NiP's roster shuffle continues: Gunnar drops out

posted by SmittyW.,
Ninjas in Pyjamas part ways with their carry player Nico 'Gunnar' Lopez. The organisation will hold tryouts shortly to find a replacement. After their early elimination at The International 2019, NiP wanted to have a fresh start into the next DPC season. Of their TI squad, only captain Peter 'ppd' Dager remained with the team to form a new super squad.

This roster shuffle hasn't borne any fruit for ppd and his team-mates as yet. First, they failed to make it through the Chengdu 2019: Europe Qualifier, then they only managed to finish 7th-8th place at ESL One Hamburg 2019. Most recently, they dropped out of the American qualifier for the DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig Major.

Finally, their dreams to qualify for the second Major were crushed at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020, where they didn't even win a single map. Now, NiP have drawn their conclusions and part ways with Gunnar.

NiP come back to Europe

In their statement, NiP thank Gunnar for their commitment. However, the results of the last months have been fairly disappointing. Besides replacing Gunnar, the organisation is determined to move back to Europe. ppd states:

"Moving forward for NiP.Dota2 we will be playing the next qualifier in the European region and will be holding tryouts with potential carry players to replace Gunnar. This might be confusing to our fans but our goals are to improve as a team. Attending minors and placing last is not a recipe for success.

By relocating to Europe we will practice consistently against the best teams in EU & CIS and focus on gradual improvement rather than rushing all of our practice in a 1-week boot camp before a qualifier or LAN."

NiP long-term strategy seems to be to improve in the European region which offers a harder training ground for the new team. As NiP haven't played any Majors, it is going to get increasingly more difficult to qualify for TI10 eventually.

Either they manage to stage an upset at one of the upcoming Majors, or they hope to qualify for a wildcard spot, shortly before TI with their updated roster.

Photo credit: Ninjas in Pyjamas