One of the greatest streaks in esports history has been broken.
Team Nigma has been defeated by OG in the lower bracket finals of The International 2021’s qualifiers. This means that Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi and his team will not be competing at the event this year, ending KuroKy’s streak of competing in every installment of The International.
Team Nigma eliminated from The International 2021 qualifiers
Congratulations to @OGesports on the series WIN! 👏🙌
— BTS Dota (@BTSdota) July 10, 2021
The series opened with a solid victory for Team Nigma, with the game being neck-and-neck until late-game power spikes for Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi’s Invoker allowed Nigma to take the lead and close things out. Things took a sharp turn from there, however.
Game two saw KuroKy draft a hard support Razor for himself. While there was speculation that Dota 2’s deftest drafter had found a new unique trump card, the game instead went in the direction one would expect when a mid lane hero is drafted to the No. 5 position.
Despite having Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov on Alchemist, Nigma didn’t have the net worth lead at any point during the game. MinD_ContRoL, KuroKy, and Maroun “GH” Merhej combined for a 4-29 K/D.
The final game was the same for Nigma.
Though Nigma’s flimsiness defined game two, the strength of Syed “SumaiL” Hassan defined game three. The OG carry showed his strength as Drow Ranger by scoring kills throughout the game, ending the series 2-1 with a performance that saw him get 13 kills, 13 assists, and no deaths.
Though this was a big victory for OG, it isn’t the end of the team’s qualifier journey. They’ll need to defeat Tundra Esports in a best-of-five finals in order to qualify for TI10.
With Nigma out of the TI10 qualifiers, the team no longer has any path into the event. That means that KuroKy will not be attending the event, short of a strange last-minute substitution situation. With this, Clement “Puppey” Ivanov will become the only player to compete at every installment of The International
— Wykrhm Reddy (@wykrhm) July 10, 2021
Nigma’s failure to qualify will likely further frustrate those who are already frustrated with the new Dota Pro Circuit format. Team Nigma was generally strong throughout the season, taking third place in both European league cycles and making a very strong run in the WePlay AniMajor. The team’s catastrophic flop in the ONE Esports Singapore Major proved to be its undoing, but even then it faced an impossible situation due to a late substitution that saw coach Roman “rmN-” Paley forced to replace MinD_ContRoL.
Though KuroKy’s streak is impressive, it always had a bit of an asterisk. Despite competing at The International 2012, he never actually qualified for the event. He played in the western qualifiers for the event with Virtus.pro but the team was eliminated well short of the finals by zNation. He competed at TI2 when mousesports needed a substitution due to visa issues.
Regardless, the end of the streak is the end of an era for The International. The question now is if Team Nigma will be set for any kind of overhaul in the offseason.