Ninjas in Pyjamas is one of the oldest and most popular brands in all of esports, thanks in large part to its enduring success in Counter-Strike. NiP has also tried to establish itself in Valve’s other major multiplayer title, Dota 2, on multiple occasions. The results have been mixed.
The organization first entered Dota 2 in 2015 with an all-Swedish roster helmed by former Fnatic player Adrian "Era" Kryeziu. The team was generally successful throughout the year, but suffered from consistency issues during the busy season. The team won joinDOTA MLG Pro League Season 2 at the expense of teams such as Alliance and Evil Geniuses and performed well in various other leagues, which was offset by an inability to qualify for larger live events.
That proved to be the undoing for the original Ninjas in Pyjamas Dota 2 roster. The team didn’t receive a direct invitation to The International 2015 and failed to make it through qualifiers. This was followed by similar stumbles with the 2015 Frankfurt Major, ESL One New York, and MLG World Finals.
That string of defeats saw NiP’s roster dissolve, with many of its players leaving to join the new CompLexity Gaming roster. That kept Ninjas in Pyjamas out of Dota 2 in 2016, but the team returned in early 2017 with another team led by Era.
Though the all-Swedish NiP of 2015 posted some notable wins, the 2017 version of the team that included various journeymen like Troels Lyngholt "syndereN" Nielsen and Max "qojqva" Bröcker struggled throughout the year. The second iteration of NiP failed to qualify for a single big event, which led to the team disbanding just five months after forming.
NiP took another year off from Dota 2, but came back in 2018 by signing a new international team led by former Evil Geniuses captain Peter “ppd” Dager.
The team competed in Europe during the 2018-2019 Dota Pro Circuit season. Though it never posted especially strong results in majors, the team won two minors and was one of the first teams to qualify for The International 2019. This stood as a huge milestone for Ninjas in Pyjamas, given how the previous versions of the team had struggled around the biggest event on the Dota 2 calendar.
Unfortunately, TI9 proved to be a disaster for NiP as the team was the first to be eliminated from the event. This led to most of the roster being dissolved. The only person that stuck with the team was ppd, who formed another international squad for the organization.
ppd reunited with former Evil Geniuses teammate Saahil "Universe" Arora on the team and brought in a number of other veteran players. The team performed poorly, which led to numerous roster shakeups. The team eventually settled on a diverse roster that included players from four different regions, which paid off in the form of a successful qualification for the ESL One Los Angeles Major.
Things went awry in a hurry for NiP however, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced numerous event cancellations. The team was forced to compete in online leagues with numerous substitutes, which resulted in the release of Universe from the roster. Shortly thereafter, ppd announced his retirement from Dota 2 which led to the release and disbandment of the team. NiP had another team lined up however, signing the roster of Chicken Fighters which was led by former Natus Vincere captain Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butaev and also included Era.