So far, the BLAST.tv Paris Major has delivered gripping storylines from underdogs going above and beyond and surprising everyone with their qualifications to the Champions Stage.
Apeks is one of the teams who’ve looked strong through the entire event — all the way from the Challengers Stage.
Their qualification match against Ninjas in Pyjamas was the perfect opportunity for Tim "nawwk" Jonasson to taste a little bit of vengeance. Sending a message to the Swedish organization after the drama around sticker money and benching him; arguably for a better player (at least in their eyes before that entire plan went from bad to worse over the past few months.)
Nawwk took no time in sharing his feelings after their qualification stating on Twitter: “Karma sure does exist”. What does that mean? And what happened between the organization and the player? We take a closer look at the history and the beef between NiP and nawwk.
NiP and nawwk
The first partnership between nawwk and NiP was all the way back in 2020 when Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg parted ways with the team he’d been part of for over seven years. F0rest dominated with NiP back in the early days of Counter-Strike. These were undoubtedly big shoes to fill; and a few months after joining the Swedish lineup nawwk was put on medical leave, showing signs of exhaustion and sparking concerns within the team. He returned after a month break, where he focused on himself more.
The drama between nawwk and NiP sparked after he was initially benched and replaced by dev1ce, which would be a tough punch for any player. Nawwk even joked about it back in a reply to a 2021 tweet from Mauisnake.
Ironically enough, it was one of the worst periods in dev1ce’s career and his addition led to nothing but disappointments. After barely achieving any notable results his tenure with NiP ended in him taking a long break due to health issues, before making his return to Astralis.
Nawwk went on to join Apeks, an organization who were looking to revamp their roster, signing two veterans with large experience; jkaem and STYKO.
Up until the BLAST.tv Paris Major, the team hadn’t found much success, barely managing to keep their feet on the ground. However, even though the victory might be late, they certainly hit it big — not only qualifying to the Major, but going all the way to the Champions Stage.
To rub salt into the wound for NiP, Apeks and nawwk faced them in the last qualification series of the Legends Stage, where they won with a little margin to spare. Proving for nawwk at least, karma will get you, no matter how long it might take.
ESL Rio 2020 sticker money
ESL Rio 2020 was supposed to be Brazil’s first Major; but thanks to the pandemic and lockdowns the event never took place. Even though teams never set foot on stage, Valve still released sticker capsules for the Major. As commonly known, players are supposed to get a percentage of the sales. However, NiP players were allegedly never paid their share, or at least this was the case for nawwk. According to a Dexerto report, he was looking to pursue legal actions against the organization.
Despite the Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association’s intervention, NiP executives didn’t bat an eye at the situation, believing the stickers money was used to survive the pandemic and keep paying salaries, without any cuts, in spite of the complete lack of sponsorships and exposure.
To compound the problem, according to the report, all the other teams besides NiP allegedly paid their players. If the reports are accurate it’s a shame for an organization who takes pride in being one of the oldest in the scene.
The CSPPA’s investigation confirmed teams paying players their shares of stickers, and there hasn’t been any public statements from NiP or nawwk to date, but speculations lean towards NiP not paying nawwk, especially after comments from his teammates after their qualification to the Champions Stage.
Right now, nawwk has come out on top in this situation, achieving what is no doubt a dream for the Swedish organization and their current roster. And if reports are true, he’ll be getting paid his share of sticker money.
The first series of the Champions Stage will be Apeks vs Team Liquid so be sure to tune in on Twitch and don’t miss out on what’s sure to be an electrifying match.