One of CS:GO’s most knowledgeable coaches seeks to reignite a lost spark of hope and success.
Thumbnail source: Dignitas Twitter
At the exact minute that Copenhagen Flames announced their separation from the Swedish-Bosnian coach, Dignitas tweeted out their welcoming back of Faruk “pita” Pita as their head coach; he replaces vENdetta who remains a free agent coach but is also open to talent and broadcasting offers. This is how he got here.
Pita is one of the longest running active members of the Counter-Strike community, having made his debut back in 2009 in the original version of the game as a player for a former Swedish-Finnish team that is no longer running called Playzone. Across his still growing 15 year career, he has seen himself join a new team on as many as 22 occasions. Hence, a lot of his time on any team was a short stint lasting only several months.
While on Playzone, he was also a member of Volt Gaming, a former Swedish-Danish team that hosted several Counter-Strike legends before their rise and fame, most notably Björn “THREAT” Pers and Finn “karrigan” Andersen (it is not known how he was on two teams simultaneously). He then went on to join three more teams in the remaining 14 month stint until the end of 2010 before signing with fnatic on December 10th of 2010, his first big name org. There, he played for 2 years until he was left out of the starting team after the mid-2011 roster rebuild. Although replacing a member around a month later and being allowed back on the starting team, he had lost motivation for gaming as a while and announced his retirement; in his since taken down farewell statement that was published on FNATIC’s website, Pita cautioned that he’s an impulsive person and could but still, he did not know if he would ever return to the “Esports business.”
And so he was gone, but several months after Global Offensive’s release, he made a surprise return when he joined Team X, a Swedish orgless team looking to make a rise alongside the FNATIC and Ninjas In Pyjamas powerhouses with talent soon to be discovered such as Markus “pronax” Wallsten but unfortunately could not make it far.
They managed to get signed by Absolute Legends, a now disbanded Belgian organization, but only a month and a half later after being picked up, pita left the team due to “internal problems that refused to be involved in.” He joined a couple more teams until being a part of his second big name org, this time SK Gaming. He was at that org for only 4 months until being signed to Team Property, but ended up finding his time there even more short-lived as he made his return SK Gaming for one last time, this time for a two-month stint until the organization announced its release of the entire team as they sought to venture into a Danish team for the 2015-2016 years. At this point, pita was a well-known player in the scene and his talent was acknowledged. In August of 2014, he began his coaching career at Ninjas In Pyjamas , who at that point were still very much in the talks of being amongst the best teams in the world. There, he saw his first big successes in his career; in the four S- and A-tier tournaments he coached at, the team won two and was runner-up in the other two; Pita won his first (and currently only) Major at ESL One Cologne: 2014. The team was already in decline, though. After multiple consecutive second place finishes and never finding themselves at the top step of the podium, the team announced that pita would be replaced by another coach on April 27th of 2015 alongside many of the roster changes that took place in the process.
Pita was off the radar again for some time, but later that year in December he took a gamble on Counter Logic Gaming after a month-long coaching trial period. The organization and results were very inconsistent; constant changes to the team would occur and by July 14th, no one on the original roster remained (pita included). From there, he moved on founding a team alongside his former teammate Mikail “Maikelele” Bill called qwerty, another fully Swedish team but unfortunately at that point in time, the Swedish dominance had left Counter-Strike as many new country’s scenes were taking its spot, most notably the Brazilian and Danish. Another short-lived name to play under, the team announced its disband only 3 months after its initiation and every player went their own way. However, then-known as Team Dignitas kept the pair of Maikelele and pita together, signing them to a reuniting FaZe Clan trio. Only three months later, though, the duo were benched for tenzki and cromen and with Team Dignitas picking up a coach, there was no spot left for pita.
