In one of professional Dota 2‘s most historic matches, Team Secret has managed to eliminate Nigma Galaxy from the Western Europe TI11 Qualifiers after taking the first and third games of their Bo3 series. With this win, Team Secret captain Clement “Puppey” Ivanov keeps his dream alive of attending every single The International iteration, even if just for a few hours; Team Secret is still set for another match later today to determine if they will at least make it to the Last Chance Qualifiers in Singapore.
Nigma Galaxy’s 2-0 win against DGG Esports yesterday was not enough to swing the momentum in their favor against one of their oldest rivals. On the other hand, Team Secret managed to bounce back today after a crushing 0-2 loss against European favorites Entity in the upper bracket.
Nigma and Secret’s matchup today was historic for multiple reasons, the biggest being that it determines the possible fates of two of the most veteran players in professional Dota 2 history. If Nigma Galaxy captain Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi managed to win, it would have been rival captain Puppey’s first year to miss The International. KuroKy’s nine-year TI appearance streak was broken last year after a loss in the TI10 Qualifiers against OG; this year was his last chance to even the odds and prevent Puppey from another showing at Dota 2’s most prestigious event.
With this loss, Nigma Galaxy ends the TI11 season with a less-than-stellar showing. The squad was relegated to Division II during Tour 3 of the season after a pitiful showing in Tour 2. After acquiring TI winner Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan as a mid-laner and moving their golden boy Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi back to the carry role, Nigma Galaxy managed a string of wings in Division II to secure a slot back in Division I for the next Tour 1 of the TI12 season.
This exit from the Qualifiers is sure to be a wake-up call for both fans and the organization. While it can be said that this roster is definitely better than the squad that they have fielded before they were relegated to Division II, it remains to be seen if Nigma Galaxy can find their footing once they make their way back to Division I next season.
Tomorrow marks the final day of both the Southeast Asian and Western Europe TI11 Qualifiers; the winners of both are secured for the Group Stage at TI11, while the two runners-up from each region will have one final chance to compete for two final slots at the event.