Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi is a support player for Ninjas in Pyjamas and has been a core part of the team for nearly a year, however nearly a quarter of his time on NiP was spent on the sidelines due to a carpal tunnel injury. pyth was off the lineup from August until November, where he and the rest of NiP later won IEM Season XI Oakland over SK Gaming.
pyth took the time to talk to theScore esports about getting back into form and what he's been up to during his downtime.
Let’s start with IEM Oakland. Going into the event, did you guys feel the event was a write-off, considering it was your first event after your hiatus?
We knew it was going to be hard because it was a lot of good teams there, we started rusty but played much better in the playoffs.
What were your nerves like during the event? Was your injury something that was in the back of your mind?
I was just there to play CS with my team. It was kinda stressful in the start of the match against FaZe on Nuke but other then that I didn't feel anything.
A Reddit user brought to light GeT_RiGhT’s ulcerative colitis in a Reddit post and noted that it was quite apparent during Oakland. Though GTR has talked about it publicly before, I don’t think many people were aware that he has it.
How often does it affect his performance? Has he talked with the team, regarding how the condition could affect his esports career in the long-term?
You'd have to ask him about that. I don't know how much it does affect him individually but he's not trying to express it very much for us.
All I know is that he has been talking to a doctor and the NiP management about it, so I'm pretty sure they have a good plan for the long-term.
You guys eventually won IEM Oakland over SK Gaming. During the map veto of the Grand Finals, SK notably first-banned Nuke, which allowed you guys to have Cobble as the final map.
Do you believe Nuke is one of NiP’s best trump cards? Also, why didn’t you guys ban Train, since it was one of SK's best maps?
I think we are one of the best teams on Nuke, we just have to be better at playing against different playstyles and practice it more.
We didn't ban Train because we are worse on Mirage, I believe we actually would have a good chance on Train against them but we lost some really important rounds.
Our Train used to be really good before my injury and we are working on it to become better. So you should expect Train to be one of our best maps in the future.
Let’s go back to your hiatus. You were benched for about four months, longer than both Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer and Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács after their injuries.
How much were you able to practice CS:GO in that time? Were you concerned that your gameplay would deteriorate?
Just 1-2 hours a day really, trying to take it really easy and not sitting down at the PC for so long.
Not because I know I'm really talented, but I don't need to play a lot of Counter-Strike to be good at it. Of course, you are never going to be consistent if you don't play much CS, but it didn't affect me that much because I have more of a supportive-consistent role in the team.
In an interview with NiP’s founder Emil "HeatoN" Christensen and sponsor Betway, he spoke at length about injuries in esports. He also mentioned that, nowadays, after olofmeister and GuardiaN’s injuries came to light, players are more open to admitting their injuries. Whereas before, players were maybe a little scared of making injuries known or were perhaps scared of admitting that they may have an injury and preferred to hide it.
How did you deal with the situation? Do you believe these high-profile injuries were important for the scene?
I said how it was with my team, that I couldn't play anymore, that I had to fix this if I were going to play full-time CS with them. I wasn't fit to practice six or seven hours a day.
Yeah I believe they are important, but I would do the same even if they didn't come to light.
Just to clarify, your arm injury is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome, correct? How does that factor into your long-term career in esports? Have you thought about your career beyond being a player?
Yeah, me and the doctors were pretty sure it was carpal tunnel and something else, but the carpal tunnel disappeared after using wrist rests and taking it easy.
I have to be careful in the future and just take good care of myself. When I quit or take a break as a player I will definitely work within esports because it's what I love.
Was it ever a concern that you’d be replaced, such as after the team’s victory at SL i-League Season 2?
No it wasn't, I was more like "laughing" at people who messaged me and talked shit. The hate just really gave me more motivation and hunger.
How pro-active were you during your downtime? Were you analyzing demos and coming up with strategies, or were you concentrating on relaxing and nursing your injury?
I was taking it easy and not trying to think too much about CS, but I was also watching every tournament, so I saw a lot of good stuff and got a lot of ideas from just watching.
What were some of the non-CS:GO related things you did to pass the time during your break?
Other games, movies, TV, hanging with friends, playing some Pokémon GO haha, just trying to take it easy. Took small walks almost every day for at least one hour.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
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