30 Potti Moments

Celebrate the 30th birthday of Potti by taking a look back over 30 moments from the career of the WCG gold medalist and 9 time CPL champion.

September the 18th was the birthday of Tommy “Potti” Ingemarsson and he turned 30 on that day. In celebration of that event take a trip with me back across the career of one of the greatest players, if not the greatest, to ever connect to a Counter-Strike server. WCG gold medalist, 9 time CPL champion, winner of over $341,000 in team career earnings and 2004 ‘Best CS player’ of the Esports Awards. Potti’s accomplishments in NiP and SK still echo to this day.

Tommy “Potti” Ingemarsson 30 (born September 18th, 1980)

1) Around June of 2000 Potti formed clan Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) along with Tootzi. Originally intended to be a LAN clan, featuring members of a previous clan called [OF], this idea went by the wayside and other players were brought in who didn’t LAN with the team. The first generation of NiP featured some names who have had their own varied share of fame across CS history: bullet, MedioN, kuros, kulspruta, cogline, GoZie and notorious.

2) Potti’s NiP quickly became the premiere Counter-Strike team in Europe by climbing to the #1 position on the Swedish and international Clanbase ladders. Victories in the PC Gamers cup, against Hyb’s USEC, and CS League ensured they remained firmly at the top of the pile. To that point in time there had been no major LAN competitions since event organizers like the CPL were still focused on Quake 3, making these online competitions the proving grounds for the early teams.

3) NiP joined up with the EYEballers organization, who had a partnership with the famous clan9 cafe in Sweden, in November of 2000 as their Counter-Strike division. Potti and the team attended their first international LAN event together: CPL Cologne in December. e9’s final placing of 4th did not tell the whole story though. MedioN and cogline, two of the team’s best players, due to being underage to attend the German CPL and so replacements had to be arranged. Then Pk missed his flight and this forced the team to have to use one of EYE’s Quake 3 players, litzer, who had never actually played Counter-Strike before. Even with this gross disadvantage the team only lost to the eventual winners (Z) and runnersup (SoA) and clan member Hyb even suffered a ‘Blue Screen Of Death’ twice in their match against the Finns of Z.

4) Later in December the Potti flew to Dallas for the Babbage’s CPL event. As fate would have it Pk managed to miss his flight again and so Quake 3 player litzer was once more drafted in to fill the 5th spot for e9. This time it didn’t matter though as with MedioN and cogline in the lineup the team ran over the entire event without losing a single match or half. Taking home $5,000 the legend of Potti was well on its way internationally, having been as acknowledged as one of the best Swedish players since very early on. His team were also, for all intents and purposes, the world champions of Counter-Strike.

5) In late January of 2001 e9’s CS division split in half as the elite members of the team became team9 and the others formed a clan called smile. Of crucial significant was the two new members who were added: a young HeatoN from Nostradamus and the Norwegian XeqtR who had beaten e9 with the Danish team SoA at CPL Cologne a month or so earlier. The combination of Potti, HeatoN and XeqtR still stands today as one of the all time great trios in Counter-Strike history, together they were effectively unstoppable and during their peaks all three would have been considered amongst the top 10 individual players in the world if not the top 5. This also marked the beginning of the legendary HeatoN and Potti duo which would eventually rack up an incredible and unmatched 8 CPL titles playing in the same teams.

6) May of 2001 saw Potti head to Amsterdam for CPL Holland with team All-Stars (All) composed of Xeqtr, VicoN, Majestic, Jackieboy and himself. team9 had split up into two teams over internal disputes. MedioN had been kicked and headed to MAFIA along with Hyb. Potti, HeatoN and XeqtR had formed All with the Danes but HeatoN later decided to join MAFIA also. As if to highlight the true power of that previous team9 lineup both of those teams, with MAFIA playing as SoA.se, would meet up in the final of the CPL. SoA.se came out on top and Potti was forced to settle for 2nd as his former team-mates, along SoA.se leader vesslan, celebrated a CPL victory.

7) The underlying message of the CPL Holland final was clear and did not pass by Potti or the other ex-team9 players. They had seen how important each had been to their team’s success and realized what they could accomplish as one lineup again. So it was that Potti, HeatoN, XeqtR, MedioN and Hyb came to reform NiP along with ex-MAFIA player Savage as the manager. The team immediately proved the point in question as they met a rebuilt MAFIA team in the final of Remedy LAN in Stockholm, Sweden. They smashed their rivals and soon the whole CS world was abuzz with talk of what this Swedish superteam could accomplish.

