stable enough for an organization to make a long term bet on just that. Not even League of Legends. There is no baseball or basketball equivalent that can ensure returns for investors for generations.

In that case, teams have to diversify its interests in games and revenue streams. Ninjas in Pyjamas likely knows this, but the longer other teams in the organization fail to pick up the slack of the CS:GO team, the worse off the team will be as a brand.

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