Tundra Esports continue to look dominant in the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Spring Tour regional league for Western Europe with a 2-0 sweep over Nigma Galaxy.
Tundra’s victory places them in first place of the league, while Nigma Galaxy continue to struggle.
There's a lot on the line in the Spring Tour as the regional leagues now award 920 DPC points, meaning a strong showing there will go a long way towards securing a direct invite to The International 11 (TI11).
Tundra Esports outdraft Nigma Galaxy in game one
In the first game of the series, Nigma Galaxy relied on midlaner Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi on Leshrac and carry player Igor "iLTW" Filatov on Gyrocopter to do all the damage for the team.
Ivan "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov’s job would be to lock the enemy down with Tidehunter while the support duo of Maroun "GH" Merhej and Kuro "Kuroky" Salehi Takhasomi sustained them with Io and Oracle.
Tundra recognized that all of Nigma Galaxy’s damage would come from only two heroes and drafted Razor for Oliver "skiter" Lepko in order to nullify all of Gyrocopter’s physical damage. Leon "Nine" Kirilin on Pangolier and Neta "33" Shapira would focus on controlling the enemy with Pangolier and Sand King.
An interesting pick for Tundra was the Position 5 Bane for Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu. Bane’s Enfeeble drastically reduces how much healing a hero receives, making him a perfect counter for the enemy supports.
The two teams went for different strategies in their draft and of the two, Tundra's seemed to be the superior one.
They had more disables courtesy of Sand King, Bane, and Pangolier while Nigma Galaxy’s only reliable stun was Ravage, as Gyrocopter and Leshrac both need allies to set theirs up.
Tundra also perfectly countered the damage output Nigma Galaxy could dish out.
Razor focused on using Static Link on Gyrocopter in every fight, nullifying all his physical damage. Meanwhile, Nine’s Pangolier went for a brilliant item build by buying a Mage Slayer to reduce all of Leshrac’s damage by 35%.
With both of Nigma Galaxy’s cores neutered, it didn’t matter how much sustain they had, as their lineup did no damage.
The laning stage went evenly for both teams, with each of them trading kills. Nigma Galaxy are known for having a strong laning stage and Tundra Esports’ draft only came online when their heroes grouped up.
Nigma Galaxy’s draft had to snowball in the early game and then use their impressive sustain to take over the map. Unfortunately for them, Martin "Saksa" Sazdov on Keeper of the Light prevented them from executing that plan.
Saksa would regularly go to dangerous lanes and push them out with a couple of Illuminates, forcing Nigma Galaxy to split up in order to defend their towers. This game of cat and mouse that Saksa played was a major problem that the opposition had no solution for.
16 minutes into the game was the beginning of the end for Nigma Galaxy. After using Relocate to get an easy kill on Sneyking, Nigma ended up losing both ILTW and GH when they relocated back.
This opened up the map for Tundra and they proceeded to outfarm and outfight their opponents after that.
Skiter was the MVP of game one, as he completely shut down iLTW with his Razor and finished the game with 15 kills and seven assists against just one death.
Harpy Scout carries Tundra in game two
Tundra's draft in game two was quite similar to game one.
Nine and Saksa played Pangolier and Keeper of the Light a second time, while Sneyking provided vision for his team on Weaver.
Skiter played another tempo carry, this time taking the Chaos Knight. The big difference in the draft was that 33 had Necrophos and focused on sustaining his team, a different approach compared to the lockdown he provided as Sand King in game one.
While Tundra stuck to their guns in game two, Nigma Galaxy had a completely new approach.
Instead of focusing on healing supports, they took Enchantress and Tusk, aggressive lane dominators for Kuroky and GH. MinD_ControL would focus on bringing down enemies and towers alike on Death Prophet, while Miracle aimed to make space on Void Spirit.
It was a good adjustment by Nigma Galaxy, and they proved their strength in the laning stage yet again, as iLTW and GH were able to bring down 33 multiple times in the early game despite the huge advantage the latter enjoyed from the laning matchup.
Nigma Galaxy also managed to kill Sneyking three times before the 10-minute mark.
Despite both side lanes going well for them, it was the midlane that turned out to be the deciding factor as Nine managed to bring down Miracle four times in nine minutes. Being brought down so many times in the early game on a tempo mid like Void Spirit is a death sentence, and practically removed Miracle for the rest of the game.
Sneyking proved his creativity in game two when he purchased Helm of the Dominator on Weaver. It was a very unorthodox item purchase, but it paid off immensely.
Sneyking’s job was to provide vision for his team, and he figured that the best way to do that was to dominate a Harpy Scout for his team.
Harpy Scout has the Take Off ability, which allows it to provide 1800 flying vision for the team. To understand how huge that is, compare it to the Observer Ward that only provides 1400 ground vision.
This flying vision was a nightmare for Nigma Galaxy to deal with, as Sneyking managed to position his Harpy Scout perfectly for maximum vision and without Nigma realizing they were being watched.
This allowed Tundra to easily bring down both enemy supports and send iLTW back to base 25 minutes in the game.
With no vision, no ability to split push, and a weak high ground defense, Nigma Galaxy tapped out after 29 minutes of action.
It was a one-sided stomp as Tundra ended the series with a huge 36-12 kill lead.
Skiter explains why Tundra Esports is dominating this DPC season.
After the 2-0 victory, Tundra's skiter sat down with the panel to answer a few questions.
When asked about Tundra’s incredible performance this Tour, skiter said it was due to how they approached every official match.
“The way we keep our motivation is basically we treat every DPC game like a TI qualifier, because it kind of is. So that’s what we keep telling ourselves, to keep working hard,” said skiter.
After winning their match, skiter had a hilarious response to question about how Tundra celebrate victories, saying, “Our manager brought us some Pizza Hut, so I guess that’s our reward.”
On a more serious note, the panel asked skiter how Tundra practice and what they did to improve in Dota 2. According to skiter, it takes more than just playing the game exclusively to improve in it.
“Well the cliche answer is to watch your own replays, playing a lot of pubs. But you also need to improve on the human side. And like these should go hand in hand, it’s as important as the Dota aspect. Because you work with humans, you see their faces daily. You help them improve, they help you improve,” said skiter.
With their victory over Nigma Galaxy, Tundra are currently 3-0 in the Spring Tour. If they win one more series, they are almost guaranteed a spot in the upcoming Stockholm Major.
Nigma Galaxy, on the other hand, have been struggling this season. The team were swept by OG in their first match of the Spring Tour, and with this latest loss are now 0-2.
Of course, Nigma Galaxy can still recover and end the Spring Tour 5-2, but they have multiple strong opponents ahead such as Team Secret, Team Liquid, and Gaiman Gladiators.
Tundra Esports roster:
Oliver "Skiter" Lepko
Leon "Nine" Kirilin
Neta "33" Shapira
Martin "Saksa" Sazdov
Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu
Nigma Galaxy roster:
Igor "iLTW" Filatov
Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi
Ivan "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov
Maroun "GH" Merhej
Kuro "Kuroky" Salehi Takhasomi
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.