After a round of tiebreakers and a play-in stage for keeping their Division 1 spot at Epic League, Team Nigma have been slain and eliminated from the tournament by Team Liquid.
Tuesday, December 8 marked the first day of playoffs in what is bound to be the last big tournament of the year and it all opened with an epic battle for survival in the lower side of the bracket between Team Nigma and Team Liquid.
With elimination the line, Nigma brought back the old days mid lane Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi and insisted to have him as the win condition through all the games. They started on the wrong foot by getting outdrafted with Miracle on Shadow Fiend, who should have been their big damage dealer, while Liquid had two cores capable of scale faster and take control of the map, namely, Drow Ranger and Weaver.
Despite the rather quick loss, Nigma returned in the second game with Miracle on a mid-lane Medusa, but they were more careful in protecting and creating for him the better team fights set-ups with an offlane Night Stalker and a safe lane Death Prophet. The double silence proved to be the perfect tool to destroy Liquid’s enormous team fight potential brought by Luna, Warlock and Mars, and Nigma pushed the series into a decisive game three with ease.
What followed was a pure bloodbath that broke out even before the starting horn of the match, with a total of six kills being drawn in the battle for the top Bounty rune first spawn. Nigma were once again fighting with Miracle on Medusa in the mid lane, but they took the musical chairs lane game a tad too far by sending W33 in the offlane on Lina, while Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov was in the safe lane on Timbersaw. They ended losing all three lanes, but the biggest problem was the offlane, where the duo Lina-Earth Spirit was simply decimated by Liquid’s carry Snapfire supported by Tiny.
By the 10-minute mark, W33 was still not level 6 on his Lina, thus he had no impact in the continuous fighting that Liquid was forcing. By the 15-minute mark, Lina had 0 kills and 10 deaths to her name, while Liquid were sitting on 9.5K gold advantage and were melting down even the Medusa.
The game broke a few records in the Epic League, in both negative and positive values. While W33 ended his tournament run with the most deaths on any hero in the event, Liquid’s Max “qojqva” Bröcker completed the fasted Aghnaim’s Scepter on any hero, just 12 minutes in on Monkey King.
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