After four hours and four spectacular games, Team Nigma managed to secure a spot in the Dota 2 Leipzig Major, defeating Royal Never Give Up in the finals of the WePlay! Bukovel Minor.
Team Nigma Ride to Victory in We!Play Bukovel Minor
Team Nigma faced off Royal Never Give Up (RNG) in the WePlay! Bukovel Minor, part of the 2019/2020 Dota Pro Circuit, and won in a dramatic BO5 series, qualifying for the DreamLeague Dota 2 Major Leipzig later in January.
Nigma is a new competitive outfit and far from being a household name in the competitive Dota 2 scene just yet. Founded by former Team Liquid members Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi linked up with Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi and Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov and Maroun “GH” Merhej, the team has all the trappings of future success.
Romanian Aliwi “w33” Omar is the latest addition to the team. So far, Nigma has been successful in securing multiple first spots, including the DreamLeague Season 13 Europe Open Qualifier versus OG the WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020 Europe Qualifier, and now – the Bukovel Minor itself.
Nigma Loses Momentary Footing in Opening Game
Game 1 opened as a strong gamble on the part of RNG who lined up Destroyer and Draw Ranger versus Husker and Alchemist. With the time ticking against them, RNG managed to secure an early lead and snowballed by the game’s end, catching Nigma out of position repeatedly.
Losing a foothold early on and trying to rally on several occasions without success, Nigma eventually succumbed in the finals’ opening game, but that would not be the end of them. Game 2 took a much more favorable turn.
Nigma had a good start and the game, as one where Phantom Lancer was present, drew out for 80 minutes with the final fight taking place in RNG’s Sentinel base, involving multiple buybacks and Mega Creeps, and of course – down-to-a-fraction-of-health fights, which ended with Nigma snagging the Sentinel’s Ancients.
Phantom Lancer Once Again
In Game 3, Nigma stuck to a winning formula. Once again, they went with a Phantom Lancer after the relative success of the first game. But this time, the team also snagged Doom to prevent the fear of being silenced.
RNG did field Disruptor, though, along with a Storm Spirit, but of which can prove nifty. and somewhat pesky silencers. Yet, the game wouldn’t be the drawn-out clash the audience expected it to be.
Securing a number of early kills, Nigma pulled ahead, although RNG managed to catch up and even pressure them. Yet, KuroKy is not one to fumble the initiative, and soon the team was already eating its way through towers in the top lane.
Playing the Scourge again, Nigma launched an assault in the middle that led to multiple kills as well as cost RNG their barracks in that lane, prompting RNG to call “GG” early in the 23rd minute and grant Nigma a second victory.
Game 4 and RNG’s Criticla Mistake
In Game 4, carried by a Specter, RNG once again had to play Sentinels. They did well because, despite early tower losses, the team was up 33,000 gold by the 48th minute, but still – Nigma’s defenses stood impenetrable, despite missing barracks in the mid lane.
Nigma responded by almost taking full barracks mid after wiping nearly every RNG player, but stopped short of a single structure. The big mistake of the game was felt when Monet’s Specter went down and was forced to buy back for a final fight back in the base.
Yet, that wasn’t enough as GH’s Earthshaker landed a devastating Echo Slam and very nearly wiped RNG. The game and title were sealed only a minute after.
Beyond the absolutely delightful Dota 2 showdown, it’s fair to give credit where credit is due. We!Play has done an excellent job of crafting a Christmas theme, with proper visualization and a cozy vibe all over the place.
Of course, part of this has to do with the fact that in Ukraine, where Bukovel is located, Christmas is on January 7.