Nigma faced Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk’s Aggressive Mode in a lower bracket series at WePlay! Tug of War: Mad Moon. The elimination series saw Nigma veer away from its usual serious gameplay into full-on meme territory.
Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi’s team scored a quick win in game one thanks to Aliwi “w33” Omar’s stellar performance on Tiny. Despite the pressure being high in the elimination series, Nigma decided to have fun during the second game.
KuroKy played in the middle lane as Slardar while w33 took the offlane as Skywrath Mage. Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi took on the hard support role and Maroun “GH” Merhej went into the jungle. As expected, Aggressive Mode annihilated Nigma as the players took unideal heroes into off-position roles.
Nigma discussed the move on Twitter and told fans that KuroKy lived his dream of playing mid lane and the team enjoyed the game, despite losing to Aggressive Mode. Though Nigma recovered with a convincing win in the decider, some fans were still frustrated with Nigma over giving their something other than a full effort.
Kyle ranted during the post-match discussion and bashed Nigma for, in a way, throwing the second game.
“What is this? How arrogant do you have to be?” he asked.
“This is disrespectful to your opponent and to your brand. You are representing your own organization. Do you want to get sponsored? This is how you think you are going to get it? Is there a circus in town? Do you think they need more clowns? Ridiculous!”
Kyle stressed that Nigma should have picked its draft deliberately and played the right roles.
Co-panelist Jorien “Sheever” van der Heijden commended Aggressive Mode for not letting Nigma mess up its game mentality. The team remained focused on its strategies and brushed off the potential trolling of Nigma.
Kyle was evidently upset. “You know what would really be funny? Not qualifying to TI in the hardest region by far this year. You don’t have enough points to make it…and you’re not gonna get there if you treat practice games like show matches,” he told the panelists.
Nigma advanced in the tournament and were up against Gambit Esports, but the reshuffling of the team wasn’t just a one-off affair.
The second game of its series against Gambit witnessed another role swapping. This time, KuroKy went offlane as Leshrac and Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov carried the team. Miracle- played a support Snapfire while w33 remained in the middle lane.
The feat was successful and Nigma executed its strategy well, beating Gambit and eventually winning the entire event.
Though Nigma was ultimately successful, it will be interesting to see if they attempt more games like this in the future.