Team NP announced that they have been acquired by the internationally-renown esports organization Cloud9. The former banner of the North American NP, most famous for its head player and founder, Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao, was a fan favorite due to the mix of celebrity players and candid social media presence.
This is a “re-acquisition” of sorts, as all of the players have a history with C9, with Mao being the most well-known ex-player. Mao, Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling, Adrian “FATA-” Trinks and “Johan “pieliedie” Astrom played together in the months after The International 4 nearly three years ago. Briefly after, Arif “MSS” Anwar was in the org’s short-lived post-TI5 squad.
The team banner in Mao’s iteration was well-known for repeatedly placing second in some of the biggest LANs of its time, only winning an online tournament during this time.
Even the CEO of C9 had a quip about the team’s tournament history:
2nd at TI confirmed. pic.twitter.com/rgOoMewv4g— Jack Etienne (@C9Jack) July 21, 2017
Still, both that squad and NP have been able to square up against some of the top teams in the world. After all, second still implies a strong climb through the tournaments, and NP fought their way to TI7 through their regional qualifiers. NP also only lost to Newbee at the Zotac Cup Masters in June, and they came in a solid third place at the Manila Masters a week earlier. Their chances at TI, with this performance, are still looking strong with a reputation as a potential dark horse.
The banner swap is perfectly legal before TI7, as Valve has a policy of allowing such changes as long as the roster of players itself doesn’t change per its “players over orgs” philosophy.
This roster is as follows, in order of farm-priority position:
- Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao
- Adrian “FATA-” Trinks
- Arif “MSS” Anwar
- Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling
- Johan “pieliedie” Astrom