Team Liquid were crowned The International 2017 Champions and following the 2019 version of that tournament, team captain KuroKy announced that many members of the Team Liquid roster were set to leave the organisation to set up their own team.
The end result of that move was the formation of the European-based team Nigma. The team, which uses the Arabic word for star as its title, have only contested a couple of qualifiers so far, finishing joint first of the DreamLeague Season 13 Open qualifier (with OG) at the end of November, then finishing fourth in the subsequent Closed Qualifier for the same event.
— Nigma (@nigmagg) November 25, 2019
The team then defeated three other teams in the online WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020 Europe Qualifier in early December, defeating Vikin.gg in the final comprehensively 3-0 to earn a spot at the third Dota Pro Circuit event of the season, following on from the Dota 11 Summit in Los Angeles in November (which was won by Invictus Gaming) and the MDL Chengdu Major a week later, which saw TNC Predator claim the top prize.
Interest in this third event of the year, even though it is a minor, is keen with a number of teams seeking to land these crucial Dota Pro Circuit points in an attempt to earn a qualifying spot at The International 2020 later in the year and the esports betting industry leading lights already feel that Nigma are the team to beat and will offer a real acid test for any team seeking to earn top spot in the Ukraine.
Betway esports currently have the team as the 9/10 favourites to win the tournament in the latest esports betting markets, ahead of Gambit Esports at 7/2, with Royal Never Give Up (11/2) and Ninjas in Pyjamas (6/1) close in the betting too. Other teams esports odds are Fighting Panda at 9/1, Geek Fam and Spirit both 14/1 shots and the outside bet is Furia, who are a 25/1 chance.
The winners of the event will also earn the chance to compete at the DreamLeague Season 13 tournament in Leipzig a week later from January 18th to 26th, which will feature 16 teams and the standard prize pool of $1,000,000 for a Dota Pro Circuit Major.
That could set up an interesting meeting between the current Team Liquid roster, and the Nigma roster of former Team Liquid stars in what would surely be one of the most eagerly anticipated contests in the history of the Dota Pro Circuit.
Group Draw & DPC Latest
Nigma have been drawn into Group B of the esports tournament in Bukovel alongside second favourites Gambit Esports along with outsiders Fighting PandaS and FURIA Esports. Geek Fam, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Royal Never Give Up and Team Spirit will make up the teams in Group A.
After two events of the Dota Pro Circuit this season, TNC Predator currently hold top position with 4,950 points, ahead of Vici Gaming who have 3,100 with Invictus Gaming currently third with 2,200 points and Evil Geniuses in fourth with 1,450. Nigma currently lie in joint-30th position having claimed 40 points for qualifying for the Bukovel Minor, but they could pick up 140 points, and the chance to win a lot more, by winning the event in the Ukraine.
Image courtesy of Team Liquid / Nigma