8) The first international event for Potti’s reformed NiP team was CPL London in early August of 2001. The Swedes were totally unbeatable as they crushed the whole event and won the €5,000 for first place beating surprise runnersup armaTeam of France. Also of note was the third place team GameonLine (GoL) who featured an up and coming player called ahl who would later become a key part of Potti’s success.

9) Potti and the ninjas headed for Germany a month later in early September for CPL Berlin. At times trialling Hyb’s younger brother, and GoL player, Souledge as the 6th man Potti and company rolled to back-to-back CPL titles. In the final they defeated the Danes of SoA and collected a heftier €10,000 for their efforts. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who the best team in Europe was and many felt NiP were also the best team in the world.

10) In December Potti and NiP made their way to Dallas for the CPL Winter Event of 2001. There was an astonishing $50,000 for 1st place, still impressive now, and every team with sponsorship was in attendance making it the first truly international Counter-Strike event and the first true world championship by all definitions. To add spice to the proceedings NiP were seeded #1 and came in as Europe’s best team while Xtreme 3 (X3) were seeded #2 and came in as the best American team, having dominated online competitions and won the previous 3 American-based CPL events. Fans were all on the edges of their seats knowing they’d finally get a chance to see these two teams face off, and if neither lost for the title at that. NiP’s lineup had a couple of changes as internal disputes had seen XeqtR cut and ahl of GoL and vesslan of MAFIA brought in to make a 6 man lineup.

In the upper bracket final the two teams met, having expectedly defeated all of their opponents European or American to that point. NiP made the first statement and it was a loud one as Potti and the other ninjas defeated X3 convincingly on de_train, then considered an ‘American map’. Even more impressive was that NiP had only changed to playing with the MaxRounds (MR) ruleset recently as European competition, including the European CPL events, had used the Chargers Only (CO) ruleset until the CPL had announced its $50,000 first place event with MR as the ruleset. X3 on the other hand had played under MR, as had all the other American teams, for a long time in comparison.

11) When X3 won their lower bracket game Potti and the other Swedes would face them again in the final. Being as the event was a double elimination tournament X3 had to win the first map to challenge for the title. The Americans managed to do this in a nail-biting overtime game on nuke, thanks in part to the play of Ksharp. The final map which would decide the CPL champion was again nuke and would again go down to the wire. Potti continue to add to his legend as he dominated the outside area by killing X3’s BigDog, once considered the best American player, over and over with AK headshots. The final round of the game, which ended 13:11, saw Potti defuse the bomb in a clutch situation to win the game and the $50,000 for NiP.

In what is still considered by many to be the greatest game of all time Potti and NiP had cemented themselves as the best team in the world and one of the best teams of all time. This also marked the beginning of the NiP-X3 wars which would carry on throughout CS history as the cores of those teams changed names yet meet again as SK.swe vs. 3D.

12) Even $50,000 and a reunited XeqtR lineup of NiP couldn’t keep Potti’s team together as the months went by and lack of sponsorship and poor management decisions forced the team to split up and look for new homes with the Summer’s tournaments only weeks away. For SK Gaming this was to be a pivotal moment as the team’s Scandinavian lineup, led by bds, took in HeatoN, Potti and XeqtR. Teaming them with xenon from the former SK.sca lineup and DarK from Nordic Division a new side was formed under the SK banner wth plenty to prove.

13) After a disasterous first event at LanArena 7, with high ping on LAN and commentators which could be heard by the players, SK.sca headed to CPL Summer in late June with many questions surrounding them. Those questions were all answered as SK.swe took on and defeated every challenger at the event to win $25,000. Their first test had been the American TSO, led by moto, who had been undefeated in online competition. After going down 3:9 as terrorists on train to the Americans Potti and company came back with an emphatic 10:1 win to take the game.

The vesslan-led mixteam of esports united, featuring ahl, awaited them in the upper bracket final but they were dispatched by a very comfortable 13:2 on inferno. In the first map of the finals SK were initially on their heels after a 1:13 blowout vs. GoL on nuke but as the map was replayed for the title Potti’s guys were the team to come out on top. For all the troubles of changing team and the mishap in France Potti was back on top of the CS world again.

14) Moving to a Swedish only team, in part prompted by the rising importance of competing in the World Cyber Games, SK.sca became SK.swe and a few different players came and went by Potti headed back to Dallas for the CPL Winter Event in December of 2002. This lineup featured brunk, Bengan and a MedioN returning from retirement. With a powerful GoL lineup, led by elemeNt, in attendance and a Team3D which was essentially an allstar lineup of the best North American players Potti would have to settle for not winning an American CPL event he had attended for the first time in his career. Even so his SK.swe managed to finish 3rd and take home $12,500. They also defeated a team9 side featuring ahl, fisker and SpawN.

