Nigma veered away from its lower bracket tradition as the team won the top seed of its group. The squad is well-known for thriving under pressure in the lower bracket.
This reputation is well-earned, coming from the team’s run at The International 2017 which saw them win the event after Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi famously stated that the “upper bracket is for bitches.”
The team seemed to stay true to form at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor, which saw them lose their playoff debut at the event but still manage to win out and punch a ticket to the DreamLeague 13 Leipzig Major. The team also reached the grand finals of The International 2019 despite starting the playoffs in the lower bracket.
The team made an entertaining announcement about it on Twitter, stating “Sorry to disappoint our fans but we’re in the upper bracket of The DreamLeague Major.”
Natus Vincere shocked fans when it became the top seed of Group D.
Na`Vi was a huge underdog against Evil Geniuses and Team Liquid. That didn’t stop the Ukrainian team from dominating, thanks in large part to strong performances from Na`Vi’s core players Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek and Idan “MagicaL” Vardanian. Both players have stepped up their games to earn Natus Vincere a spot in the upper bracket.
The playoffs may be a higher level of pressure but having the safety net of an upper bracket start surely gives Na’Vi some comfort. Though they face longer odds than Nigma do of winning, they have already greatly exceeded expectations.
Nigma will kick off its playoffs run against Evil Geniuses while Natus Vincere takes on Alliance.