Alright, before you bite my head off with "at least NiP used to be good" - Tottenham Hotspur won the First Division in 1950. Much like NiP won a Major in 1980 or whatever.
You know how every time you're convinced Spurs are good, they let you down in the most hilarious-yet-desperately-sad way possible? How every time it looks like they have a chance at winning something, they pathetically limp out of contention?
You know how you just never bet on Spurs because they'll always let you down?
See where I'm going with this?
Lads, it's NiP
No matter how well NiP are playing, you're just never scared of them. At the end of the day, no matter how good NiP are, they're still NiP. They'll still fail heroically, limp out in the quarters, be the best man but never the groom.
They got dunked on by huNter- in front of their home crowd after buying one of the most decorated players in CSGO history. They are the butt of the joke, and have been for a long, long time. They'll probably turn down a 10m bid from someone for device next, before he doesn't get a kill for a whole month.
Gary Neville: “What was your favourite away ground?"— EPL Bible (@EPLBible) November 28, 2021
Frank Lampard: "Tottenham. We used to beat them a lot."
Gary Neville: "Yeah we all did"
Frank Lampard: "Chelsea had a thing where we used to call it three points lane."
Savage from Frank Lampard 💀😂 pic.twitter.com/RYlRI7uCJS
Being an NiP fan must be torturous - it's been years and years of false dawns, of 'magic' moments followed by troughs, of genius followed by madness. Even this year, with the crazy signing of device - just to pair him with an academy player - and the false hope that's brought.
When Leicester won the Premier League, it was one of the biggest sporting upsets of all time. Absolutely nobody saw it coming; a fairytale story. A concoction of perfect timing, great recruitment, a couple of slices of luck and all of the big teams stumbling led them to the title.
One side note, though.
"Lads, it's Tottenham."
How did Spurs not win it?
Spurs at the time were seen as a top 6-ish team, and should all five teams above them befall a great tragedy, they were next in line to the throne. But when their time came, they froze. They even ended up finishing third, a hilarious fate for a team in a two-horse race. With a (perceived) relegation contender.
Now, guess who's not at IEM Winter?
Should NiP fail to win it, it would be another failure. Left in the tournament is G2, - a dead team - Vitality - also a dead team - and Virtus.pro, who are not Leicester, but they're also not favourites to win any tournament they're in, usually. When the pressure is on, Spurs fail, and when it is off, they surprise, and NiP are no different. The pressure is all on them to convert this semi-final appearance into a win.
How can it be perceived differently? This team has to win this event; no ifs, no buts.
Unless, of course, you're just the Tottenham Hotspur of Counter-Strike.