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| 2. December 2020

Is NiP a Big Loss for Dota 2?

NiP has once again decided to leave Dota 2 and dissolve its roster. This comes at a time when we are just 6 weeks away from the next season and when The International 10 is known to offer a prize pool of $40 million.

The History of NiP Dota

NiP decided to break into Dota 2 at the start of 2015. Back then, the organization had already gained fame in CS:GO and was eager to conquer another esport. Since Dota 2 had been created by the same company as CS:GO, they probably told themselves that this was a great investment. After all, how hard could it be to become successful in a MOBA game?

After a first season full of failures and subpar results, NiP decided to abandon the project. But they came back just one year later, at the start of 2017. Once again, 18 months passed without any real breakthrough. But then The Kuala Lumpur Major came around and NiP miraculously finished 4th.

Then, in 2019, under ppd’s leadership and with superstar players like Fata, 33, Saksa, and Ace in the roster, NiP got a lot of excellent results including two trophies and a 5th – 6th place at MDL Disneyland Paris Major. It looked as though NiP was going to do something important at The International 2019. But unfortunately for them, the exact opposite happened. This was a turbulent time for the entire organization, with accusations surfacing that they weren’t paying player salaries on time. With all that noise in the background, NiP’s Dota 2 team finished 17th – 18th at TI 9 and had to disband immediately after as a result.

NiP continued for a while even after that total disaster but something was clearly missing and the results were poor for more than a  year. Then, just a few days ago, the management of the organization decided to pull the plug. However, they did mention that they had plans to return at a future time. We don’t know exactly when, but they did the same thing in 2015, so it’s safe to assume that they did just say it to look good. They most likely will be back after the ongoing global crisis is resolved and LAN events are once again an option.

How Big Is the Loss

Given that NiP never reached the top and that they only had one decent year in 5, I don’t think the pro scene has lost that much. Not to mention that most of the players are still competing for other organizations. But I do believe that the NiP brand is strong enough to add value to the ecosystem. So if they manage to come back at a later time and play at the tier 1 level, their presence will enhance Dota 2 and its viewership by a significant amount.