Dota Pro Circuit’s Division 2 is but a stepping stone for some in Tour 3
Dota 2’s Division 2 is typically not the most exciting league, especially in regions that lack promising candidates. However, Eastern and Western Europe have no shortage of powerhouses and new blood that recently shook the scene.
We saw BetBoom Team from EEU speed-run into Division 1 and played at Stockholm within two DPC tours. Entity went from a Division 2 candidate to a staple in WEU’s Division 1. We also saw established powerhouses falter and go back into the proving grounds.
Division 2 has become a true test for team prowess and capability. Nigma Galaxy and PuckChamp would like to pass with flying colors.
Nigma Galaxy make Division 2 spicy
Nigma Galaxy is a team that needs no introduction among loyal Dota 2 fans. The former Team Liquid squad won the International 2017 (TI7) and was a grand finalist of TI9. Yet, they have been down bad going into DPC Tour 3.
It took the roster two whole tours to finally realize they need a roster shuffle. Albeit merely a midplayer swap, the changes are slowly turning things as is tradition with this team ever since Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen was initially replaced. Then, it was Aliwi “w33” Omar, Igor “iLTW” Filatov, and most recently, Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan.
In hindsight, w33 was probably the best player Nigma had since Matumbaman’s time. iLTW didn’t accomplish much during his time with Nigma, there’s no denying that he’s an exceptional mid-player. He specializes in proactive mid heroes, such as Ember Spirit and Void Spirit. This is often a trait defining a flashy mid-player, who will be the playmaker of a team. However, his playstyle might have been severely crippled by Nigma’s unorthodox playstyle.
How SumaiL fares moving forward remains a mystery. Even if they dominate the lower division, the real test will be the Ti11 regional qualifiers and the next season.
PuckChamp’s uprising and downfall at DPC Tour 3
For what it’s worth, PuckChamp has become a staple in Division 1 bracket ever since they were promoted last year. It’s an accomplishment worth mentioning, so we will give credit where it’s due since PuckChamp deserved better.
Anyways, getting down into how they ended back in Division 2 has much to do with the rushed DPC EEU Tour 2, which comprised of only the Playoffs. The double-elimination playoff format was really more of a coin flip, and PuckChamp was just very unfortunate. HellRaisers fans would beg to differ, considering HR had to face Team Spirit among the many other less challenging opponents.
Dominating Division 2 brackets is not the end goal
Nigma and PuckChamp probably aren’t crying over split milk. In fact, they have already begun taking major decisions to ensure they make the cut next DPC season. Nigma, for instance, bets it all on having SumaiL be their miracle player. After four clean sweeps, it’s evident that Nigma isn’t aiming for Division 1 promotion, but also to qualify for TI11. This is incredible progress, considering how poorly various powerhouses have been with SumaiL. Perhaps it takes an unusual player to fit into a strange line-up after all.
PuckChamp actually looked worse in Division 2 as they already lost two matches to unseasoned opponents. Regardless, it’s too early to say PuckChamp is way out of their league, but it will certainly be embarrassing if they do flop this run.
It’s not time for any team, even those in Division 2 to kick their buckets yet. TI11 is still the end goal for many teams, so not performing great at DPC Tours isn’t going to end anyone’s career. As such, both PuckChamp and Nigma Galaxy are among the top candidates to compete in TI11 regional qualifiers.