Away for several months again, pita returned to NiP as a coach for what became his first real long stint with a big name org. In 2018, the org finished mostly at 5-6th or lower and consistently placed lower than expected. Their only first place finish was at the Europe Minor Championship at London where they took down now disbanded Optic Gaming 2-0. Their only other notable finishes were: 2nd at ESL Pro League S7, 3rd at Blast Pro Series: Istanbul, and 2nd at Blast Pro Series: Copenhagen.
In 2019, their results were dampening even further, their only win was at ECS S7 - Europe. Their poor Copenhagen luck returned as they finished the 2019 Blast Pro Series there in the runner up position for two years in a row. Additionally, they finished in 3rd at the Blast Pro Series Global Final after being dismantled by prime Team Liquid and North American Counter-Strike 0-2; they even lost the show match to FaZe at 0-5.
THREAT, the same coach he replaced 2 years prior at NiP, replaced him at the beginning of 2020. It was not a coach’s issue however as NiP saw themselves at even worse results than under pita’s coaching, and only found success again in 2021 especially after signing Danish star Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz.
From then, it was a half-year period until he joined his new team Copenhagen Flames. There, he spent a common short 3 month period but perhaps his most successful time as a coach (and analyst, as he was doing mostly background work) as he managed to lead the team to qualify to the PGL Stockholm Major and nearly take down home crowd favorites Ninjas In Pyjamas in the quarter-finals of the tournament. It was a massively impressive run especially after finishing undefeated in their Regional Major Rankings (RMR) tournament group and consequently, it gave the upcoming Danish squad a lot of attention.
They have since lost form but Dignitas were up for giving Pita a second shot after nearly four and a half years since his departure as a player from the American org. He looks to bring back the team to their lost success that they once had.
With that, Dignitas CS:GO is:
Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg
Adam “friberg” Friberg
Jonas “Lekr0” Olofsson
Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli
Ludvig “HEAP” Alonso
Faruk “pita” Pita (Coach)
The average age is 27 years old.
As with many others, there also was controversy around pita. Besides an unrelated charity scandal, pita was involved in the infamous coach spectator bug that saw 37+ coaches being banned for different periods ranging from several months to several years. As for pita, he was given a 10 month ban that was later reduced to half that time (to 5.5 months) and an additional ban for the next 3 Valve Majors.
Despite being banned from the Major, pita was able to help in the background and did analyst work for Copenhagen Flames.
Nicodooz, CPH Flames’ AWPer commented on pita as a coach in an interview with HLTV, stating: “For me, pita has helped me a lot with a lot of small and simple stuff that I’ve been messing up and even small aspects of the game that I’ve never really thought about.”
Pita brought his LAN experience to the table for the Flames, which is believed to be a big part of their success at the Major despite the coach not being directly there with the team.
Notable Career Moments
There are several moments in pita’s career that help him stand out as a coach. Like most, he started off as a player; However, exclusively to pita, he was a part of a massively successful team.
1. Pita was part of the iconic and likely never to be broken 87 win streak record by Ninjas In Pyjamas in 2012-2013 alongside Counter-Strike legends Fifflaren, friberg, Xizt, GeT_RiGhT, and f0rest.
2. Pita coached Ninjas In Pyjamas to a 2014 ESL One Cologne Major win and $100,000 prize money.
3. Pita coached Copenhagen Flames to a Major quarter-final following an undefeated run in the IEM Fall RMR, and to the team’s peak world ranking at 9th.
4. Pita has 21 podium finishes (as a coach) in S- and A-tier tournaments, with 5 being 1st place.
Overall, pita should be able to bring at least some success to the aging Dignitas squad. A successful player and coach, pita’s career is nowhere near over as he ideally seeks another Major win.
Opportunities appear in your face as they did with pita’s first Major win. He was 24, living with his parents, and pressured into making a financial choice: while he still had it in him to compete at the top level, he did not think the Esports world was sustaining enough to support him despite several top place finishes and results. “I had to have something that I could make a future out of, or at least live by,” he said. Luckily, that wasn’t the economics degree he was chasing, but instead the greatness of his career that we are all able to witness first hand because of the correct career decision he made.