The last few days before Christmas are usually filled with wrapping presents and perhaps late arrangements for the New Year’s Eve. Not for the Dota 2 pros, it seems, as some are fighting these days for the One Esports Invitational Singapore title, and some are busy with the last roster changes of the year.
After Geek Fam, the SEA representative at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor, announced earlier today a change in their line-up, the NA qualified team for the same tournament, Ninjas in Pyjamas followed suit.
Oliver “Skiter” Lepko was removed from the team after a series of subpar results in the new season. The NiP roster was put together in the post TI9 shuffle by the team captain Peter “ppd” Dager. He gathered around him young talents who were given a chance to shine alongside two TI5 champions, himself and Saahil “Universe” Arora. NiP started the season playing via the European region, and although they were given a great opportunity at the start of the season, with Team Secret, OG and Nigma all taking an extended vacation, they still couldn’t secure a spot at the first Major of the 2019-2020 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC). They got a second chance via DOTA Summit Season 11 Minor, but they finished only in the 5th-6th place.
Following the Minor result, coupled with the poor performance at ESL One Hamburg 2019 and a third place at DreamLeague Rotterdam, NiP decided to switch regions for the second Major of the season and moved to North America. The success they were looking for didn’t come right away, as NiP finished fourth in the NA qualifiers for DreamLeague Season 13: The Leipzig major and they are now once again are forced to take the Minor road into the Major.
The WePlay! Bukovel Minor is set to unfold next year, January 9-12th with eight teams looking at the same objective: win it all and qualify for the Leipzig Major. Ninjas in Pyjamas decided that a first step towards sorting out some of their issues is to replace Skiter from the roster.
“Everyone on NiP appreciates the time and effort that Oliver has put into our team. We all wish we would have achieved better results but unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. Thank you, Oliver, for your earnest effort and best of luck with your future teams,” said ppd in the official press release from December 18.
Skiter’s carry role will be taken by Nico “Gunnar” Lopez, who will make a role swap, moving from mid to top lane. The position 2 left vacant will be filled by the British player Jason “TANNER” Weedon who is coming from Vikin.gg
Ninjas in Pyjamas roster from position 1 to 5:
Nico “Gunnar” Lopez
Jason “TANNER” Weedon
Saahil “Universe” Arora
Malthe “Biver” Winther
Peter “ppd” Dager