ppd steps down as EG CEO, zai leaves Dota roster

by Daniel Rosen Aug 30
Thumbnail image courtesy of Robert Paul / ESL One

Peter "ppd" Dager has stepped down as CEO of Evil Geniuses and has left the organization, EG announced Wednesday.

"Leaving EG will be bittersweet, but ultimately I see nothing but a successful future for both myself and the organization I am leaving behind," ppd stated in a press release. "I want to thank all of the staff and teammates who I have been fortunate to work with over the last four years and will continue to wish them nothing but continued success."

Additionally, EG's Dota 2 team manager Phillip Aram has been named COO, and Dota 2 player Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg has left the organization.

"Stepping into my new role as COO I am humbled by the faith and confidence my fellow owners and EG partners have placed in me to lead one of the greatest companies in esports," Aram stated in a press release. "Going forward, I can see immense potential and new opportunities at our fingertips that I will grasp with all my energy. EG will continue to be an organization and community of supporters who celebrate and care for our players and their achievements at a level second to none."

In an emailed statement to theScore esports, Aram said that EG will not be looking for a new CEO at this time, and all of ppd's responsibilities will fall to Aram. Additionally, as ppd was a part-owner of EG, he will be required to divest his shares in the organization if he chooses to work or play for a competitor.

According to Aram, he will answer to EG's board and shareholders, like ppd, and has "a wide berth" to manage the organization and delegate to EG's general manager and managers. While he did not specify any plans to expand the organization into new esports titles, he did say that he has already begun shuffling EG's organizational structure.

"I have already taken steps to restructure ourselves internally in order to streamline our operation and put more focus into the kinds of high quality content and top tier team management that our fans have come to expect of the EG brand over the years," Aram said.

"Despite not holding a title this last year, I've always been deeply involved in the initiatives our company has been working on particularly with the Dota team where I've been the lead. The team we have put together behind the scenes is hard at work bringing the best of EG to our whole organization, and I look forward to showing every championship caliber roster across esports how we can take care of them and their brands better than anyone else."

In December, Twitch spun Evil Geniuses and Alliance off into two separate, player-owned organizations. At the time, ppd was named CEO. During his tenure as CEO, ppd still played professional Dota part-time as part of a roster called WanteD.

zai joined EG shortly after ppd left the roster in September, and was part of the roster that EG fielded all through the 2016-2017 competitive season. EG placed 3rd-4th at the Kiev Major, first at Manila Masters and 9th-12-the at The International 2017 this year.

"This past year has been the most entertaining year of Dota I've had, playing with and being part of EG has been a wonderful experience," zai said in a press release. "However, after reflecting on the year and this recent TI I can no longer see myself continuing with the team, and hope that this departure will benefit both sides going forward."

EG currently fields an incomplete Dota 2 roster, a Call of Duty roster, several Street Fighter and Super Smash Bros. players and a Gwent player.

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.