Neslyn A. January 12, 2020
Nigma took on Geek Fam in the lower bracket finals of the WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020 and ended the southeast Asian squad’s tournament run. The European favorites scored a 2-0 series win to earn a spot in the grand finals opposite Royal Never Give Up.
The penultimate series kicked off with a classic Windranger pick for Nigma’s Aliwi "w33" Omar. Geek Fam controlled the tempo of the early game and took objectives, with the newly added Karl “Karl” Jayme’s Timbersaw stomping w33 in the mid lane and topping the net worth charts.
Geek Fam pressed its advantage and pushed Nigma into its base. They tried closing the deal, but Nigma’s high ground defense held true as they prevented the SEA team from even taking a tier-three tower.
Nigma tried to buy time for Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi’s Phantom Lancer to come online, and his eventual Diffusal Blade pickup was huge in countering Karl’s Timbersaw. With the right items, Nigma flipped the script in crucial team fights.
Once he was itemized, Phantom Lancer was unkillable and Nigma started taking down the barracks of Geek Fam. The SEA team couldn’t contest the pressure and decided to tap out of the game.
Fans saw another Windranger performance from w33 in the second game and grabbed Earthshaker, a signature hero of Maroun "GH" Merhej. That paid off brilliantly, with his spot-on Fissures and Echo Slams leading Nigma to numerous successful engagements.
Nigma controlled the map and picked off any enemy who tried to advance. Geek Fam retaliated but Nigma was always one step ahead. They secured mega creeps and locked up the series with a 2-0 win.
With that victory, Nigma secured the last spot in the grand finals and a rematch against RNG. The two faced off in the opening round of the playoffs, with RNG securing a 2-1 win. RNG has been an absolute force throughout the WePlay! Bukovel Minor and have the look of a top team.
The Chinese team is entering as the betting favorite, but Nigma is finally starting to look like the team that reached the finals of The International 2019. The grand finals should be a competitive series.
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