Team Liquid will meet Nigma Galaxy in the lower bracket final of the Gamers Without Borders tournament.
Team Liquid were able to cope with Gaimin Gladiators in the first round of the lower bracket. On the first map, Team Liquid implemented the original pick with Medusa and midlane Rubick. Gaimin Gladiators tried to respond with a Sniper pick, enforced with Chen’s Penitence.
The second map turned out to be much more stressful for Team Liquid. Despite the lost lanes, Gaimin Gladiators were able to catch their opponent on mistakes, kill the enemy carry Razor several times and even try to get to the opponent’s high ground. But the unsuccessful assault on the Liquid’s base after the end of the Aegis buried the chances for a comeback in this series for Gladiators.
Nigma Galaxy failed to put up a decent resistance in the final of the upper bracket against Tundra Esports.
For the first map, Kuroky chose too passive and greedy pick, Enigma support and Dragon Knight could not deprive the enemy Chaos Knight of farming, and Keeper of the Light is completely unsuitable for the role of babysitter for the fragile Phantom Assassin hard carry. Tundra, in contrast, rolled out Spirit Breaker on mid for Nine. He extremely accelerated the pace of the team and kept enemies on the trot, so that Miracle was able to farm only one Battle fury for the whole game. As a result, Nigma lost all the lanes and failed all attempts to turn into life push potential of their DK. Fights did not end well for them either. So after 24 minutes of the game, Kuro’s team wrote gg.
The second map was too similar in the scenario to its predecessor. Tundra took all the same Meta heroes, focusing bans on the Miracle hero pool. As a result, Amer had to play on the Weaver against Doom. 33 is famous for the fact that he can give the hard time to the opponent even with a losing lineup, but in the opposite situation, Neta Shapira turns into a nightmare for any carry. By the 20th minute he had Blink and BKB. If Tundra didn’t break it bad, the second map would have lasted as long as the first. But the arcade fights under the tier-3 tower of the opponent from Tundra gave us another 20 minutes of the game. In late game, Weaver could not compete in any way against the overfarmed Chaos Knight, Doom and Queen of Pain.
The European team took third place at the end of the second season of DPC, however, after a triumphant debut in the winter tour of this game year and second place in the regional finals, many expected a better result from them. So, according to analysts, the Swedish-Finnish team is now in a certain decline. The strength of Team Liquid lies in their flexibility and interchangeability. After all, MATUMBAMAN can safely go to mid, just like on old times with Team Liquid with Kuroky, where he often replaced Miracle in mid. Micke, who just this season changed his role from carry to midlaner, can safely play on the easy line. Boxi, if there is a need, can again take the position of an offlaner, and zai can shift to the position of a soft support.
The team’s choice of strategies is as diverse as their players’ skill. The “liquid ones” can play with one hard carry, leaving MATUMBAMAN to farm for a good half hour of the game, they can shift the focus to micke by choosing a more greedy hero for him, they can even take two greedy heroes for their midlaner and carry, forcing zai to play the role of a sacrificial cow, and they can also play aggressive Dota by choosing three active heroes for their core positions.
The forcing power of the team is often played by micke. Receiving an active hero, he often ganks the most problematic sideline to help his team. Team Liquid pays a lot of attention to the enemy tier-1 tower on mid, its destruction in the early stage of the game will allow Liquid to make more cocky attacks into the opponent’s jungle. You can see how often, even with a passive carry, MATUMBAMAN shifts to the center lane to help his team. In case of an unsuccessful lane, zai takes advantage of the skirmish that his teammates create, in order to move into the forest and reduce his gap from the enemy’s heroes.
Team Liquid’s supports are also worth noticing. Boxi has only recently moved to support 4 positions, so it is not always possible to evaluate his performance on standard hero pool of pos 4 support. However, having received a comfortable hero in his hands, Boxi can simply gang over the entire map. He is marked by an active and completely unpretentious farming style of play. iNSaNiA can often swap roles with Boxi and play as a soft support if the team needs support, on which Boxi does not feel quite confident. Also his virtuoso playing on Io is worth a special mention, a main feature of which is the perfect independence of Wisp performed by Aydin. Unlike other Io, which from a certain stage of the game relentlessly follow their carry everywhere, iNSaNiA likes early solo Relocates to help on other lanes and generally make the most of the macro advantage of Relocate.
