NiP Benches HyP and Fearoth, Signs Sayf

Sep 17 2020 4 min read
Credit: Ninjas in Pyjamas

Ninjas in Pyjamas has announced the benching of HyP and Fearoth as well as the signing of Sayf

Ninjas in Pyjamas has just made another change to its VALORANT team, this time breaking up the French HypHypHyp trio that was signed in July. Damien "HyP" Souville and Enzo "Fearoth" Mestari have been moved to the bench, thus making way for former BONK player Saif "Sayf" Jibraeel on the active roster.

Initially reported by Arran "Halo" Brown, the move was later confirmed by neL of 1pv.fr, who added that NiP was also trialing Egor "chiwawa" Stepanyuk of Entropiq. 

HypHypHyp, Hooray...?

Fearoth, HyP, and Charles "CREA" Beauvois formed the core of HypHypHyp, a French team that gained quite a bit of popularity during the closed-beta. The trio of Frenchmen joined Emir "rhyme" Muminovic and Niels "luckeRRR" Jasiek to form a roster that, on paper, looked very strong. Perhaps to be expected, communication was reportedly rough within the team, as HyP frequently needed to translate for Fearoth mid-game. 

NiP Second Roster
Sweden's Jack of all trades

NiP's issues were rather apparent in-game, as the team struggled to beat the other top brass of Europe in the form of G2 Esports, FunPlus Phoenix, Team Liquid, and even BONK. With HyP's departure, Sayf will be taking over the mantle of in-game leader. The Swede will be reuniting with coach Emil "eMIL" Sandgren, with whom he briefly played during his time under the BONK moniker. Sayf's addition adds a new direction within the game and certainly deepens the agent pool for NiP, even though HyP was very flexible in his agent selection in the past. Sayf has proven to be a very versatile player in his VALORANT career thus far and was an underrated diamond in the rough in Counter-Strike. At 19 years of age, the Swede has a bright future ahead of him as he's still very early into his esports career and even has a lot of room to grow.

Sayf Fragbite

If the addition of chiwawa comes to fruition, the Ninjas will gain the services of a very well-versed Sage main, though it's true that her usage is only going down with the constant nerfs being deployed by Riot Games. NiP may also trial more players before deciding on a permanent fifth, as they have done in the past.

Parlez-vous français?

With the way things are in Europe, it's highly unlikely that HyP and Fearoth will join a French team moving forward, as one-nationality teams are increasingly rarer. Though Fearoth previously played in Smoke Criminals, a mix-team in Counter-Strike, ensuring that his English is at a sufficient level will open up many doors for him, because he certainly doesn't lack skill. The youngster stated in a TwitLonger that he "still [doesn't] understand this choice after only 2 months." According to Fearoth, he only received praise from NiP's management and coaching staff, so the roster move came to him as quite the shock. That said, he also understands that results were lacking for a team of that caliber. 

HyP should have a relatively easy time bouncing back, as capable captains are always in high demand. Though results might not have been there, HyP really stepped up his individual performances in the past few tournaments, and he would be a valuable addition to any team looking for a new direction. 

The inevitable change

The majority-French roster's issue wasn't so much the individual pieces; the players weren't able to get the most out of each other. While time is always a crucial factor in a team's development, NiP gave the roster two months before making changes, concluding that this composition had hit its ceiling. A similar situation initially occurred as NiP brought in its Paladins roster to compete in VALORANT early into the closed-beta. After trying out different compositions with the ex-Paladins players, NiP decided to head in another direction with the French-majority roster, which was arguably more competitive from the get-go.

Ninjas in Pyjamas Paladins VALORANT
Moving forward

With rhyme, luckeRRR, CREA, and Sayf, the squad has plenty of firepower and should be very versatile moving forward. While NiP seems to be undecided regarding the fifth player, picking up chiwawa would free up Sayf from playing Sage, allowing him to continue his experimentation of team compositions. Only time will tell if this roster change was the right one, but it was clear that a move was imminent considering the recent results. 

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