The former Team Liquid Dota 2 roster has announced Nigma, a player-formed esports organization that will represent the team in competitive play. The roster left Team Liquid in September, shortly after The International 2019. Player-founded organizations are common in Dota 2, with successful examples in OG and Team Secret.
The core of this lineup came together in 2016 as Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi linked up with Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi and Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov on Team Liquid. They were later joined by Maroun “GH” Merhej in January of 2017. Following GH’s addition, the team took victories at StarSeries Season 3, EPICENTER 2017, and DreamLeague Season 7. The team topped their group at The International 2017, though were sent to the play-off lower bracket after a loss to Invictus Gaming in the upper bracket quarter-finals. Team Liquid then went on a dominant lower bracket run to the Grand Final, where they bested Newbee in a clean-sweep victory. This was the first ever 3-0 Grand Final victory at The International.
The team stuck together after their International win, though did not reach the same success as in 2017. They placed second at EPICENTER XL, and first at the China Dota 2 Supermajor. They finished in fourth place at The International 2018, being eliminated by Evil Geniuses in the lower bracket. The team remained the same at the start of 2019, though a win at MDL Macau and a runner-up finish at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major were not enough to prevent a roster change before TI9. The current roster was completed with the addition of Aliwi “w33” Omar in June of this year. The team then finished in second place at both the EPICENTER Major and The International 2019.
The roster announced their departure from Team Liquid in September of this year. Their announcement mentioned their plans to return under a new, player-owned organization. After a few teases, the squad announced their founding of Nigma Esports yesterday on Twitter. They later explained that the organization’s name came from the Arabic word najma, meaning star. Player-founded organizations are common throughout Dota 2 and esports as a whole, teams OG and Astralis providing successful examples. KuroKy also took part in the founding of prominent Dota 2 organization Team Secret in 2014.
Like many top-tier teams, the Nigma roster skipped the MDL Chengdu Major. They are expected to return for the Dota Pro Circuit’s second Major cycle, the qualifiers for which begin in early December. The next Dota 2 Major will be hosted by DreamHack in Leipzig, Germany, in January of 2020.