Peter “ppd” Dager is an American player from Fort Wayne, Indiana who is currently captain of OpTic Gaming. He is best known for his time playing for Evil Geniuses. He also spent a year working as the CEO of Evil Geniuses.
Ppd states that he first truly committed to video games after high school. He notes that a friend and his older brother were the main sources of his competition at an early age, and his friend dominated him during games in Heroes of Newerth.
After switching to Dota 2 together with Heroes of Newerth teammate zai, ppd quickly became one of the most influential strategists in the scene, often being praised for his ability to constantly out draft his opponents. Being one of the more outspoken players in the scene, ppd is often referred to as the Salt King. Despite having won around $2,168,940.76 in prize money with team Evil Geniuses, ppd has been known to be very frugal with the money made off his wins; for a while, he was living in a small condo with friends and drove a 1999 Chevy Blazer “with a large dent in the side.” After winning TI5, he has moved to San Francisco, California. Following TI6 he moved to an administrative role in the Evil Geniuses’s organisation, and later became CEO. In August of 2017 he stepped down as CEO of Evil Geniuses.
Heroes of Newerth
Peter began his eSports career with Heroes of Newerth, where he initially played under the alias “peterpandam” (which later became the acronym ‘PPD’). His first team was Trademark eSports, and he began to experiment with many other teams until he found a more solid position with compLexity in 2012. Peter came in second place at both DreamHoN Winter 2012 and DreamHoN Summer 2013 with the compLexity HoN division.
2013-14: S A D B O Y S and revival of Evil Geniuses
Near the end of 2013, ppd followed the lead of many HoN pros before him and transitioned to Dota 2. Initially playing for few lesser known teams, he played on StayFree with teammate Zai. After The International 3, his talents earned him recruitment to Super Strong Dinosaurs with established players ComeWithMe and Sneyking. His short stay with the team included a 2nd place finish at Bigpoint Battle #8 where he was defeated by EG. After the disbandment of SSD, ppd and Zai teamed up with Fear, UNiVeRsE, and Arteezyunder the moniker S A D B O Y S. ppd took over the captain and drafting duties from Fear, and he immediately proved his worth with innovative styles of drafting. Together the team went on a 19-game win streak including a 1st place finish in the Electronic Sports Prime/Shock Therapy Cup. On February 21st, 2014 S A D B O Y S were announced as the new Evil Geniuses roster.
In March 2014, ppd made his DotA 2 LAN debut with EG at the Monster Energy Invitational, where they won 3-2 against Cloud9 in the finals. Under the leadership of Peter, EG began to establish themselves as one of the best teams in the world. PPD was gaining recognition for his drafts, which focused on the teams ability to play certain heroes at an exceptionally high level, as well as his play on Treant Protector. On April 29th Peter and his EG teammates were directly invited to compete in The International 2014. In preparation for this years International and other LAN events, Evil Geniuses decided to bootcamp in Sweden. The practice was paying off, as the team had a top 3 finish at three of the four major LANs prior to TI4, including taking first place at The Summit 1.
Going into The International 4, EG was one of the favorites to win the tournament. Evil Geniuses had a strong performance in the group stage of TI4 and ended up placing second with an 11-4 record. In the main event EG would beat Team DK but fall to Newbee in the upper bracket finals. In the lower bracket finals EG would face off against Vici Gaming and struggled against their early game oriented line ups. The final game of the series was a decisive loss for EG as they called the game before the 16 minute mark, which lead many people to question the lineup that PPD had drafted. Peter and EG ended up going home with a 3rd place finish and $1,038,416 USD. After TI4, PPD took full responsibility for Evil Geniuses poor showing in their final match.
After a short post TI4 break, PPD and EG returned to competition at the World E-sport Championships 2014 in China. EG had a dominate showing, eliminating VG and Newbee from the lower bracke with 2-0 victories. In the finals of the tournament EG dismantled their western counterparts in Cloud9, due in large part to the fact that Peter had heavily out drafted them. For the remainder of 2014 EG did not slow down at all, with victories at Star Ladder Star Series Season 10 and ASUS ROG DreamLeague Season 2 as well as placing second at ESL One New York 2014.
EG looked to carry this momentum into The Summit 2, however behind some lackluster play the returning champions finished in fourth place. Despite the poor showing in the last tournament of the year, the calendar year of 2014 remained a great year for Peter and Evil Geniuses as he lead the team to championship titles in seven of the fifteen major competitions of the year.
2015: DAC and TI Winner
In January 2015 ‘The great western Dota reshuffle’ was sparked by the departure of Arteezy and Zai from Evil Geniuses to Team Secret, which was due in large part to conflicts within the team. During several interviews Peter alluded to the fact that he and and his former teammate Artour had several disagreements on the heroes to draft, which lead to the teams lack of practice for the later part of 2014. With the Dota 2 Asia Championships quickly approaching, EG added SumaiL and Aui_2000 as stand-ins for the tournament. Ppd entered the tournament with a focus on drafting around his new midlaner, Sumail. Behind Peter’s innovative drafts and stellar play from the rest of team, EG found themselves in the top 4 after the group stage with an 11-4 record. They stormed through the bracket beating Na’Vi and Big God, but were soundly defeated 2-0 by VG in the upper bracket finals. Ppd and EG recovered with a 2-0 victory over Team Secret in the lower bracket finals, and a 3-0 victory over VG in the finals. Evil Geniuses victory can be largely attributed to ppd’s drafts and the teams ability to play a multitude of heroes. The team took home $1,284,158 USD, and established themselves as the best team for the beginning of 2015.On May 6 2015, ppd and the rest of Evil Geniuses were invited directly to The International 2015. Leading up to TI5 Evil Geniuses placed 2nd in three premier offline tournaments: joinDOTA MLG Pro League Season 1, The Summit 3, and ESL One Frankfurt 2015.