Representatives of the Middle Eastern world of Dota are going through hard times right now. rmN has been in the team for a long time, but teamwork and understanding of the game in modern realities is not enough to replace the tier-1 carry or midlaner. Although we have examples of successful playing coaches, like xiao8 in PSG.LGD, it is worth noting that LGD were in much better shape than Nigma now. Nigma has now completely shifted their focus of the game to Miracle, even MinD_ContRoL has stopped receiving independent heroes, the so-called carries on the third position. The whole team’s game is built around the good old 4+1 strategy. The irony is that modern meta implies a more active game, with three active characters, including the offlaner with farm, a good example of this is Tundra and Gaimin Gladiators. Nigma’s main focus is on an active early-game with successful fights, due to the rmN’s limited heropool, only Tusk and Dark Seer appear on mid. They are really strong heroes for fights, but completely unable to farm, which deprives them of the opportunity to be useful in case of losing lanes. The same situation arises with MinD_ContRoL, they do not need another core hero from offlane, but just an initiator who will lead the team, so the full potential of Ivan Borislavov in the game is simply lost behind the banal function of a punching bag.
There are also many questions about the game form of the team captain – Kuroky. Kuro has been experiencing health problems in recent years, which do not allow him to adjust the training process and regain his form. Besides that, in recent years he has been combining captaincy with a co-founder position in his own organization, Nigma, which also takes some of his time and effort. These factors result in one simple fact – Kuroky has become much worse on the lane, where many micro moments are still important. However, in the game and at the draft stage, his incredible experience and skills still allow him to be called one of the best captains of the modern Dota 2 scene.
The team’s playstyle can be described as: focus on strong lanes, early game chaotic fights and hope that Miracle will farm well. In accordance with this idea, they build their draft. They always prefer lastpick, so that the opponent could not counterpick Miracle’s hero, or simply in order to have an advantage when setting lanes. Nigma is often opened with a flexible initiator, which can be given to rmN or MinD_ContRoL: Sand King, Tusk or Dark Seer and some flexible support, which complicates the life of the already picked heroes of the opponent on the lane. It can be Shadow Shaman or Keeper of Light.
In the second stage, the team nearly knows which carry they will pick for themselves and select a support for him, if the support from the first stage of the pick does not suit him really well. Then either another initiator hero is picked and the lastpick remains for Miracle, or carry appears. In modern meta, they prefer to take for carry ranged heroes who can inflict damage from afar, choosing a good position and risking nothing behind the team’s frontline – Medusa, Terroblade, or swift heroes who can quickly change their position during a fight, such as Clinkz or Weaver.
Next, Nigma will try to turn the game into a complete mess, hoping that their carry will take advantage of this and will be able to farm his items. This mess includes unnecessary exchanges on the starting runes and spontaneous ganks in the first minutes of the game, especially from rmN, because often he can no longer be on the midlane by that time, and sudden raids into the enemy’s jungle in the hope of imposing a winning fight there. Such an action plan is good against inexperienced young teams who may get lost in an unusual situation, but this trick will not work against the experienced raidbosses of the pro scene.
Team Liquid vs Nigma Galaxy match prediction. Cakewalk for Team Liquid
Nigma Galaxy are inferior to their rivals in all respects, from the size of the hero pool to the personal level of performance of the players. An additional motivating factor for MATUMBAMAN may be the desire for a sporting rematch for an unfair kick in the spring of 2019. Team Liquid understands the weaknesses of their opponent and will direct all efforts to ensure that Miracle could not find a convenient hero for himself.
And in the game itself, Liquid will try to nip in the bud all attempts of mass fights from Nigma and will try to complicate the life of the Nigma’s carry. In order to win in this series, Nigma will have to surprise at the draft, and finally give a more independent hero for MinD_ContRoL. In addition, Liquid quite often likes to take passive drafts with no burst damage, so an attempt to take heroes for an early push or sustainable heroes can bring victory to Nigma on a separate map.
But, overall, the current game form will not allow Nigma to compete with an opponent at a long distance, so it is Team Liquid that can be considered unconditional favorites of the match.