In what’s probably one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 fall shuffle, Shangri-La, a player stack spearheaded by North American stalwart and TI5 champion Peter ‘ppd‘ Dager, will now be playing as the new NiP Dota 2 roster going forward.
ppd is easily one of the most successful Dota 2 captains in the history of the game. Many credit him as one of the key factors in helping turn the North American scene in Dota 2 from an afterthought into a legitimate powerhouse. A testament to this is how he helped Evil Geniuses claim third-place in his very first TI back in TI4. He then went on to lead Evil Geniuses to claim the Aegis of Champions in their return at TI5.
To date, he has captained every formal Dota 2 team he has played in to a berth at a TI. This includes last year’s OpTic Gaming squad, who threatened to make a deep run but ultimately went home with a respectable Top 8 finish — his lowest placement at a TI yet.
For the first time since his tenure with the Super Strong Dinosaurs stack back in 2013, ppd will now play in a European squad as the captain of the latest NiP Dota 2 roster.
Joining ppd in the new NiP Dota 2 roster are former OpTic Gaming teammates Neta ‘33‘ Shapira (offlane) and Martin ‘Saksa‘ Sazdov (support) — Saksa played as a stand-in for OpTic Gaming for a short while. Finally, making up the cores of the team are the Team Secret duo, Adrian ‘Fata‘ Trinks, who will now go back to the mid lane after playing in the offlane for Team Secret all of last season, and Marcus ‘Ace‘ Hoelgaard.
The Most Successful NiP Dota 2 Roster Yet
A storied franchise with teams in various esports title, the Swedish organization, Ninjas in Pyjamas, have never really had that much success in Dota 2.
They first ventured into the scene back in 2015 by picking up a full Swedish stack led by Adrian ‘Era‘ Kryeziu. However, after lackluster results, the organization dropped the team and skipped the entire 2016 season before picking up yet another stack with Era in it, although this time, it was no longer a full swedish lineup. But, once again, the NiP Dota 2 roster failed to live up to expectations.
All in all, the most success the previous NiP Dota 2 roster has had was a third-place finish at DreamLeague Season 3 back in 2015.
That’s probably going to change soon now that ppd is leading the charge.
With every Dota 2 team now required to participate in the qualifiers to clinch their berth at any Dota Pro Circuit event, playing in the European Qualifiers is akin to a fool’s gambit.
First off, you already have three powerhouses to worry about. There’s the all-new Team Secret lineup, who arguably walked out of the 2018 fall shuffle as a better team than the one that claimed Top 6 at TI8; the former TI7 champions, Team Liquid, who are now just a few months away from becoming the most successful five-man lineup in Dota 2 of all time; the defending champions, OG, who will, no doubt, look to establish their dominance once they come return from their extended vacation.
That’s already one too many teams who are basically shoo-ins to qualify for any Major, let alone a Minor. But, of course, we shouldn’t count the NiP Dota 2 roster just yet.
While relatively new, the sheer talent and potential — just imagine all the cheese strat possibilities with both 33 and Ace on the lineup — of the new NiP Dota 2 roster just can’t be understimated. And, given ppd’s track record, there’s very little reason for us to start doubting his ability to turn any team he leads into legitimate contenders.
What do you think of the new NiP Dota 2 roster? Do you think it has what it takes to take on the likes of OG and Team Liquid? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.