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#4 Player of Year 5: pino

Pino was critical to Ninjas in Pyjamas' efforts this year, making him the first Brazilian player to earn a place on the list.

Pino has long been a star player on Ninjas in Pyjamas, but, in Year 5, earned his place among the world's best.

In his first time on the Top 10 list, he makes it all the way to the fourth spot, on top of his already impressive list of accolades and achievements this year. 

After a miracle run through the lower bracket to the Grand Final of the Six Invitational 2020, pino was the best player in a losing effort against Spacestation Gaming. Nevertheless, he picked himself up and continued his dominant play in the Latin American region as the world went into shutdown.

Through Stage 1 of the BR6 and the following August Major, pino was impressively consistent with exactly a 1.20 rating in both competitions -- good enough to earn EVP honors at the Major as NiP took home first place in Brazil.

Tournament Rating K-D (+/-)
BR6 2020 Stage 1 1.20 168-117 (+51)
August BR Major 1.20 73-47 (+26)
BR6 2020 Stage 2 1.19 155-113 (+42)
November BR Major 0.96 58-63 (-5)
BR6 2020 Finals 1.04 24-21 (+3)
BR6 2021 Stage 1 1.12 86-70 (+16)
Copa Elite Six Stage 1 1.20 67-47 (+20)
Six Invitational 2021 1.15 190-149 (+41)

After a similarly consistent Stage 2, he had his only poor event of the year at the November Major as the Ninjas faltered. 

Afterward, the young star would continue his impressive pace, however, with good performances through the end of the year and into 2021. Upon returning to the Six Invitational, the Ninjas in Pyjamas were determined to take home the title after their heartbreak last year. 

Pino was critical to their efforts, often getting his team out of bad situations with creative plays or simply pure firepower. One play that embodied both traits was awarded the Play of the Year; the 2v5 Ace against regional rivals MIBR during the group stage.

Eventually, NiP would go on to claim the hammer over Team Liquid in a back-and-forth Grand Final, and pino would end the event as the Ninjas' top-performing player and would take home EVP honors for the second time in the year. 

Ninjas in Pyjamas will certainly face challenges in defending their spot at Number 1, but pino will be critical to their efforts to stay at the top!

The above is number four in our Top Players Year 5 series. Click here to view all of the awards, the announcement schedule, and their winners. Check back in each day for new awards to be announced!