Team Nigma benches w33 after finishing last in Singapore Major

By Steven Rondina


Apr 6, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

Aliwi “w33” Omar is looking for a new home.

Team Nigma has announced that its midlaner has been deactivated and moved out of the team’s starting roster. This comes just days after the end of the ONE Esports Singapore Major, which saw Team Nigma suffer a disastrous last-place finish in the event. The news was revealed on Twitter.

“As of today, w33 will be moved from the active roster and become our sixth player for the time being. Omar has contributed a lot to the team and the organization. We are grateful that he is a part of the Team Nigma Family,” the organization said in a statement.

The statement also noted that he is free to pursue other opportunities as they present themselves. This likely means that he will be exiting the team in the near future to join a different organization. w33 has not yet issued a statement on the matter.

Catch up on Team Nigma news:

w33 never felt like a great fit for Team Nigma

w33 joined the Team Nigma roster while it was competing under the Team Liquid umbrella in 2019 after the benching of longtime core player Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen. MATUMBAMAN was effectively traded for w33, who was playing for Chaos Esports Club at the time. 

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Fan pushback against the move was immediate but w33 acquitted himself to some degree by helping Team Liquid snag second-place finishes in both the 2019 Epicenter Major and The International 2019. Consistency has never been a defining trait of the squad but when the Dota 2 team left Team Liquid to form Team Nigma things got worse than ever. The team would seemingly win an event one week and flop in embarrassing the next.

w33’s final event with the team was one of its worst showings to date. The squad qualified for the ONE Esports Singapore Major by surviving tiebreakers in the European Dota Pro Circuit league for a wildcard spot. Despite facing some of the weaker teams in the event, Nigma suffered a catastrophic last-place finish by posting a 1-9 record on maps.

The finish certainly wasn’t entirely w33’s fault, as the team dealt with Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov pulling out of the event due to illness and coach Roman “rmN-” Paley stepping in as a sub. However, a change of any kind isn’t a huge surprise given how poorly things went for Team Nigma in the Singapore Major. 

Who is on Team Nigma?

With w33 out of Team Nigma, the squad has the following players:

  • Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi
  • Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov
  • Maroun “GH” Merhej
  • Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi

The team has an open spot at the core position that it will need to fill in short order and it is unclear who might be brought in. There are actually a number of viable candidates on the free agent market, including Syed “SumaiL” Hassan and Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng.

KuroKy also isn’t above bringing in a relatively new player, either. GH had little experience against serious competition before being added to Team Liquid in 2017 and there may be someone flying under the radar that’s ready to move up to the big time.

Either way, an answer should be coming in the immediate future since the next stage of the Dota Pro Circuit season kicks off on April 13.