Ninjas in Pyjamas’ will need a new leader for its Dota 2 team after captain Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev announced his departure from the roster today.
It is not known whether SoNNeikO’s exit is a mutual decision between the organization and the player. NiP has yet to address the player leaving on official channels. The Russian/Uzbek player thanked his teammates for “good days” and also did not mention a reason for his withdrawal.
Popular Dota 2 analyst and former professional player Kyle Freedman chimed in on the news, calling SoNNeikO’s exit as a “bad move” on NiP’s part.
SoNNeikO’s leadership and mechanical skill from the hard support role has been lauded by players and talent alike. He helped NiP gain a foothold in the competitive European region as a perennial dark horse. The Swedish organization picked up the pub stack, previously known as Chicken Fighters, after the roster punched above their weight through the ESL One Los Angeles Online tournament and ended up fourth.
Should the former Natus Vincere captain remain in Europe, there remain potential destinations for the SoNNeikO. Alliance’s position five is currently occupied by a loan player in Gambit Esports’ Artiom “fng” Barshack. He could also link up with a past teammate in Idan “MagicaL” Vardanian, who was let go by Na’Vi in June, and go through the entire rebuilding process once again.