After the temporary departure of OpTic Gaming from the Dota 2 scene, the fans didn’t have to wait long for a replacement. Ninjas in Pyjamas have signed the ‘Shangri-La’ stack, led by former OpTic man Peter ‘ppd’ Dager, for their third foray into the game, and their first move in that is not focused purely around a Swedish team.
The news broke over on Joindota, who noticed the change in the registration for the Kuala Lumpur Major, which PPD had originally entered with Shangri-La. At the time of writing, NiP are yet to officially announce the move.
Few orgs can match the Green Wall for history and prestige, but the new name is perhaps even bigger than OpTic in esports terms. NiP are legends in a number of scenes, but in terms of Counter-Strike, the oldest tier-one esport alive today, they were the first gods of CSGO. In the early days of the game, they went 87 games without losing, a record that is still discussed today wherever great first person shooters are appreciated.
NiP Dota 2 team
- Marcus 'Ace' Hoelgaard
- Adrian 'Fata' Trinks
- Neta '33' Shapira
- Martin 'Saksa' Sazdov
- Peter 'ppd' Dager
The lineup will be led by PPD, with former Team Secret men Adrian ‘Fata’ Trinks and Marcus ‘Ace’ Hoelgaard joined by the old OpTic trio of PPD, Neta ‘33’ Shapira and Martin ‘Saska’ Sazdov. There is a good degree of pedigree on this team, with both OpTic and Secret attending TI8, finishing seventh and fifth respectively.
While NiP are a massive name, they have never achieved the same level of success in Dota 2 that they enjoyed with their Swedish CSGO side. However, this is comfortably the most accomplished Dota 2 team ever to wear the NiP jersey, and the org will be hoping PPD and co can make history for them.
From his point of view, PPD is the headline name due to his history in the game, both as a player and a thinker. His win at TI5 was an historic moment, but the fallout from the team changes he made in the wake took something of a toll, as he brought Arteezy in for Aui_2000, only to reverse the change months later when things started to go south.
He spent some time as CEO of Evil Geniuses after that, following the debacle around the Good Game Agency and their acquisition of Alliance and EG, but came back to playing full time in August of 2017. The Dire, his team of freelance killers that were picked up by OpTic, represented the first step on that road, and now with NiP he has a chance to make even more history and cement his place as a Dota 2 legend.