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Published: December 20, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • With this, the org loses one of its main pillars which has been there since the start
  • MinD_ContRoL also parts with KuroKy with whom he’s played since 2015 in various rosters
  • Nigma’s somewhat lackluster performance this year is the likely reason for MC’s departure

Following a turbulent 2023 for Nigma Galaxy, the organization announced that captain Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov is leaving after four years with the team.

MC Leaves NG

Fans of Nigma Galaxy have been awaiting news from the organization in mid-December, and sure enough, they have arrived. Unfortunately, they are not as good as many may have wanted as the organization announced it is parting ways with one of its pillars – legendary captain Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov.

The news was announced via an emotional video posted on Twitter which highlighted his moments with the team over the years. The Bulgarian player’s departure from the organization also marks his separation with Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi with whom he has been playing under the same teams since 2015.

Both players started out in 5Jungz eight years ago before moving to Team Liquid where they met Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi, Maroun “GH” Merhej, and Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen. This combination turned out to be a great one as the team went on to win The International 2017.

In 2019, MinD_ContRoL and company formed a new team called Nigma Galaxy and for the past four years, the org managed to win several tournaments including WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020, OGA Dota PIT Season 2: Europe/CIS 2020, and others. As a quartet, MinD_ContRoL, Kuro, GH, and Miracle- have a historic record of 610 wins and 384 losses for a 61.3% win rate since January 2017, according to datdota.

NG’s Performance Dropped in 2023

Unfortunately, in the four seasons since leaving Liquid, Nigma has failed to perform at the highest level, only attending a handful of Major tournaments and never making it to TI under their new banner. This year was also not kind for the squad which saw them fail to qualify for the Riyadh Masters 2023 and The International 2023. Interestingly, despite NG failing to qualify for TI12, MinD_ContRoL did not miss it as he played as a stand-in for Team SMG to fill in the void left by Natthaphon “Masaros” Ouanphakdee

Of course, this drop in performance did not go unnoticed by the other Dota 2 professionals and the wider community as a whole. According to Gaimin Gladiators’ midlaner Quinn, NG’s performance dropped after two key players left. Although he did not specify which players he speaks of, it’s likely he was referring to MATUMBAMAN and Miracle-.

It seems all of this has resulted in MinD_ContRoL deciding to leave the organization. “Indeed from 5Jungz to Nigma Galaxy it was one of the best times in my life. But everything has an end, time to say goodbye to my favorite team and people I have ever worked with Nigma Galaxy,” the player wrote on Twitter, and also thanked his now-former teammates.

With one of their pillars gone, it’s unknown what the future holds for Nigma Galaxy. Many free players have already been signed by other teams so NG will have a more limited pool top select from to fill in the gap left by the Bulgarian player. However, considering his previous achievements, he will likely be inundated by many offers, so we will likely see him playing for a new organization in the next weeks.

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