Captain PPD returns to the professional Dota 2 scene with a mix of experience and youth

Posted by Siddharth "Gopya" Gopujkar at 05 September 2017 19:31

image courtesy of Wykrhm Reddy 

After a while on the sidelines, handling duties as the Evil Genius CEO and an analyst, PPD is back to the professional scene with Pajkatt, CCnC, Misery and most interestingly, Zai in an offlane role

It seems like a long time ago that Evil Geniuses were an unstoppable team (along with Team Secret back then) that always made the top two of nearly every tournament they played. That team eventually went on win TI 5 under the captaincy of PPD, but after that, the master drafter did not seem to have a lot of success. He took a break after TI 6 and was off the grid for a year (except a short, unsuccessful stint with the 'Wanted' roster). But when he stepped down as CEO of EG last month, it was imminent that he was planning a comeback to the professional scene. And that is exactly what he has done, with a roster that is a mixture of experience and youth. This will be the roster that will be fighting it out:

Sweden Pelle 'Pajkatt' Olsson Lille
United States Quinn 'CCnC' Callahan
Sweden Ludwig 'Zai' Wahlberg
Denmark Rasmus 'MiSeRy' Flipsen
United States Peter 'PPD' Dager

The official announcement came through a tweet from Zai:

Like the tweet specifies, no name has been decided and neither has the region in which they will be competing. But it's a safe bet to assume the roster will be competing through North America.

What's the most exciting thing about this roster? I would say it's the return of Zai to the offlane. Making his mark in the number three position while playing for Team Secret, Zai didn't really have an option in EG with Universe in the team. And if Cr1t's words are to go by, offlane is where Zai belongs (or a position four leaning towards the offlane). This is what Cr1t said:

I feel like we tried to change Zai as a player too much and I tried to make him the 4 player that I am and I don't think it's doable. It's the mentality thing. There are some position 4 players that are leaning more towards being a position 3 more and there are some position 4 players that lean towards being a position 5 more. And those supports that lean towards being a 5; there are not a lot of those players right now. And I tried to make Zai one of them and I don't think that was a smart decision from anyone who was in the making of that team. - extract from Cr1t's reddit post

It will be interesting to see if Zai can bring back the form everyone saw from him two years ago while playing alongside Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov. As for the other players, Pajkatt and MiSeRy are scene veterans who have a lot of experience. The only questionable inclusion is that of CCnC, who was more of a popular streamer till the end of last season when he formed isGG (later picked up by Team Freedom) and made a mark by taking down some prominent teams. But hey, we've seen how pubstars like Miracle and w33haa have flourished under good captaincy and who's to say CCnC won't?

The new season is nearly upon us and with so many new teams along with a flurry of tournaments, it promises to be an interesting one. 


Will PPD and co. make a mark on the new competitive season?

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