Swedish esports organization – Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) – has withdrawn from professional Dota 2.
NiP posted on Twitter that the organization is backing out of the Dota 2 scene for the foreseeable future, but eventually plan to re-enter. The announcement came with a blog post, giving further explanation on the reasons for leaving.
In the blogpost, where NiP called the decision a “temporary measure,” it was announced they had disbanded their current roster, and will no longer be present in the European Dota 2 division. NiP COO, Jonas Gundersen, stated that the decision was taken in view of the growing European talent and the upkeep costs in “[an already] unstable ecosystem.”
“We find ourselves on an increasingly unclear path to financial stability… while revenues are dwindling,” he said.
Gunderson stated that the decision was solidified due to the financial uncertainty of Dota 2 after the cancellation and postponement of The International (TI) and the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC). The Tl and DPC are the financial backbones of almost all esports organizations that participate in Dota 2, meaning their cancellation directly impacts the viability of teams like NiP.
“Competing for the biggest trophies is a core part of our DNA,” said Gunderson. “The road to that through EU is simply not viable. [So,] we have decided to shut down our DotA2 department in its current format, and rethink our strategy and regional presence completely.”
NiP has yet to have a top-tier run with their Dota 2 team; their latest being a group-stage elimination at The International in 2019. However, they have had top-5 finishes in numerous Tier 1 & 2 tournaments, and have hosted solid lineups since acquiring LAJONS in 2015. Powerful players and coaches alike, with top-of-the-line names like Pajkatt, Universe, ppd, Daxak, and SoNNeikO are etched in the history of NiP.
NiP is not be the only team affected by the current state-of-affairs. Dota 2 lays claim to the biggest esports prize pool in history, with US $34 million for The International 2019. This year, after announcing the postponement of TI and the DPC, Valve still raked in a massive $40,018,195.
Valve has not announced any plans to support the Tier 2 and Tier 3 Dota 2 scenes, which could potentially be a red light for other organizations.