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Ninjas in Pyjamas has parted ways with North American Dota 2 carry player Nico “Gunnar” Lopez, the organization announced today.
Gunnar had been playing for NiP’s Dota 2 team since September 2019 and is being released due to NiP’s lackluster results. NiP recently crashed out from the WePlay! Bukovel Minor in January, finishing at the bottom alongside FURIA.
NiP said that it’ll be holding tryouts to find a replacement for Gunnar and announced that the team will move back to Europe to improve their practice routines.
Peter “ppd” Dager, NiP’s captain, said that some fans might find the roster change strange, but it’s for the sake of the team.
“Moving forward for NiP.Dota2 we will be playing the next qualifier in the European region,” Ppd said. “By relocating to Europe we will practice consistently against the best teams in EU and CIS and focus on gradual improvement rather than rushing all of our practice in a 1-week boot camp before a qualifier or LAN.”
By moving back to Europe, NiP will also face better competition in qualifiers than in North America. The European region has some of the best teams in the world, so NiP will have to revamp their playstyle to succeed.
Some NiP fans are hoping that the organization will bring back Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard. The 25-year-old was replaced by Gunnar in September 2019 after a successful stint with NiP, having helped them win the OGA Dota PIT Minor in April 2019 and StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor season two in June.