Evil Geniuses started TI5 off strong, placing first in Group B with a 10-4 record. After beating compLexity and EHOME at the main event, EG found themselves in the upper bracket finals matched up against CDEC Gaming. EG lost the match 2-0 and would have to head to the lower bracket. On the final day of the event EG squared off against LGD Gaming in the lower bracket finals and made quick work of them with a 2-0 win. Peter would get a second chance at figuring out his opponents in the final, CDEC gaming. In a draft analysis video Peter stated his approach to the final games was to give CDEC Leshrac, the strongest hero of the tournament, and see how they could implement into the draft. EG prevailed with a 3-1 victory and were crowned The International champions, taking home the Aegis of Champions and $6,634,660.68 in the process. Many believe Evil Geniuses success in the finals was due to Peter out drafting his opponents. One week after TI5 Peter and his teammates decided to remove Aui_2000 from Evil Geniuses in order to accommodate the return of Arteezy. Due to much outrage from the community over the decision, Peter made a post to his blog addressing why Aui_2000 was replaced.
After The International 5, EG were under the microscope from many critics in the community to see if the addition of Arteezy would cement EG’s dominance. Despite having a shaky start and losing to an in-form Vega Squadron in the Quarterfinals of ESL One New York 2015, EG maintained a high level of play through the end of the year. They placed 2nd at MLG World Finals 2015, losing to their rivals Team Secret 3-1, and reached 3rd place at The Frankfurt Major after being knocked out by a defiant OG. Coming into end of the 2015 calendar year, EG showed great fight and character at their last premier event: The Summit 4. When they were down 0-2 to Virtus.Pro in the grand finals, ppd engineered a spectacular mid-series turnaround and led his team to a 3-2 victory.
2016 – present: CEO of Evil Geniuses and return to competitive play
The team continued to do well, with a 3rd place finish at the Shanghai Major. After the tournament, however, EG underwent a roster change, with Bulba and Aui_2000 from Digital Chaos replacing Universe and Arteezy. The new roster began to falter, which culminated in back-to-back last place finishes at EPICENTER and The Manila Major. After the major, the team opted to forego a direct invite to The International, and replaced Aui and Bulba with zai and Universe. The new roster had a strong showing at The International 2016 Qualifiers, and EG became the first team to qualify from the Americas region.
Evil Geniuses had an impressive run through the upper bracket of The International 2016, scoring 2-0 victories over Chinese favorites Newbee and EHOME. Ironically, EG would then drop into the lower bracket after a 0-2 loss to Wings, where they were then eliminated by underdogs Digital Chaos, taking 3rd overall. Following The International 2016, ppd decided to leave active competitive play in order to take a managerial role within Evil Geniuses and Twitch.
Despite the move, ppd did not offically rule out player retirement, citing he may return as a professional player.  On December 12th, 2016, ppd was named CEO of Evil Geniuses after EG and their sister company, Alliance, became independent player-owned organizations.
I’m happy to finally announce EG as its own independently operating esports brand. Five years ago I could not imagine my life being where it is at today, but here I am. I want to thank everyone from Twitch and those here at EG for believing in me as the leader to continue to build this company. I want to give special thanks to Alex Garfield, who has been my mentor from the beginning when I joined EG in 2014. I looked up to all the things he had done and have been aspiring to one day be able to have the opportunity to follow in his footsteps. Without him none of this would have been possible, EG and I are forever grateful.ppd in his new role as CEO of Evil Geniuses, 12th December, 2016
Following the new year, PPD later joined WanteD for the upcoming Major. He stated however that this was not a full-time team and will prioritize his administrative duties when required. PPD also began appearing behind the analyst desk more frequently, taking casting and panelist positions at tournaments such as DAC 2017, The Summit 7, and The International 2017. PPD also began a podcast on his youtube channel with his inaugural interviewee being Bulba.
In August of 2017, following the conclusion of The International 2017, ppd stepped down as the CEO of Evil Geniuses and left the organisation. His subsequent venture saw him back into professional Dota as a player alongside notable freelance players such as Zai, Pajkatt, CCnC and MiSeRy, where it was unveiled through Zai’s twitter post. The unveiled team called The Dire was later picked up by OpTic Gaming.
|2016-08-13||3rd||Premier||The International 2016||1 : 2||$2,180,898|
|2016-03-06||3rd||Premier||The Shanghai Major 2016||0 : 2||$315,000|
|2015-11-21||3rd||Premier||The Frankfurt Major 2015||1 : 2||$315,000|
|2015-08-08||1st||Premier||The International 2015||3 : 1||$6,634,661|
|2015-07-12||1st||Premier||Dota Pit League Season 3||3 : 0||$126,055|
|2015-02-09||1st||Premier||Dota 2 Asia Championships 2015||3 : 0||$1,284,158|
|2014-10-26||1st||Premier||StarLadder StarSeries Season 10||3 : 2||$105,291|
|2014-09-07||1st||Premier||World E-sport Championships 2014||4 : 1||$97,248|
|2014-07-20||3rd||Premier||The International 2014||1 : 2||$1,037,778|
|2014-06-08||1st||Premier||The Summit 1||3 : 2||$59,558|