A solid start in a new region
Following The International 2018, OpTic Gaming decided to release their roster and cease to operate in Dota 2. That left Peter 'ppd' Dager without a side, and in mid-September he announced he had switched regions to join the reborn Ninjas in Pyjamas.
As captain, he brought on board former OpTic team-mate Neta '33' Shapira alongside the recently released Team Secret pair, Marcus 'Ace' Hoelgaard and Adrian 'Fata' Trinks. Completing the line-up was former TI6 runner-up, Martin 'Saksa' Sazdov.
GGWP @teamsecret - We almost got you with All random draft 😏— NiP 🇸🇪 @ #KLMajor 🇲🇾 (@NiPGaming) September 21, 2018
We secure the second seed via The Kuala Lumpur Major EU Qualifier - See you soon Malaysia 🇲🇾
💰 $1,000,000 USD / 15,000DPC
📅 09.11 - 18.11#GONINJAS #DOTA2 pic.twitter.com/G0vRwZmjYI
Qualifiers for the first Major of the season were the first order of business. In a competitive field featuring Secret, Alliance and Team Liquid, among others, they took the second of three slots. They followed that up with a win in the GG.Bet Invitational Season 1, 3rd-4th in the Maincast Autumn Brawl and 9th-10th at ESL One Hamburg 2018.
They’ve shown decent form but will need to do more if they are to be taken seriously this season. The Major provides that perfect opportunity, and in being matched with Secret, paiN Gaming* and J.Storm, ppd and his team will be confident of making it out of the Group Stage.
Very disappointed about not being able to compete at the major. I hope Valve will do their best to ensure that in the future there will be no such restrictions on which countries are allowed to participate in official DPC events.— Neta (@33Dota) November 5, 2018
MinD_ContRoL to the rescue
With Malaysia seemingly refusing to allow Israeli star 33 to travel, NiP were forced to bring in a replacement for the Major. Obviously a blow to team synergy, it also raised the prospect of a 40% reduction in any DPC points won.
Having not been able to resolve the situation, ppd took to social media to state his side of the argument — that it was unfair to receive such a punishment for matters which were out of the team’s control. He was successful, and now the Ninjas will line up with Team Liquid’s Ivan 'MinD_ContRoL' Borislavov, after the Bulgarian's side failed to qualify.
With a TI winner in their midst, can NiP kick on and win the event?
- Marcus 'Ace' Hoelgaard
- Adrian 'Fata' Trinks
- Ivan 'MinD_ContRoL' Borislavov
- Martin 'Saksa' Sazdov
- Peter 'ppd' Dager (captain)
What do you make of NiP’s chances in the Major?
Header image © ESL