The idea of Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi and his crew playing opposite Team Liquid still feels somewhat strange. The squad’s best years were spent as a part Team Liquid, and the new Team Nigma brand hasn’t really taken hold just yet.
It’s only a matter of time before they completely divorce themselves from that former lineage however, as this will be the eighth showdown between the The International 2017-winning lineup and their longtime organization. This latest showdown comes as the opening match of BLAST Bounty Hunt.
When Team Nigma is at its best, it’s capable of winning anything, including The International. The team came just two maps shy of doing exactly that at The International 2019, falling to OG in the grand finals and winnig WePlay! Dota 2 Tug of War: Mad Moon earlier this year at the expense of top-ranked Team Secret. The lineup is firmly established at this point as among the best in the world.
What’s the cause of this inconsistency? That’s unclear. It isn’t a matter of substitutes, as Nigma will bring the same roster they always do to BLAST Bounty Hunt:
It’s not a matter of the transition from live events to online leagues either, since the team looked to be in peak form for the online group stage of ESL One Birmingham.
It seems as though Nigma might just be wildly inconsistent these daus, and there isn’t a reliable way to predict which version of the team will show up.
While Team Nigma has been inconsistent, Team Liquid has been precitably good. But not quite great.
The team has posted solid results in most of the events it has competed in, but hasn’t won anything this season. Liquid placed in the top six at both majors and has posted solid placements in most of the leagues it has taken part in this season, including second place at OGA Dota PIT 2020 Online and third in the WePlay! Pushka League.
Team Liquid will enter this matchup with the same lineup it has used all year:
Liquid has proven it’s capable of getting wins over formidable opponents, but it may face a stiffer test in Team Nigma.
Liquid and Nigma actually just finished up playing against one another in the playoffs of ESL One Birmingham. Nigma came out on top of their showdown 2-0, taking lopsided wins on both maps. This also put Nigma ahead in the teams’ overall head-to-head matchup history 4-3.
The betting odds reflect that, with Nigma standing as a 1.75 favorite on Winners.bet while Liquid is a 1.95 underdog. Given the fact that Nigma is far more credentialed than Liquid and is coming off a decisive win over their former organization, choosing Nigma here looks to be a serious value.
There are also some strong parlay options available as well, with markets on towers, barracks, and kill races all available.