Steven R. September 20, 2019
Ninjas in Pyjamas is sticking around in Dota 2 for the 2018-2019 season, but they’re performing a reboot of their roster.
Peter “ppd” Dager will remain under contract with the organization and will captain the new team comprised of Oliver "Skiter" Lepko, Nico "Gunnar" Lopez, Saahil "UNiVeRsE" Arora, and Malthe "Biver" Winther. The reveal was made on the organization’s official website.
“One year ago, our organization re-entered DotA 2 with three goals; win a trophy, qualify for The International, and establish ourselves as a team to be reckoned with in the Dota 2 scene. Looking back, all of these goals were achieved and with that accomplishment in mind we have set the goals even higher for the coming year,” NiP said in a statement. “To reach them we cannot be afraid of change.”
In addition to the new roster, NiP confirmed the departures of the other four players that competed with the team in the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season.
NiP roster for new Dota 2 season takes surprising turn
Ninjas in Pyjamas had a solid 2018-2019 season that was soured by a poor performance at The International 2019. Following the disbandment of OpTic Gaming, ppd pulled together a new team that included former Team Secret players Adrian "Fata" Trinks and Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard, as well as The International finalist Martin "Saksa" Sazdov.
Despite competing in a tightly contested European scene, NiP managed to win two minors and compete at four majors during the season. This set them up as one of the early qualifiers for The International 2019.
Unfortunately, the team underperformed at the event. NiP amassed a 3-13 group stage record which resulted in a last-place finish.
The new roster is something of a surprise, boasting considerably less star power and proven success than the previous one.
Gunnar became a sympathetic figure last season after he was cut from Team Team during ESL One Mumbai, but remains unproven at the elite level. Biver and Skiter are more experienced by comparison but both have largely spent their years as journeyman.
The biggest name on the team is UNiVeRsE, but he joins following a poor 2018-2019 season that saw him struggle alongside Forward Gaming before being cut in March and staying underground for the rest of the year.
The team will have the chance to prove itself before long. Bootcamp begins on September 27 and the qualifier for the first major and minor of the season begins on October 5.