Universe retires from professional Dota2 play
Saahil “Universe” Arora has announced his retirement from Dota2 competitive scene this Friday, April 24, shortly after he parted ways with Ninjas in Pyjamas.
The news comes only a couple of days after Universe's former long-time teammate and captain Peter "ppd" Dager retired from his position on Ninjas in Pyjamas, where ppd and Universe played together for the last seven months.
Universe began his Dota2 career back in August 2011, when he joined Online Kingdom, where he played alongside Per Anders "Pajkatt" Olsson Lille, Dominik "Lacoste" Stipic and Clinton "Fear" Loomis. While the trio ended up leaving the Portuguese squad for Evil Genuises, Universe, left for EZ Style, It's Gosu eSports and only in May 2012 joined Evil Genuises.
During his first stay at Evil Genuises, which lasted for four months, Universe finished top-four at DreamHack Summer 2012, sixth at StarLadder StarSeries Season 2, and even helped EG in their venture into TI2, where the North American esports organisation finished ninth-12th. Following their shaky display at TI, EG decided to part ways with Universe who left to play for Quantic Gaming and later Team Dignitas.
Universe made his return to Evil Genuises in September 2013 which marked the launch of the most successful period of his Dota2 career. Although EG failed to see much success in 2013, the signing of Fear in early 2014 proved to be the right call, as Evil Genuises started to dominate the Dota2 competitive scene. By the end of the season, EG won almost every tournament they attended and even locked in a bronze medal at TI4. Their dominance continued into the 2014/2015 season, which Evil Genuises concluded with a TI5 title.
On March 22, 2016, it was announced Universe would be leaving Evil Genuises for Team Secret, which was a massive shock to the community, especially considering the announcement was made only days before the roster lock. Unfortunately, Universe's performances under Secret were less-than-inspiring. Secret attended ESL One Manila 2016, EPICENTER 2016 and The Manila Major 2016 where they finished fifth-sixth, seventh-eighth and 13th-16th, which eventually led to Universe's return to EG, right before the TI6, where EG finished third.
After TI6, however, Evil Genuises started to slow down and although they managed to produce a couple of solid results by the end of the year, their venture into 2017 was far from inspiring. Their poor run culminated with a ninth-12th place finish at TI7 and in January 2018, Universe got let go from the team.
Universe continued his career at Fnatic, Quincy Crew, Forward Gaming and in September 2019 he joined Ninjas in Pyjamas, where he reunited with ppd, with whom he previously played at Evil Genuises. Unfortunately, the duo did not see the same success as back in the day, seeing how NiP's roster failed to impress in their competitive endeavours. Despite a handful of roster changes and role swaps, NiP's performances left a lot to be desired. The COVID-19 pandemic made the whole situation even worse, as NiP were forced to let go of Universe, who was unable to compete with his team, seeing how he is located in the United States, while Ninjas in Pyjamas moved to Europe.
Instead of finding a new team to join and compete in online tournaments, however, Universe decided to hang up his mouse and keyboard for good, after almost a decade of playing Dota2 at the highest level.
“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," said Universe in his announcement Tweet.
"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."
With the release of Universe and later the retirement of ppd, Ninjas in Pyjamas decided to disband their Dota2 roster meaning they parted ways with the remaining three players in Nikita "Daxak" Kuzmin, Jason Connor "TANNNER" Weedon and Rodrigo "Lelis" Santos.
Shortly after, NiP announced their new Dota2 team, which will be assembled from Charlie "CharlieDota" Arat, Ondřej "Supream^" Štarha, Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek, Adrian "Era" Kryeziu and Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butaev, previously of Chicken Fighters.