Le 26 September 2020 à 10:00
Last week, Ninjas in Pyjamas decided to make some big changes to their line-up. Thearrival of Emil and Sayf came at the expense of HyP and Fearoth. They then lost their place as official team members, despite their great qualities and experience in the competitive scene.
We reached out to HyP to find out more about his relationship with Ninjas in Pyjamas, how he was experiencing this relegation and his plans for the future.
Note: This interview was made a few hours before Riot announced the Valorant First Strike.
Mandatory: How did the recruitment at Ninjas in Pyjamas go?
HyP: With HypHypHyp, we were looking for an organisation for the whole team. We had a lot of meetings with several organisations, including Ninjas in Pyjamas. NiP was very interested in some of our players, but they didn't want to take the whole team. First, they made an offer to Fearoth and me, and secondly to CREA.
NiP spoke to all of us about HypHypHyp and more or less picked its favourites of the team, I suppose.
Mandatory: Were you the ones who mixed the best with the team?
HyP: I don't know if we can really say that, in the sense that precisely, when it comes to mixes, we didn't have the right people with the right roles. For example, rhymes and Crea played the same role. LuckeRRR and I had a bit of the same role too. Either we played Jett and we didn't need a Breach, either we played Breach and we didn't need a Jett. At that time, I was a Breach player and LuckeRRR a Jett player.
We wanted to play around LuckeRRR and his AWP, we left it on Jett so he could be comfortable and carry us. But it forced us to find a Sage player and a Cypher player. I started testing Cypher for a few days, then switched to Sage. I've tried other Agents like Phoenix. When Killjoy came out, I started playing her. We changed too many roles in the team, and that's why it wasn't the best mix eventually.
In terms of mindset, it was a very good mix, but as far as the roles were concerned, it was not good.
Mandatory: Is that what explains your uneven results during the Ignition Series?
HyP: Yeah, it made us waste our time. It's not the only reason, obviously, there are others. We were fighting teams like Liquid, FPX and G2 every week, whereas we wasted a lot of time defining our roles. We sometimes played a month with a certain role and finally change my role and that of rhymes. There have been too many changes which has cost us time. Especially compared to G2 which already had one person per role. There were not ifs or buts, they were comfortable from the start.
On top of that, we didn't have a head coach to help us and accompany us to catch up. It didn't help us, but since the team was a long-term project, I wasn't too worried. We had a great group, we had a very good level despite everything. Even in scrim, we were much stronger than what we could show in official tournament. So I wasn't really worried because there was a lot of potential in the team.
Mandatory: How did NiP help you with the training?
HyP: We had someone from NiP Staff who helped us build our training and our schedules. They made us test different mindsets. You can play to win or play to learn. In scrim, you can decide that you are going to play a round as if it were a major final where you have to win every round. In short, we did a lot of little exercises like that. It was advices to support us as much as possible, but he wasn't here with us in training.
Mandatory: Didn't you have a strategic coach at NiP?
HyP: No, the players were doing their own thing. However, we had menegh, our analyst at HypHypHyp who came to help us enormously. He was mainly there to analyse the teams we were going to meet and give us little tips that could help us, and provide little strategies. For example, on Ascent, he found me a super efficient place to put my Ultimate as Killjoy and take back an area. He also found us arrows of Sova. He saved us a lot of time on these things. It allowed Fearoth to focus on something else.
Mandatory: NiP has four official players. Will they alternate between you and Fearoth as 5th player?
HyP: No, they plan to recruit a fifth player. Otherwise, they would have done tests with us, they would not have benched us. I don't think it's in NiP's plans to make us play again. However, if they don't find a fifth player, they may come back to us, but I don't really believe it. I know they're doing several tests, I don't know how it goes. I try to take some distance of it all.
Mandatory: How do you handle this situation?
HyP: I'm not mad at NiP or Emil, the new coach who made these changes. NiP was not happy with the results, who can blame them? No, we weren't happy either anyway. We understood why we had these results and we had a lot of hope for the future. I remain convinced that we had a lot of potential with this roster. In my opinion, NiP was impatient and that's why I'm disappointed. They wanted to make changes very quickly, without really trying to talk a bit with the players. Between us players, we got along really well, we talked together all the time, wanted to continue playing together.
After all, Valorant is a new game. A lot of things are moving, a lot of players are very, very strong. We saw it with Bonk for example, who are doing very well. They recruited Sayf [ndlr: former player of Bonk] ] and that makes sense for them. NiP is a Swedish organisation and Sayf is Swedish. The French trio bothered them a bit. They didn't want to sign Crea because they didn't want to have a French trio, which I understand. They saw a good opportunity to make a change that was right for them. Hiring a Swedish player is always cool for a Swedish brand. I think they jumped at the chance, and I don't blame them. I'm just a little disappointed because we had a lot of potential and could have gone very far. But I understand that they want to make a change too.
Mandatory: Do you think that there were a communication problem between the players and the organisation?
HyP: Yes, we were a bit on our own. We just had some people accompanying us. We had Sabina who was looking for our scrims. Having someone planning this for us is super cool. We had the staff person who helped us prepare our mindsets for training. But apart from that, we didn't have a head coach to give feedback on our training or performance.
There were sometimes communication problems indeed between the staff and us. Especially when there was the bench story and we got sidelined with Fearoth. In the end, that's what disappoints me the most about NiP. I was a little disappointed with the way it was done and there were some communication issues. I talked to NiP staff about it, we cleared things up and I don't have too many problems about it anymore. I understand that it was a complicated situation where they had to intervene quickly. Once again, I don't blame them.
Mandatory: Do you think it was the best time to change the roster?
HyP: It was clearly the right timing. Since we don't have a big tournament announced, we could have been working on things. But without the opportunity to test them in official competition, it could have been pointless. That is the risk. This is as much the right timing to put things back on track with the team as it is to start from scratch, or almost. With no tournament coming up, you can make changes at all levels, be it players changes or strategy changes.
Mandatory: What is your role at NiP now?
HyP: I'm really out of the team. I have no role in the training. In the end, I live my own life. I train alone. If they need me in two months and call me back, I'll be there because I'm still under contract. But I'm focused on the future: I have to keep my level, I have to stay strong. I would like to resume training very quickly. And why not build a HypHypHyp V.2. I have to see who is available. I would like to start a new team and start the scrims again, try to do as many tournaments as possible and win them. In short, to achieve the best possible results while waiting, why not, for a new offer.
Mandatory: Do you plan to leave NiP soon?
HyP: The decision isn't really mine. I'm under contract with NiP and if another structure wants to recruit me, it's possible that NiP accepts to sell me. I have some value in the market.
I can't walk away like that, telling NiP "I'm leaving", They may block me in the sense that they can hope to make some money on my transfer. That's why my current goal is to try to find a mix to train with, to continue to enjoy the game and to maintain my level. No one knows what the future holds for us.
Mandatory: Do you think NiP could block you to prevent other structures from acquiring your talents?
HyP: I don't think NiP wants to block me. I really don't think this is the case. We just signed a contract together, they have to respect it no matter what. My contract ends in December, so until December I'm with NiP. The only case in which I leave the organisation is if another organisation really wants to buy me out. We'll see if NiP lets me go for free or not.