Nigma were moments away from sweeping Alliance in the grand finals of the OGA Dota PIT season two tournament today but faltered near the end of game three. Alliance pushed the series to the full five games but were unable to complete the comeback and will have to be satisfied with second place.
Nigma focused heavily on teamfight strategies through the series, employing heroes like Faceless Void, Rubick, and Warlock multiple times. Despite generally foregoing pushing heroes, the team was rarely punished since Alliance’s drafts weren’t able to muster a competent skirmish in the first two games. Alliance finally struck back with a game three comeback, leaving the final two games of the series to be largely decided by the strength of both teams’ comfort picks.
The first game was a bloodbath from start to finish, with Nigma as the main beneficiary. With Miracle- and w33 suffering in the lanes, it was up to the other three players to be the vanguard for their team and they duly delivered. MinD_ContRoL’s Dark Seer was particularly impressive, as was coach Roman “rmN-” Paley’s hard support Snapfire. Both players ended the game with just one death apiece.
Nigma repeatedly forcing the issue later into the game did provide Alliance with a glimmer of hope, but the captainless team managed to restrain themselves just enough to see out an ultimately comfortable victory.
Game two began with a much slower pace, but Nigma used the global power of Spectre and a Boots of Travel Batrider to ramp up the aggression in the mid game.
Alliance’s choice to pick Lifestealer for Nikobaby tremendously backfired. Nigma drafted a litany of magic immunity piercing disables like Enigma and Warlock. Every teamfight eventually fell the way of Nigma, while Miracle-’s Spectre and GH’s Rubick had free rein to terrorize Alliance.
The third game seemed to be going according to plan for Nigma. They had their teamfight strategy in place and the laning stage was going decently. The first few melees were decidedly in favor of Nigma and it was looking like a clean sweep.
Alliance had other ideas, though. Placing their trust in mid laner Limmp’s best hero, Templar Assassin, the Swede even managed to outplay a direct counterpick Jakiro in his lane. The ensuing back-and-forth turned the game into a full-blown spectacle, with one team desperate to close out the series and the other fighting for their tournament lives.
Nigma’s exasperation made their play a little sloppy, however, and Alliance found themselves in the lead for perhaps the first time in the series. Yet, Nigma found the inner strength to summon a fantastic teamfight that wiped every Alliance hero and it looked like they had just enough gas in the tank to cross the finish line.
Alliance didn’t give up, however, and were duly rewarded. With Roshan becoming the prime objective after both teams committed multiple buybacks, Limmp’s quick fingers ensured that he wasn’t caught out in Miracle-’s Chronosphere and he proceeded to annihilate Nigma’s heroes and base.
Riding the momentum directly into the fourth game, Alliance once again relied on comfort picks, taking Slark for Nikobaby and Death Prophet for Limmp. Nigma started strong again after an early round of musical lanes. Unlike the previous three games, though, Alliance were able to keep their opponents in check, finding solid trades even when their cores fell.
While Nigma retained a strong fighting lineup, an overfocus on single target disables made Nikobaby’s Slark feet invincible as he slipped in and out of fights, forcing Nigma to routinely commit spells on him to no avail. Eventually, Alliance’s carry was impossible to stop and a final deciding game was forced.
In the last bout, Nigma took a page out of their opponent’s playbook. Miracle- was entrusted with an uber carry in Terrorblade, with the rest of his team fully equipped to build around him. Alliance returned Nikobaby to Faceless Void but supplemented it with secondary cores in Queen of Pain and Brewmaster.
The final game proceeded at a much slower pace, with both teams wary of the consequences. It looked like Alliance had broke the deadlock, even drawing first blood on Miracle-.
It was w33’s Batrider that came to the rescue for Nigma. The star mid laner skirted the line between space creation and reckless feeding near flawlessly, pulling Alliance in all directions and allowing his carry to farm to his heart’s content.
The grueling series had to come to an end and it was Miracle-’s Terrorblade that stood tall with his legion of illusions, forcing Alliance to their knees. Nigma earned $70,873 in prize money, while runners-up Alliance will have to make do with just $36,822.