Catch EE’s Reunited Old Gang At The Manila Masters
Is Team NP really the post-timeskip EE Cloud 9?
The Team NP we'll be seeing live at the Manila Masters next week is a completely different team from the one that was invited two months ago.
Despite replacing only two players during the free agency period, only MSS on the offlane will actually be playing the same role from before the post-Kiev shuffle. FATA and pieliedie were brought in but only pieliedie will be filling one of the two emptied support slots. FATA instead be taking the midlane from EternaLEnVy who will be the team's carry. Aui is back in the 4-position role that gained him his Aegis with EG back in 2015. Familiar? It's 4/5 of the post-TI4 lineup.
EE's Cloud 9 is considered by many to be the most entertaining team of all time, but the curse of 2nd place still looms over this roster, which finished silver in four different tournaments during their time. It's ironic to think that most of the squad went on to win LANs after leaving Cloud 9. Now, however, the team comes back together more experienced and stronger, as if concluding a Timeskip Arc. Additionally, MSS brings his own unique strength to the team, with a stable offlane to anchor EE’s ballsy carrying style.
You can bet that their history as a team will influence how they work now as Team NP, building on what worked then and learning from past mistakes.
EE even hints at the familiar coordinated chaos to come:
"We just want to play our own Dota and play to the best of our abilities as a team. Expect us to do what we think is best which usually means not sticking to the meta."
Manila will be the first test of whether or not NP can finally find their groove and win the fledgling organization its first premier title. It will be this specific roster's chance to break Cloud 9's curse of second place, even if it's under a new brand. Everyone knows this team is focused on nothing less than first place.
For the meantime, however, EE is looking forward to being back in Manila.
"Every time I go to Manila, we always experience the best hotels, the best food, and the most energetic fans. The pubs are also better than in NA – SEA players don’t give up.
I remember Alliance vs Mineski at the Manila Major. It was kinda scary and I really hope the booths were perfectly sound-proofed because the crowd was chanting "Roshan" or "smoke!" whenever Alliance tried to make a play. I wouldn't want to play against that crowd. Still, it's definitely the most hype place to play DOTA."