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Nigma fought their second Southeast Asian opponents at the Dota 2 DreamLeague Leipzig Major against Fnatic today. The series dragged on with two hour-long games, but Nigma never looked to be in trouble and eventually won 2-0.
Nigma played two pristine games to secure their upper bracket berth at the Major. While they’ve had a reputation as slow starters, the Minor champions continued their winning form right into the tournament and defeated the two best SEA teams in TNC Predator and Fnatic.
The series was the Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi show from start to finish. Nigma’s carry rarely made a misstep throughout the series. The Jordanian has not lost with Phantom Lancer or Slark throughout the Bukovel Minor and the DreamLeague Major, showing his prowess on active agility carries that require solid decision making and immense mechanical skill.
The first game saw all signs pointing towards a Fnatic victory. The Southeast Asian team managed to shut down two of Nigma’s playmakers in Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov and Maroun “GH” Merhej with an unorthodox offlane Clockwerk and carry Medusa.
Fnatic knocked on Nigma’s doors early off the back of a farmed Medusa. They took several attempts to bring down the Europeans’ base but were rebuffed constantly. While Fnatic did an excellent job throughout the game in picking off key targets, Miracle- proved why he remains one of the best players in the world.
Fnatic failed to shut down Miracle-’s Phantom Lancer, however. Having had excellent performances on the hero throughout his Bukovel Minor campaign. Miracle-’s skills were put to the test in a tough, drawn-out game. The superstar proved to be unstoppable down the stretch, firmly carrying Nigma on his back.
Fnatic replied with their own Phantom Lancer pick in the second game. Nigma was undeterred, replying instantly with a Slark.
Unfortunately for Fnatic fans, Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon did not have the same impact on Phantom Lancer. While he had a free-farm lane to start the game, Miracle- made better decisions overall on the Slark, toeing the line immaculately between aggression and farming. With a supporting cast always willing to back him up, Miracle- crushed Fnatic over and over again to complete the series sweep.
Fnatic still has one more chance to make it into the upper bracket of the main event. They will await the winner of TNC vs. Team Aster. Fnatic previously defeated Aster in their first series of the Leipzig Major, while they beat TNC in the qualifiers.