From winning TI7 to struggling in the Dota Pro Circuit, Nigma Galaxy’s free fall has baffled fans watching the powerhouse struggle to win a single match. If Nigma continues this underwhelming performance at DPC WEU Tour 2, they might just miss out on the Stockholm Major 2022. Or worse yet would fail at qualifying for The International in two consecutive years.
How did we get here?
Nigma Galaxy since TI10
It’s important to note that Nigma’s dark days date way back to last year. They didn’t qualify for TI10, breaking the squad’s track record of participation in every TI. Despite early signs of deteriorating performance, Nigma was hesitant to commit any major roster shuffle, notably, because four of its players are ex-Team Liquid players, who won TI7.
Hence, the most impactful roster change they had to-date are limited to the change in their position 1 carry player. In fact, Igor “iLTW” Filatov was Nigma’s third successor for the hard carry player role. Unfortunately, iLTW is often the topic of debate about his performance and whether he’s the right fit for Nigma.
Fans have commented on the lack of synergy with Nigma’s iconic playstyle, making him feel ousted from the rest of Nigma. Considering Nigma’s poor showcase for two consecutive DPC Tours, the fans’ criticism seems justified.
Nigma’s iconic playstyle backfires
While iLTW isn’t as capable as its predecessors, namely Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen and Aliwi “w33” Omar, there is more to Nigma’s downfall than just one carry player. For starters, Nigma’s drafts are stale despite the vast opportunities that Dota 2 Patch 7.31 put on the table.
Oftentimes, we see Nigma stick to comfort picks, such as Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi’s Invoker and Maroun “GH” Merhej’s Earth Spirit. Now, don’t get us wrong, signature picks aren’t bad every time, but the concern is in how Nigma intends on playing with the game’s pace, late game. Even if late game isn’t very viable in recent Dota 2 meta, ultimately there is a caveat in Nigma’s playstyle. The iconic four-supports-one draft, revolving around Miracle- is synonymous with Nigma’s way of Dota 2. Miracle, as the star of the show gets immense resources from his team, to the extent where even the duo supports are drafted to synergize with him.
This devastatingly compromises the rest of Nigma players’ power scaling into the late game. The stakes that Nigma put on solely Miracle- are unhealthy to the extent that only he will be relevant in late game. Whilst the rest are just sitting ducks in late team fights and would be obsolete after expending their skills.
Maybe Adrian “Fata” Trinks is what the team needs.
Nigma Galaxy in DPC WEU Tour 2
With five losses out of seven matches in their book, it would be a miracle for Nigma to stay in Division 1, let alone qualify for Stockholm Major. Chances are, we could expect Nigma to join the ranks of Alliance that has fallen into Division 2.
The team has two high profile matches this week and if they lose even one they are likely out of Division 1.
Nigma Galaxy vs Team Liquid
Anyhow, if Nigma still intends on remaining in Division 1, their best bet would be to win their last two matches. This is bad news since their last opponents turned out to be formidable teams.
Liquid is the latest sensation in the WEU scene, featuring two noteworthy players that complement each other perfectly. The addition of Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg converted Liquid into a TI-worthy contender after leaving Team Secret. Furthermore, Liquid’s captain, Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi is a theory-crafting genius, which is enough leverage against Nigma at their current state.
Hence, the Dota 2 odds for Nigma to pull an upset on Liquid would be very low.
Nigma Galaxy vs Team Secret
Joining the club as bottom seeds is Team Secret, which is quite the over-exaggeration since they have won two matches and lost three thus far. Although Team Secret is more established in DPC WEU Tour 2, Nigma has historically defeated them many times. However, we haven’t seen Nigma pull off any fancy draft that could potentially rival Team Secret’s. Thus, Team Secret should technically be the stronger contender in this match by a huge margin.
In hindsight, Nigma Galaxy had all these fiascos coming to them since last season’s letdown. It’s high time they made bigger roster changes, but the gatekeeping on Nigma’s four founding members keeps Nigma from advancing.