“I’ve spent just about the entirety of my twenties competing in video game competitions and at this point in my life…I’m looking for something else that I do not think I can find in my current position,” ppd said.
ppd went on to state he is seeking “personal growth” instead of competition, something that has lowered his hunger and ambition in the game. He went on to thank those who helped him reach the heights he did, as well as his fans and others who believed in him.
The news comes at a surprising time for Dota 2 fans. After a disastrous last-place finish at The International 2019, Ninjas in Pyjamas dropped its entire Dota 2 roster outside of ppd. He built a new team composed of journeymen from multiple regions, but the side struggled to post strong results in competition.
As the season progressed, NiP tinkered with its roster and pulled together a solid international roster. The highlight for the team came in qualifying for the ESL One Los Angeles Major, coming out ahead of opponents like Team Nigma, Team Liquid, and Alliance.
After ESL One Los Angeles lost its major status and was revived as an online league, NiP suffered an early elimination there. While that was certainly disappointing, a large part of that likely stems from the team being forced to use multiple stand-ins due to travel restrictions stemming from the ongoing global situation.
The retirement of ppd is a surprise, but he shelves his mouse and keyboard with a long list of accomplishments to his name.
ppd was a standout player in Heroes of Newerth before switching over to Dota 2. He quickly achieved elite status in the game, joining Evil Geniuses as captain. Playing alongside Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Clinton “Fear” Loomis, he helped establish the team as the clear-cut best in North America with a string of strong placements and as the very best in the world with a win at The International 2015.
He later took on an executive position with Evil Geniuses for a year before returning to action by forming his own team, which was sponsored by OpTic Gaming. After splitting from OpTic, he became the anchor of Ninjas in Pyjamas. Throughout this time, he also earned a reputation for his willingness to call out structural issues within the Dota 2 scene and his ability to manufacture rivalries with other pro players.
Esports retirements are often temporary, and there is little doubt that ppd remains one of Dota 2’s best captains. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he returns, but if he doesn’t, he leaves behind a very strong legacy.