15) One quality which always defined the Potti-HeatoN duo was an inability to accept losing. The burning desire to win always drove them to cut players who showed any weakness and recruit the right people to bring back success. Following that 3rd at CPL Winter SK.swe brought in ahl and fisker from team9. Many quickly predicted SK.swe would be the best team in the world again with these changes, especially with GoL having fallen apart after the CPL. The first event for the new SK.swe seemed to prove everyone right as Potti and the gang stormed to a victory at CPL Cannes worth €5,000, defeating vesslan’s [9].esu 13:2 in the final on nuke.

16) Clikarena in April of 2003 was supposed to be a new major event on the CS horizon, with enough prize money promised that it even lured CPL champions 3D over the Atlantic. SK.swe would be forced to settle for 3rd place after losing to eoLithic in overtime on train. 3rd place at the event, which was terribly run resulting in all of the main matches being played in the space of one day, supposedly paid €5,000 but the organizers never paid out. This event did, however, see the matchup of the new SK.swe vs. 3D though and it was SK.swe who would come out on top.

17) Potti led SK.swe to their first Swedish Esports League (SEL) title in their first attempt during the third season. Defeating rivals [9].esu as well as Hyper’s HLO earned SK 25,000 SEK which comes to ~€2,713. A few months later, admittedly with a different lineup, SK.swe would make it back-to-back SEL titles as they won season 4, beating EYE 16:12 on inferno to win 40,000 SEK or ~€4,342.

18) On June 14th 2003 Potti would get a new addition to his team as elemeNt joined from eoL, setting in place an anchor piece of what would become one of the most successful teams of all time. This finally seemed to be the missing piece for SK.swe both in adding the best strat caller in the world and helping to break up an eoLithic team who had been a thorn in SK’s sides. Their first event together would not yield on the promise that lineup held forth though. The first ever ESWC in July of 2003 led to the firstly truly memorable upset Potti faced at a major international event. The explosive North American team zEx defeated them on train with elemeNt sitting out the map due to it being one he hadn’t practiced with the team yet. With ESWC being single elimination this put SK.swe out in 3rd. They won $15,000 but were far from satisfied with the result.

19) Following the same script as the year before Potti’s SK team went to CPL Summer in late July coming off a disappointing result at a French event, two in particular case, and needing to reassert their dominance over the CS world and prove themselves the #1 team. With elemeNt fully integrated and in position to lead the team Potti’s men stormed the event and began what was to become one of the greatest runs in CS history. Winning the event secured Potti and the others a record breaking $60,000 and saw them beating their rivals in 3D and team9 on their way to the title. SK.swe were the undisputed best team in the world, a description which would hold true for the rest of 2003.

20) After winning the first WCG qualifier he had ever played in Potti was off to Seoul, South Korea, for the 2003 WCG in the middle of October. The team not only won the gold medal but put on one of the most dominating performances ever seen. Going through the entire tournament, including the Bo3 section, without losing a map SK.swe only let their opponents get within 6 rounds of them once and that came on the final map of the gold medal game against 3D. Down 2:10 after their terrorist side on train Potti and SK.swe came back to win 11:1 and win the finals two maps to none. First place meant not only a WCG medal for Potti’s resume but also $40,000 for his team. They also remain the only Swedish Counter-Strike team to ever win gold medals at the WCG. The SK.swe lineup also featured a stand-in, for the Norwegian elemeNt, called SpawN.

21) In the middle of November SK.swe, with stand-in SpawN again in tow due to elemeNt being too busy studying to practice, attended CPL Copenhage in Denmark. Potti’s team added their third CPL title so far that year and €5,000 to their prize winnings with victories over Gamepoint.AMD (formerly known as EYE) in the upper bracket final and grand final.

22) SK.swe headed into CPL Winter 2003 as the overwhelming favourites for the title and they would not disappoint their fanbase. Despite some of the team falling ill, causing SpawN to be flow in to play in a six man rotation, Potti and the rest of SK.swe were more than up to the task of showing themselves to be the best team in the world. Defeating NoA twice and not dropping a map they took home the CPL title and $30,000. This capped to that point, and perhaps still, the most impressive run in the history of Counter-Strike. From CPL Summer, when elemeNt had been properly worked into the team, onwards SK.swe had not lost a single tournament or map. Potti’s team were a perfect 47-0 in maps won/lost. They had also earned the most money of any team in a single year with €133,209 or $173,771, a record which held until 2009 when fnatic broke it.

