Playing against beastcoast, Nigma were on the receiving end of the biggest upset of the tournament so far. The South American squad got the better of them with a 2-1 series win, eliminating Nigma from the event in ninth place.
The series opened with a surprise victory for beastcoast. Though things initially looked to be moving at a slow pace, the action exploded after the five minute mark as the two teams began an almost constant skirmish.
Each player managed to show off their skills, but beastcoast’s Jean Pierre “Chris Luck” Gonzales took over the game as Broodmother. Despite a tumultuous laning stage, Chris Luck flexed in the mid game and applied heavy pressure to towers. That allowed beastcoast to swing the momentum, take control, and start the series strong.
Nigma fired back in game two. Right from the start, the European squad was looking to knock beastcoast off balance with constant gank attempts. This actually cost Nigma a great deal of gold as they dedicated three or four players to each play, but it ultimately served the purpose of buying Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi more time to build up his Phantom Lancer.
The plan worked perfectly and Nigma ended up forcing beastcoast into their base. The Peruvians tried to fight their way back, but this only brought about the end of the game.
Beastcoast perplexed fans in game three by locking in a mid lane Disruptor for Chris Luck. The efficacy of the move is debatable, but beastcoast went all in on it by drafting a wombo combo-heavy lineup around the pick including a Faceless Void for Hector Antonio “K1” Rodriguez and Winter Wyvern for Steven “StingeR” Vargas.
The combination of Winter’s Curse, Chronosphere, and Static Storm is overwhelmingly powerful but difficult to execute. This made for a close game where the net worth lead never exceeded 9,000 gold in either direction.
The game dragged on and could’ve broken in either direction, but beastcoast’s lineup scaled better. This saw Nigma try and force a game-ending fight, but a poor initiation allowed beastcoast to kite damage and land their big spells. With no buybacks and just one left hero alive, Nigma couldn’t hold beastcoast back and lost the series 2-1.
Weighing how much of this outcome can be credited to beastcoast’s strengths and Nigma’s shakiness is difficult, but both undeniably played a role.
The South American team posted a surprise top-eight finish at The International 2019 as Infamous and haven’t slowed down since. The team has run into tough circumstances at both the MDL Chengdu Major and DreamLeague Leipzig Major, getting struck with a sudden illness in the former and playing with a substitute in the latter, but have still managed to look solid in both.
The team might be poised to grow into one of the world’s best, and this upset is a great feather to have in their cap.
Nigma has looked shaky since returning to action. The team stumbled repeatedly during the WePlay! Bukovel Minor against good, but not necessarily great, competition.
The reason for these struggles is somewhat unclear, with some fans pointing to an apparent disconnect between Aliwi “w33” Omar and the rest of the team and others blaming Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov’s sometimes underwhelming play. It’s also entirely possible that the team is simply rusty after taking more than three months off from pro competition.
Either way, Nigma will need to sort things out quickly. The qualifiers for the ESL One Los Angeles Major begin before long.