The series came late in the wild card stage of the $500,000 tournament. While both team’s heroes and starting items were kept the samein the restart, what looks like a solid victory for Nigma turned into a loss due to a software failure. This could cost Team Nigma a spot in the AniMajor group stage and, eventually, The International 10.
Nigma was solidly in control of the match. A beautiful teamfight at 12 minutes gave laner Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi an ultra kill with his meta-defining Puck. Igor “iLTW” Filatov was able to make significant early game contributions on Spectre. Nigma was set to secure a spot in the group stage right before a fatal server crash.
— WePlay Esports @ AniMajor (@WePlay_Esports) June 3, 2021
With no save state to work from, Valve made the decision to restart the game with the exact same draft, heroes, lanes, and starting items.
The match played completely differently. Secret’s mid laner and safe laner Michał “Nisha” Jankowski and Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen both went for significantly different items and skill builds. Their team stomped out a victory over Nigma with 30 kills to only eight.
Dota 2 currently has no system to roll a crashed game back to a previous state. A similar feature was offered in the original Source version of Dota 2, but was removed in the Dota Reborn update in late 2015. Commentator Kyle Freedman correctly suggested that the official rulebook may not cover a client-side crash. Team Secret offered a restart from the draft before Valve’s decision.
For the record, we offered a complete remake with new drafts but ultimately the decision was taken by Valve and we have no say in it.
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) June 3, 2021
These kinds of crashes are exceedingly rare, but this wasn’t the first time they’ve impacted competitive play. A similar crash happened for Alliance against Evil Geniuses at OMEGA League: Europe Immortal in August 2020. That game was restarted from the draft phase.