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Thanks to a sudden boost in strength among North American Dota 2 teams, Peter “ppd” Dager’s return to the region was spoiled—his team, Ninjas in Pyjamas, failed to qualify for the DreamLeague Season 13 Major.
After the first set of Dota Pro Circuit events, ppd said that his team would be competing in NA for the remainder of the year despite qualifying for The International 2019 in Europe last season. This change was supposed to be a move from one of the toughest regions in the world to one of the weakest.
Through the group stage, NiP looked very strong, easily defeating Demon Slayers, the team that eliminated them from DreamLeague Season 12, before losing to Evil Geniuses.
In the semifinals, NiP had to face Chaos Esports Club, another EU organization operating out of NA. Despite it being the first meeting between the two teams, Chaos looked prepared for everything NiP had to offer in the series opener.
NiP fought back in game two, dragging things out into a late-game situation that favored their Naga Siren and Centaur Warrunner core, but game three continued to show that Chaos has two of the most dominant laners in the game. Yawar Hassan went untouched and Quinn “CCnC” Callahan had a third straight game as the Chaos’ leading damage dealer as his team closed out the series.
Faced with elimination, NiP tried to avenge their loss to EG in a rematch. But even with early output from Nico “Gunnar” Lopez’s Ember Spirit, NiP couldn’t hold on. EG took control just after the 10-minute mark and slowly marched to a 34-minute win.
Abed Yusop quickly established his Storm Spirit in lanes alongside Arteezy’s Sven for EG in game two. That duo, paired with RAMZES’ Abaddon would spell the end of NiP’s run for a Major spot, eliminating them in fourth place.
It was a disappointing end for the team’s first NA tournament, but they will be back to compete for a spot at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor when the qualifiers begin on Dec. 5.