Dota 2 esports fans aren’t seeing double. There really are two Team Nigmas now.
The organization founded by The International 2019 runners-up made a surprise announcement that it has merged with Galaxy Racer Esports and will take on a secondary Dota 2 roster as a result. Galaxy Racer’s Dota 2 team is based in Southeast Asia with a primarily Indonesian roster, but Galaxy Racer actually headquarters in the United Arab Emirates.
Given that Team Nigma is one of Dota 2’s most popular western brands and has a highly successful team that nearly qualified for The International 2021, it might be a surprise that it would make this huge shift.
Here’s what happened and why Team Nigma made this move.
Nigma Galaxy is a rebranding of Team Nigma and Galaxy Racer after the two organizations merged. The enduring European team led by Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi will remain intact but will have a sister team in Galaxy Racer’s SEA Dota 2 squad, which will compete under the name Nigma Galaxy SEA.
The merger between the two combines Galaxy Racer’s large stable of teams and content creators with Nigma’s successful Dota 2 team and prominent sponsors.
“Galaxy Racer is the fastest-growing organization in the [Middle-East and North Africa] region. They’re already carrying a lot of esports teams around the globe in titles like League of Legends, PUBG Mobile, Counter-Strike, and a lot of others…and while they have a really amazing structure of content creators, they want to develop in esports a little bit more, and that’s where we come in,” Christoph Timm of Team Nigma said.
Though Galaxy Racer competes in a long list of titles, its teams are predominantly competitive only at the regional level. Team Nigma is by far its most credentialed team and will give Galaxy Racer a foothold at the top of a prominent esport.
For Team Nigma, the apparent benefit is the ability to provide more value to sponsors through a broader offering of teams and content creators across more regions. Galaxy Racer’s partnered streamers are likely of particular value, as Nigma’s players have made little effort to provide value to sponsors through social media and streaming platforms.
Both of the Nigma Galaxy Dota 2 squads are positioned to compete in the Dota Pro Circuit next season. The original Nigma retains its spot in the European upper division, while the SEA squad has a spot in its region’s lower division.