have announced that they will be benching Aliwi “W33” Omar ahead of the second DPC season. While they managed to earn 3rd place in the first DPC regional league, Nigma’s performance at the major – last place - was far from what anyone would expect from them. From their highs of second place at The International Nine, flopping out of a major in last place is a stark contrast from their glory days.
These turbulent levels of performance aren’t new to Nigma — in last year’s online leagues, they swung between four top-three finishes in a row followed by three eighth-place finishes. At any given tournament, nobody knew if Nigma would be popping off or dropping off. Without consistent high performance and the potential for such underwhelming results always looming over them, clearly Nigma had to make some changes.
Nigma, previously Team Liquid are not prone to roster changes. Before W33 joined, the 5-man roster which won TI7 remained together for several years before Lasse “Matumbaman” Urpalainen was kicked. The new roster featuring W33 also held together for well over a year.
While the kick of Matumbaman was controversial at the time, the addition of W33 looked solid on paper. A flashy play-maker with a strong history in Team Secret
and Digital Chaos, he looked like the right choice to shake up the team whilst filling in the role of making space for Amer “Miracle” Al-Barkawi. His unique signature heroes, Meepo, Invoker, and Windranger gave the team some interesting picks to take advantage of, with strong cheese potential.
In reality, W33 took a strange role in Nigma which looked quite different to how he played in previous teams. As a mid player, he was mostly drafted heroes dedicated to space creation who required very little farm, with Batrider becoming his most played hero by far during his time with Nigma. It’s hard for players to truly shine while playing their role like this, leading to W33 often taking the hit for Nigma’s poor performances in the eyes of fans.
Where W33 will go next remains a mystery — there are likely many strong teams who would welcome him on board, but will we see him find a team in time to take part in season two of the DPC? And who will fill his spot on Nigma? Well, Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan is still team-less these days and an invite to an EU Upper Division team is probably quite tempting. We’ll likely find out very soon.