NIGMA are a strong team who win most games, but stumble against OG. But can they ever turn things around?

20:00, 04 Sep 2020

The recent OMEGA League Immortal division saw OG obliterate Nigma in the upper bracket playoffs. The two time TI champions won 2-0 to qualify for the finals. 

It was no surprise looking at the outcome of the match that Nigma missed the absence of Kuro “KuroKy Takhasomi against OG. Although their coach Roman “rmN-“ Paley played in place of Kuro, he couldn’t make a difference against OG’s aggressive play and unorthodox thinking. Nigma will now face Team Liquid in the lower bracket to work their way up in the tournament.

This is not the first time Nigma have stumbled against OG in a tournament. In fact, most of Nigma’s matches against OG yield a negative result for them. But why is it so, why does Nigma fall down against OG repeatedly and how can they turn this around? To find out, we will look at their history.

OG wins TI9
OG wins TI9

HISTORY OF OG VERSUS NIGMA

OG and Nigma share some interesting history amongst themselves. The current members of Nigma were players of Team Liquid before their massive defeat against OG in The International 9. Everyone who follows Dota, knows how OG humiliated Team Liquid in the finals of Dota’s biggest tournament. Maybe it wasn’t the only reason for Team Liquid’s fall out but a heavy defeat in the finals acted as a catalyst.

The TI 9 final was decided in a 3-1 victory to OG. Liquid were drafting brilliantly throughout the tournament but defeating OG was a different ball game. Although their draft worked brilliantly in the first game, the second and third games had loopholes which OG exploited to massacre Team Liquid. The second game was a nightmare for Liquid, where Gh played Enigma and Mind Control held the offlane with Tidehunter. With Enigma and Tidehunter, Liquid were looking to play on big ultimates and cooldown timings. However, OG crashed the party with their low cooldown cores and a fight heavy lineup. 

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It was a one-sided match, but one of the most insulting phases of the match was OG’s cat-and-mouse chase after Kuro’s team for eight minutes straight in the mid-game. The utter humiliation Liquid was facing baffled the casters. The last deciding game saw Liquid controlling the early phase of the game, but OG had too much confidence to lose their final leap towards the trophy.

Following the cruel loss at the Internationals, Team Liquid disbanded and Kuroky formed team Nigma with the same lineup. No doubt the new team did well in their journey to glory, but Nigma never settled scores with OG. Nigma lost to OG 2-0 in ESL One LA 2020, the WePlay! Pushka League also saw OG take the group stages against Nigma. In the Gamers without Borders event, OG won with a 2-1 scoreline, so was the scenario in the BLAST Bounty Hunt and BEYOND EPIC events.

The only proper win Nigma could register was in OGA Dota PIT Season 2, where they won 2-0 against OG.

HOW CAN NIGMA BOUNCE BACK

Nigma are not a young team, and they have an experienced group of players and a TI winning captain. According to Join Dota, Nigma have a win rate of 63%, which proves that they do well against most teams. Kuro’s squad only struggles versus OG who play a different style of Dota

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OG seem to have fun playing the game, and they care less about consequences and more about what they want to achieve in the game. Nigma have a positive winning mentality, but they feel pressurised by the competition.

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Nigma’s drafting is questionable. The loss at OMEGA League Immortal division was reminiscent of the second game in the ninth International finals. Nigma picked Tidehunter and Sandking in the second game, with Arc Warden as their mid hero. The long cooldown on their ultimate abilities gave OG a perfect opportunity to pick heroes like Luna and Void Spirit. A heavy nuke lineup with low cooldown spells. To top things off, Void Spirit is a tough matchup for Arc Warden. A lack of early game space for Miracle and team fight between cooldowns gave OG a resounding victory.

Nigma have to adopt a unique approach while facing OG. Notail’s team plays a mix of professional and pub Dota. Their team synergy is excellent, and a player like Topson in their mid role makes most games effortless. To face OG, Nigma have to become like OG. The unpredictable drafting, the unorthodox plays and careless but effective Dota. Drafting is a key factor in determining the outcome of any match, and it is more so in professional Dota. Kuroky is well-versed with the game and can definitely draft to OG’s disadvantage. Nigma’s history against OG also seems to force them to lose their composure. However, if they want to win, the team has to put the past behind and focus on their next goals to victory.
 

Images via Dot Esports | PC Gamer

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