Two months ago, Saahil “Universe” Arora had one goal: to get his team to tier 1 level as he believed that only by being a top tier team you have a chance at winning The International. A lot has changed since February, when we got to sit and talk to Universe.
The coronavirus pandemic changed life as we knew it for everyone and the esports scene has its challenges to overcome. The international 2020 is a big question mark, the Dota Pro Circuit is on a break and nobody really knows when and if it will resume. The online leagues are welcome, but they bring with them a new set of problems. For Ninjas in Pyjamas, Universe’s latest team, the one that he wished ready to pose a threat for tier one competitors, the online format meant that two of their players wouldn’t be able to play. Universe and Lelis were caught by the lockdown at their homes in North and South America respectively, and they had to be replaced. Earlier this month NiP announced the departure of Universe from the roster, followed by even sadder news for the fans: Peter “ppd” Dager decided to retire three days ago.
Much like his former captain at Evil Geniuses and Ninjas in Pyjamas, Universe announces his retirement after a decade dedicated to Dota 2. He is a DotA veteran, TI champion, and up until TI9 he was one of the very few players to have participated in all The Internationals.
“I have decided to retire as a player from competitive dota 2. Whenever I do anything in life I tend to be an all or nothing type of person and dota was no different. For the past 10 years I have given everything I have to this game/competition and it was an incredible experience. Now the time has come to pursue other interests and figure out what comes next.
Thank you to my fans and past teammates for the amazing memories I will never forget.,” Universe wrote on April 23, 2020.
For almost his entire career Universe was regarded as one of the best offlaners in the world, but coming from a competitive break after TI9, he switched to the support four role and reunited with PPD at Ninjas in Pyjamas. “It’s definitely challenging. It’s like learning to walk again. It’s really tough, but I enjoy it. It’s challenging, but it’s fun at the same time because everything is new,” he told us during the WePlay! Mad Moon tournament from February 2020. Two months later, fans around the world wave goodbye to the one who was for many years a role model for the young generations of players.