NA Dota 2 legend ppd returns from retirement for 2021 DPC

Kurt Lozano
·Esports Content Producer
·3-min read
Peter "ppd" Dager (Photo: ppd Twitter)
Peter "ppd" Dager (Photo: ppd Twitter)

North American Dota 2 legend and The International 2015 (TI5) champion, Peter “ppd” Dager, has officially returned from retirement to compete in the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC).

“Now I realise that competition is the thing that inspires me to be the best version of myself,” said ppd on Tuesday (5 January) in a WePlay! Esports blog post.

Ppd will be playing with his long-time Evil Geniuses (EG) teammate and fellow TI5 champion, Clinton “Fear” Loomis, under the reformed ‘SADBOYS’ stack, the squad they first formed in 2014 that became the foundation for the team that would bring North America its first Aegis of Champions.

Ppd and Fear will be joined by North American veterans David “Moo” Hull and Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu, with rising star David “dnm” Cossio rounding out the roster.

Ppd cited his teammates as one of the reasons for his return to competitive play. The SADBOYS stack notably tested the waters and participated in BTS Pro Series: Americas Season 4 last December, where they finished in third place.

“I am very grateful to these guys for carrying me and, honestly, I don’t know if I would have come back if I didn’t find such an amazing team to compete with,” said ppd.

ppd’s retirement

Aside from officially announcing his return to competitive play, ppd also explained the reasons behind his retirement, which included a lack of enjoyment for the game at the time.

Prior to his retirement, ppd was leading the Dota 2 roster of Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP), which was then comprised of up-and-coming players from Europe and the CIS alongside veterans from the Americas.

After the DPC was cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic in March last year, NiP struggled to compete as its roster was unable to play together due to travel restrictions.

Later in April, ppd announced his retirement, which he described as “a tough decision that was fuelled by many motives”.

“We were struggling to compete on such short notice. I don’t think I handled this stress particularly well, and I stopped enjoying the games. Dota, once again, felt like work,” said ppd.

“Anytime this happens, I know it’s time to take a break, and, in hindsight, maybe taking a month or two off may have been the safer play. But that’s not who I am. I’m spontaneous and often reckless, especially with major life decisions.”

After his retirement, ppd explained that he didn’t touch Dota for a month, saying “it was nice to take a break” after what has been a seven-year professional career at the time.

“As much as I love the game, it’s way too easy to get too caught up in it. The losses were getting to me more than I wanted them to. Sometimes this energy can be inspiring, but when it's all the time, and it can lead to my demise,” said ppd.

He later explored other roles in the esports industry, such as casting, coaching, managing, brand development for players and influencers, and consulting with game developers, before he ultimately settled with streaming.

“I’ve been pretty good about streaming 6 days a week with a minimum of 5 hours+ per day. I’ve had a great time connecting with other gamers from my sub Discord and on stream. However, I think it’s safe to say this isn’t what I’m most passionate about,” said ppd.

“So, for now, I’m back. I’ll be competing in NA Dota tournaments and, hopefully soon, international tournaments with Fear, DNM, Moo, and Sneyking.”

SADBOYS is one of the four teams that received direct invites to the Upper Division of the DPC’s North American regional league, alongside ppd and Fear’s old team, EG, as well as Quincy Crew and 4Zoomers.

The first season of the league will take place over the course of six weeks from 18 January to 27 February.

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