You could say that this was always GoldeN’s best chance to attend the Berlin major. He will now play as NiP’s fifth as Plopski’s roster lock forced the Ninjas to look for a temporary replacement. Sticking to their all-Swedish lineup, they agreed with Jack Etienne’s side to pick up the mercurial in-game leader who was responsible for two great tournament wins for Fnatic after their two-year drought before failing to accomplish anything in his career off the back of those showings. You can’t help but feel that this is an audition for a permanent slot, and it could be GoldeN’s last chance to turn around a flagging career which was clearly derailed by his decision to join Cloud9 in July 2018.
Picking up a new player without having the ability to use him at the next major doesn’t reflect well on NiP, and the jury is still out on whether this was an administrative blunder or a calculated risk based on the potential they see in Plopski. However, it was clear that they needed a replacement, and it shows the distinct lack of faith in dennis that they opted against keeping him around for one last rodeo to put him in the store window. Instead, they negotiated with Cloud9 for GoldeN, and it’s quite frankly hilarious that this deal could only come about because the North American side absolutely shit the bed in the qualifiers.
GoldeN is one of those players who must be judged based on his leadership capabilities, simply because his fragging skills are absolutely subpar. Apart from WESG’s domestic qualifiers and the group stages of ECS Season 5, he had a negative K/D at every other event with Fnatic (eighteen of them, in fact), and his record is only marginally better as part of the Cloud9 side. He gained a lot of credit after IEM Katowice and the WESG event last year, but most of that’s been squandered since he’s joined the North American organization.
Failing to impress as part of a worse team despite the many different lineups both from a fragging and a strategy department is pretty much a career killer a new generation of talent is rising, hungry for spots on big teams. In fact, there are already rumors of a massive shake-up with daps, koosta and Tenz potentially forming a new core.
As such, the Swede might have to jump before he gets pushed.
Would GoldeN be a good addition to NiP? For what it’s worth, the Ninjas are clearly planning to ease GeT_RiGhT out and their team has not had a dedicated in-game leader for a fairly long time now, arguably one of the reasons why they’ve plateaued in the playoff stages of big events. Despite the two big wins with Fnatic, there’s little to suggest at this point that GoldeN has what it takes to push them on, but if the does manage to impress here, it will be his Cloud9 tenure relegated into footnote status, not his achievements as part of the other great Swedish side.