Just a couple of days after announcing the removal of mid laner Aliwi “w33” Omar from its active roster, Team Nigma has found a replacement in the form of Russian up-and-comer Igor “iLTW” Filatov. Nigma’s new mid laner was the talk of the town for the last couple of days, with rumors pointing towards Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan and Anathan “ana” Pham as potential replacements for the Romanian. In the end, Nigma surprised many by picking up iLTW, who has spent the bulk of his career playing in the regional CIS scene.
The roster change comes after a series of lackluster results, as Nigma entered a huge slump in the last six months that they never truly recovered from. This will mark the first time the team has made a roster change since forming Team Nigma. Once unquestionably considered a top-three team in Europe, the former TI winners have found themselves in a state of disarray. The final nail in the coffin was the team’s early exit at the Wild Card stage of the Singapore Major, during which Nigma finished in last place with only one win in their ten matches at the event.
w33ha’s replacement iLTW is a well-known face in Dota 2’s upper echelons. Although he doesn’t carry the star power of Suma1l or ana, he is a mechanically gifted player that can play both the hard carry and mid laner positions. After first coming into the Dota 2 limelight as a stand-in for OG back in 2019, iLTW really made a name for himself during his tenure with Virtus Pro.
How does iLTW’s fit into all of this?
Quite poorly if we’re being honest. Considering that iLTW is definitely not your run-of-the-mill mid laner, but rather a carry player at heart, his and Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi synergy might take a big toll on Nigma’s overall economy. With iLTW’s addition, it’s almost a definite that we’ll see more of Miracle on the mid lane, but adding that all three cores (including offlaner Ivan Borislavov “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov) are relatively farm intensive, Nigma’s standing in a feast or famine meta is akin to a coin flip.
iLTW also adds little to the already existing problem of w33ha’s limited hero pool, but more meta-friendly picks can be incorporated into Nigma’s lineups through Miracle. Kuroky’s drafting has also been lackluster as of late, but the duality of Nigma’s one-two punch might add a few interesting spins as the team gels together. Although w33’s aggression will be missed on the mid lane, Miracle has proven in the past that he needs less attention from his team to achieve his full potential.
The bottom line is that we’ll see most likely iLTW playing his usual hard carry role for the bulk of the time, while Miracle’s job will be to create space and try to snowball on heroes that also have strong carry potential.
With Dota 2’s patch 7.29 just coming out, Nigma can use the chaos in the current state of the meta and capitalize. But for the time being, Nigma look to be the underdogs when paired against EU’s Crème de la crème when it comes to Dota 2 betting.
iLTW will be making his debut for the team at the upcoming DreamLeague Season 15 DPC EU Upper Division.