Ninjas in Pyjamas Closes Dota 2 Division

Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) has announced that it has closed its Dota 2 division. Over the years, the organization has found it difficult to achieve international success, and this will be the third time that the team is leaving the Dota 2 scene completely. The Sweedish organization made the announcement through its Twitter page. It reads, “It is just a chapter. We are not giving up, we are not uninstalling, and we are not going low prio. Thank you all.”

The announcement was followed by a link to post on their official website. The purpose of that was to fully outline the reasons for their decision. Jonas Gunderson, the COO of Ninjas in Pyjamas explains that it is costlier now to operate, while revenues are not pouring in.

His statement reads, “This year has taken a massive toll on what was already an unstable ecosystem. With the indefinite postponement of the DPC and The International, we find ourselves on an increasingly unclear path to financial stability within the game. We are seeing a high concentration of talent in the EU region, meaning that the cost of keeping up is markedly higher while revenue is dwindling. Ninjas in Pyjamas is one of the most iconic teams in the world – competing for the biggest trophies is a core part of our DNA, and the road to that through the EU is simply not viable at this point. Because of that, we have decided to shut down our Dota2 department in its current format and rethink our strategy and regional presence completely.”

The organization went into the 2020 season with high hopes as they had had a roster that included T1 winners Saahil “Universe” Arora and Peter “ppd” Dager. The limitations caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the combination of poor results in 2020 ultimately led to the retirement of both superstars, while others in the team were released shortly after. A new lineup was introduced, called the Chicken Fighters.

The organization picked up the team after they placed fourth at ESL One Los Angeles 2020 and gained some popularity in the European scene. The team was captained by Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev.

The new roster had a terrible spell, placing 5-6th at WePlay!, Pushka League, and OGA Dota PIT before we saw an improvement. The improvement came after SoNNeiko left in July and was replaced by Mikhail “Misha” Agatov. Ninjas in Pyjamas went ahead to finish fourth at OMEGA League’s Divine Division, also finishing third at BTS Pro Series Season 3 and Dota Summit 13.

Uncertain Future

Currently, the roster is actively participating in the EPIC League Division 2 with a 5W-4L record. There is a chance that they will reach the playoffs. It is worth noting that the departure of Ninjas in Pyjamas from Dota 2 will not adversely affect the roster in their current position. League organizer – EPICENTER – has come out to announce that the roster will continue to participate in the event, but without the support of the organization. Via its Twitter handle, it said, “NiP temporarily closed the Dota 2 division! The current NiP team will continue playing in the EPIC League, but without the support of the organization. #EPICLeague.”

It is not the end of the road for NiP in Dota 2. Gunderson stated that he is confident the organization will make a re-entry into the game at the highest level. His statement reads, “I am excited for what lies ahead. It is rare that you get to rethink the whole infrastructure around a particular game. It opens a world of possibilities, and I am confident that we will re-enter the game at the highest level once we find the right opportunity.” The departure brings to an end a five-year legacy run for NiP in Dota 2.