Ninjas in Pyjamas have announced yet another change to their Dota 2 roster: this time, Nico “Gunnar” Lopez has been removed, with NIP giving the following statement:
”Since the signing of our new Dota2 roster, the results have not been what we hoped them to be in any of the tournaments we attended and therefore we’re making the changes needed to turn this ship around.”
”We will be holding tryouts to find a suitable replacement for Gunnar while relocating the team to Europe to further improve our practice routines.”
The decision to move the team to Europe is very bold, considering the strength of the EU region, especially if OG wants to get back into the scene. Since finishing last place at the International 2019, Ninjas in Pyjamas have struggled since reforming their roster with ”PPD” adding Skiter, Gunnar, Universe and Biver. However, things haven’t gone well for the Ninjas. They managed to finish 3rd at DreamLeague Season 12, although they were knocked out by Demon Slayers, an unknown team who were playing with a stand-in!
They have failed to make the first two majors, only finished 7th-8th at ESL One Hamburg 2019, losing to a rather average Virtus Pro side. Finally, they have underperformed at the two DPC minors they competed in recently, finishing dead last at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020, leaving ”PPD” with seemingly no choice but to make another roster change. Since joining Ninjas in Pyjamas. ”Gunnar” has come under heavy criticism for his inconsistent performances and limited hero pool. The Ninjas will need to form a solid roster and quickly if they want any chance of making the International 2020.
Gunnar Before NIP
Gunnar was a relatively unknown player coming into 2019. He quickly joined Flying Penguins, a North American team created by Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao. However, Gunnar left only two weeks to join TEAM TEAM. (weird name I know) Then, in April 2019, after getting eliminated from ESL One Mumbai 2019, Gunnar made headlines after getting kicked from TEAM TEAM, even though he had recently helped them qualify for the MDL Disneyland Paris Major. This decision received extreme criticism from the Dota 2 community, feeling Gunnar had been hard done by.
After leaving TEAM TEAM, Gunnar joined Chaos Esports Club, although he only played in the EPICENTER Major 2019 Europe Open Qualifier before getting replaced by ”MATUMBAMAN”. After Chaos, Gunnar found himself in The International 2019 Southeast Asia Qualifier, playing with Team Jinesbrus alongside, 23savage, Forev, Febby, and March. Team Jinesbrus looked very strong during the qualifiers and were only one game away from making The International 2019, but they fell just short losing 3-2 to Mineski. Where Gunnar will go from here is unknown. He certainly has talent, but he needs to find consistency, expand his hero pool and improve his decision making.
Who do you think will replace Gunnar in this NIP roster and how will they perform in the next set of major qualifiers? Leave a comment below!
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