After the victory against Vega Squadron, Ninjas in Pyjamas’ Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg talked about their Major curse, qualifying for the Legends stage and competing in his thirties.

Ninjas had mixed results in the Challenger stage of the IEM Katowice Major 2019. They defeated Brazil’s FURIA but fell short against Renegades and Winstrike. The victory against Vega Squadron broke the long-lasting curse.

In their opening game of the Legends stage Ninjas in Pyjamas will face America’s NRG esports. NRG eased their way through the Challenger stage, defeating Winstrike, Vici Gaming and TyLoo.

Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg isn’t happy with just qualifying to the Legends stage and is set on playing on the big stage.

You, Vega, and the match for the departure from the Major. But this time you were the ones who had the last word. First emotions?

Playing here against Vega in knockout matches is always a bit scary, to be honest. They beat us before, and I know they like to play against us. But we like to play against them too. This is a match with a great history and background. But I am very glad that today we managed to rally as one team and focus on our game plan. I noticed that Vega used some of our weaknesses during this game. I’m glad that it’s not over for us at the tournament, we will have another chance.

Before this match, did you experience additional pressure due to your… history?

You will always have those thoughts when you are playing against Vega. Because everybody always pushes you to it. Everyone says that Vega will now defeat NiP and blah blah blah. It always evokes those sad memories and emotions that I had when we lost to them, and this is not what I want to experience again. I took care of putting all of myself into the game, and was glad that everything worked out.

On the first map against Vega, you made an impressive comeback. How did you manage to break the ranks of the enemy?

We changed … No. It’s not that we changed something. We played slowly, and in a sense they used it against us. When we went for CT, someone said, “Well, now we are in defense, and what can we do?” And we continued to play, getting closer to the enemy, closer and closer. The players began to wake up — finally. We had emotion back with us, we needed those feelings to play. People started talking faster. Then you feel that people are alive and ready to win. Even after we lost to Overpass, we learned a lesson from the game.

Was the third map difficult or only it looked like that?

Mirage was hard in terms of who will outsmart their opponents. Mind games. We won the round with the glocks, they managed to take a few eco rounds. It was a tough mental game when you feel the opponent’s desire to win. But our CT side was stronger that day.

You are in your thirties, do you feel that you need to invest yourself in the game more than before?

Definitely not. It is very convenient for me to play Counter-Strike, as I have done in the past. The way I trained and thought 13 years ago. It is a really very long time. But I feel comfortable with myself and with what I have to do in order to act as a player. Age really doesn’t matter, just your motivation.

I do not think that reflexes is what deteriorates with age. “Oh, you are 30 years old, you can not make a quick shot.” This is not true. If there is anything that can break you — it’s your motivation to play. But I love it, I love the game, and I like being part of it.

You are not alone in this. There are Zeus, Edward, Gob b … But among all the players you are the one who still brings tons of influence and highlights to the game. What makes you so special?

Talent. I would probably say talent. I think I just have a great understanding of the game. I do not want to sound like a complete moron, but I really believe that I have a great understanding of the game and how I see it. But all these guys you mentioned … They still do a lot of good things. Zeus and Edward raised the cup last year, not me. I am glad to see that the “oldies” can still push the boundaries of how far we can go as individuals.

A month ago, you and GeT_RiGhT celebrated 10 years since you started playing together. Did you celebrate, or was it something ordinary for you?

It was more like “Haha, ten years!” It’s funny. We didn’t really think about it. Chris and I have really good relationship with each other, both as people and players. I am truly pleased to have the pleasure of playing with such a player and friend during this decade. I hope we can increase this period by a few more years.

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you parted ways?

I thought about it. I wouldn’t like that. He’s damn good, and he’d kick my ass so many times, because he’s so smart, and I would never have a chance against him.

Do you know that he considered an offer from Cloud9 several years ago?

Yeah. We spoke openly about it, and we appreciated it with the whole team, what he told us. But something didn’t grow together for him, and I don’t know the details. He did not leave, and I am very happy about it.

Not an easy question. Vega is far from the strongest team but you had a lot of problems with them. You have a very small time interval for improvement. What is the plan?

We have to reorient ourselves for tomorrow, for us it is an obligatory winning game. All pressure will be on our side to win. Vici Gaming has nothing to lose, and they play great Counter-Strike, and I don’t want to say that they don’t deserve it, but the pressure will be on our side. After that, we will play from match to match and try to improve from game to another. We learned something from Renegades, we just used it on the CT side against Vega.

Before the tournament, you definitely had your own expectations. Did they change after these days?

No. Nothing changed. My mind is always set to get into the playoffs. I want to play again on the big major stage. And I think I’m not alone in this. It is not so for us, as if we go to the next stage, everyone will be happy. If we lose at the “New Legends” stage, I will not be happy just because we have secured a place at the major. If we lose tomorrow, everyone will be devastated.

We, as a team, have high hopes, and we have prepared a lot, even if this has not yet manifested itself, and people are like, “Haha, what are they doing?” We put many hours into the game, but sometimes it happens that just clicks wrong.

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