23) With elemeNt having departed the lineup for NoA SK.swe was back to being entirely Swedish and Potti’s gang went into CPL Summer 2004 in late July expecting to once more climb back to the top of the heap after a disappointing ESWC. They would not accomplish that feat, placing 2nd after losing to Hyper’s EYEballers twice. That earned SK $21,000. This would be the highest Potti would ever place again at a CPL. SK.swe would add key EYE player Hyper to their lineup soon after.

A high point on that CPL run had been Potti winning the CT pistol round of the 2nd half of the third overtime in a triple overtime match against rival on mill. Potti had been facing a 1v1 with medias, who had killed two of his team-mates just before, and despite only having 1 hp the Swedish legend came through in the clutch with his USP to get the kill and defuse.

24) In late August Potti won the ‘Best CS player’ category of the first ever Esports Awards. While his teams would win none of the majors that year the community recognized that Potti had been ‘the man’ for the three years prior, consistently dominating the Counter-Strike world.

25) After a quiet end to 2004 which had seen losses at the WCG and Potti inactive for the team’s win at Nollelva disputes over resigning contracts with SK, which had kept the team from attending CPL Winter 2004, led to Potti and the other SK.swe players leaving to reform NiP on the 1st of January 2005. Adding former EYE player vilden to the roster of Potti, Hyper, HeatoN, SpawN, ahl and fisker the entire CS world shivered as it imagined the destruction this lineup would wreak.

26) NiP’s first event was somewhat underwhelming as Potti and the team placed 3rd at CPL Barcelona in Spain on the 1st of May 2005 for $3,000. A surprise upset at the hands of homegrown team X6tence and then an ever improving coL team denied the Swedes a top spot. This also marked the first CPL Europe event Potti had attended but not won since his first, CPL Cologne.

27) Potti returned to activity after NiP’s lineup was changed with most of the team returning to SK. The new look NiP featured less well known players, zet and ins, and had to build its way back up again. A win at GameGune in July for €10,000 had been nice for the bank but not featured elite competition. Placing 2nd at CPL UK was more impressive as Potti and company placed ahead of their rivals, and former team-mates, in SK.swe and took home $3,500.

28) In late September of 2005 Potti attended his first WEG event in South Korea, placing 4th and winning $5,000. Those events had a unique setup where players lived in Korea for around a month playing each set of games on a different day. Losses in Bo3 series to solo’s Project_kr and REAL’s team9 prevented NiP from breaking the top 3.

29) The CPL Winter in December of 2005 was one of the most stacked events to that point in time and changing to the NiP name had meant losing out on a higher seed. The major consequence of that was that Potti and NiP met their rivals SK.swe in only the third round of the upper bracket, on the highly disliked cbble map no less. SK came out with the win in the matchup many expected may end up being replayed in the final. In fact NiP’s run through the lower bracket would be halted earlier than expected when they face the streaking underdog team JMC who defeated them on dust2 in a major upset. Out in 4th NiP won $5,400.

Little did we know it at the time but that would be Potti’s final tournament as a professional gamer. Those events summed up that 2005 NiP lineup: skilled but unable to find the right chemistry in the big games. All of its members have star-studded resumes now but even if they were the right players they were perhaps together at the wrong time. Despite finishing 4th zet had managed to top the stats sheets at CPL which hinted at the new direction the team was to head in and who its focal point would be.

30) On the 6th of March 2006 Potti officially went inactive from NiP and professional gaming. At the time everyone was assured it was temporary and that he would be back sooner or later. In fact we can now see that this was essentially Potti’s retirement from professional competition. RobbaN was the man brought in to replace him and NiP quickly adapted to the new lineup and began what would end up as a very successful year, winning $105,000 and five events. When RobbaN was made a permanent player in August at the same time as SpawN was brought in to stand-in for HeatoN it became clear Potti would not return to the game.

Potti retired as one of the most successful, respected and skilled players to ever play professional Counter-Strike. His last two years may have lacked event victories but his first three and a half years can be favourably put up against anyone’s resume in the history of esports. Potti won 9 CPL titles, won a WCG gold medal, finished in the top 4 at all 16 CPL events he attended, won over $341,000/€261,382 in team career earnings and won the 2004 Esports Award for ‘Best CS player’. He was also a pivotal part of two of the best CS teams ever: NiP and SK.swe.