Nigma and Team Secret reach the closed qualifiers for DreamLeague Season 13

Two dominant Dota 2 teams are back in the fray.

Photo via Valve

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While other regions saw upsets and surprising Dota 2 teams rising through the ranks, Europe had two juggernauts returning to the game for the first time this season. And they both looked ready to continue their dominant performance from the past. 

The former Team Liquid roster led by Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi and Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s Team Secret wasted no time asserting themselves over the rest of the competition. They each blew through the open qualifiers for the DreamLeague Season 13 Major today.

Nigma, the stack Kuro formed with his teammates after they left Liquid, played a total of four games in the open qualifiers. But none of them lasted longer than 22 minutes. The runners-up from The International 2019 put on a clinic, taking out their first opponent in a 21-minute blowout before following that up by clearing the next round in just over 11 minutes. 

The only real test for the new organization came against OG Seed, a group of veteran players brought in by OG to play as a secondary roster. But even that elevated level of competition only slightly slowed down Nigma. Kuro and his team demonstrated just how deep and versatile their draft game is. 

In two sub 30-minute games, Nigma claimed the first ticket to the closed Major qualifiers, leaving OG without any representation for a second straight set of Dota Pro Circuit events. 

On the other side of the bracket, Secret had no trouble reaching the final round of the event. But their opponents were an odd stack of talented CIS players who gave them a good run at the last minute. The combined play of Jonáš “SabeRLight-” Volek, Milan “MiLAN” Kozomara, and Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev was almost enough to steal a game off of Secret, but Puppey and crew somehow managed to pull back into the lead to close out both games. 

Game one was built on strange interactions and minimal kills, but the Chicken Fighters stack took advantage of that early to build a solid lead. Puppey and the team’s newest addition, Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen, went untouched during the tough mid-game, which allowed them to carry their team to a late comeback. 

That showing was replicated again in game two after soNNeikO and his team managed to snuff out a big Secret lead at the 20-minute mark and forced one of the EU’s top teams into another tight fight. Matu and Puppey closed out the game again with a lot of help from an expertly played Viper by Michał “Nisha” Jankowski, who made up for a poor performance from Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg. 

Both teams are now locked into the closed qualifiers and will have a chance at making it to the DreamLeague Season 13 Major. If they fail to beat some of the other top European teams waiting for them, there are three spots for the WePlay! Bukovel Minor EU qualifiers available, too. 

Competition for those spots begins on Dec. 1 after all of the other open qualifiers wrap up.