Nigma edge out HellRaisers at WeSave! Charity Dota2 event
Team Nigma went the distance at WeSave! Charity Dota2 event earlier this Thursday, and won Europe versus CIS superfinals showmatch with a close-fought 3-2 win over their Russian counterparts HellRaisers.
Team Nigma once more proved they are one of the best Dota2 teams in the scene with their commanding run through WeSave! Charity tournament, which they sealed with a strong performance against HellRaisers in the EU vs CIS superfinals. Although it wasn't the cleanest of execution, Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi and co. showed just enough to edge out a 3-2 win against the in-form HellRaisers, who did not go down without a fight.
Nigma began their venture into the WeSave! Charity event in a heavily-stacked European bracket alongside Team Secret, Team Liquid and OG. Their race to the top began against Team Secret, who stood no chance against the ex-Team Liquid roster, who pocketed a comfortable 2-0 win to book a spot in the European finals. There they met with Team Liquid, who shocked the world with their commanding 2-0 win over the two-time back-to-back TI champions.
Although OG recently rebuilt their roster by signing Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan, Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng and Martin "Saksa" Sazdov, the European juggernauts appeared at the WeSave! tournament with OG Seed carry Omar Mohammad "Madara" Dabachach and Sébastien "Ceb" Debs, who replaced MidOne and Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen, both of whom were unable to attend the event.
The two European finalists met on Wednesday, March 25, with a ticket for the EU vs CIS superfinals on the line, and while Team Liquid started the series strong and won the first map, their former roster put up a commanding run and produced an impressive reverse-sweep with three swift maps, which lasted barely 25:39,26:12 and 21:37 respectively. Having won the European finals, Nigma were set to clash with HellRaisers, who entered the superfinals following an impressive run through their regional bracket.
Seeded with Dendi's new squad B8, Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere, not many people expected for HellRaisers to come out ahead, however, Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov and co. came to WeSave! Charity tournament to impress, and that is exactly what they did. A close fought, yet well-deserved clean sweep against Virtus.pro in round one earned them a meeting with the prominent Natus Vincere, who were billed as the stronger team, yet that was not the case on that day.
HellRaisers shone bright, completely outclassed their compatriots and sealed the CIS finals series with a 3-0 sweep. Hot in form, HellRaisers were ready to venture off into the EU vs. CIS superfinals, where they were set to defend the pride of their region.
Game one between Team Nigma and HellRaisers was a close and thrilling one, which was expected, as both sides became known for their aggressive play style and they did not fail to show just that. What's more, their drafts allowed for a high-tempo aggressive game on its own and it goes without saying there were quite a few highlight moments as the two Dota2 juggernauts battled it out in the arena.
As the game progressed into mid-late game, Nigma slowly pulled away with their strong mid-late game team composition, yet all the spotlight was on Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi and his Phantom Assasin, who was a huge nuisance to deal with for HellRaisers. In a bit to stop Miracle- HellRaisers put all their resources in killing him, a mistake NIgma took full advantage of to seal the first game of the series.
HellRaisers managed to turn the tides in the second game, where Alexander “Nix” Levin had a huge game and played a pivotal role in his team's success. With Riki, Nix accumulated 20 kills throughout the game without dying once. Although Nix did most of the work in killing Nigma's players, all five members of HellRaisers did their part to tie the series at 1-1 with an overall impressive display of skill.
HellRaisers carried over the momentum from game two into game three, where their key players all put up a strong performance, only this time, it was Arslan “xannii” Shadjanov on Queen of Pain who shone the brightest with 20 kills to his name. With Nix on Monkey King and Gleb "Funn1k" Lipatnikov on Mars, the CIS squad had a team composition, which allowed them to have extremely strong teamfights, which gave them a substantial advantage over Nigma, who struggled to keep themselves in the game.
Following two poor performances, Nigma finally found their footing in game four. Although they went through some early-game struggles, Nigma started to roll once Aliwi "w33" Omar got his wheels spinning on Meepo. The Romanian solo middle ended the game with an impressive 15/0/3 score and played a crucial role in his team's success.
Tied at 2-2, it was now or nothing for Nigma and HellRaisers, who ventured off into the final game of the series, which was a surprisingly slow one, compared to the first four. While HellRaisers did their best to grab the reins of the match with an aggressive draft, Nigma were very efficient in slowing down the game by split pushing and building their strength, which they eventually unleashed in the mid-late game.
Once the late game rolled around, Miracle-'s Morphling turned into the late-game hypercarry, at which point it was only a matter of time before HellRaisers would kneel down. Mircale- ended the game with 15/2/6 score, which was far above any of his teammates, who combined a total of seven kills across all four members.
With that, Nigma once again made a huge splash in the Dota2 scene and proved they are not to be overlooked. Although the ex-Liquid squad had a fairly slow start of the season, they still managed to string together a series of three victories at WePlay!-ran tournaments, including WePlay! Bukovel Minor and WePlay! Tug of War: Mad Moon.
HellRaisers, on the other side, were the unfortunate losers on that day, but they are heading home with their heads held high, as they were the only team throughout the whole tournament who managed to challenge Nigma. HellRaisers still have a long road ahead before they will be considered as serious contenders for international success, however, it became very clear that their recent roster changes, which included the addition of Vladimir "RodjER" Nikogosyan, xannii and Funn1k, made HellRaisers a strong representative of CIS region.