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Published: January 24, 2024

Written by: Stoyan Todorov


  • The team met no one at the open qualifier of the event
  • This is because there were not enough teams participating in the event
  • This resulted from last year’s abolition of the DPC

Nigma Galaxy, as well as Zolka Warriors, and Team Revenants, pass the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) open qualifier without even playing a single match.

Teams Proceed Without Resistance

Big esports events such as Dota 2’s ESL One Birmingham are obviously highly coveted and many teams want to participate in them. Naturally, this necessitates smaller regional tournaments to decide which organizations can fill the limited spots of the main event. Usually, these qualifiers see a variety of teams, ranging from high to low on the leaderboards, who compete for the limited berths.

However, in some rare cases, there are simply not enough organizations participating in a qualifier, resulting in teams simply having no one to play against. This happened at the ESL One Birmingham 2024 Middle East and North Africa (MENA) open qualifier, which saw Nigma Galaxy, as well as Zolka Warriors, and Team Revenants, pass through the event.

The three squads met absolutely no opposition as they were the only three teams to participate in the Open Qualifier 1. In addition, the qualifier offered three slots for the main event, meaning that all three participating organizations pass without facing any resistance. They now all proceed to the ESL One Birmingham 2024 Middle East and North Africa (MENA) closed qualifier where Team Falcons and PSG Quest await, having received direct invites.

Why Did This Happen?

It’s not unlikely we would see more similar phenomena where teams progress through events without meeting any resistance. This is because last year Valve closed down the DPC, leading to ESL events serving as a significant replacement. According to some pro players, the new system is better than the DPC had become stale and boring.

The MENA region is particularly affected by the changes as the DPC did not consider it a separate region and most of its teams participated in Western Europe. Even the qualifiers for BetBoom Dacha Dubai included a separate MENA qualifier, indicating that this might become a pattern in the future.

Although this turn of events might be seen as quite beneficial for Nigma Galaxy at first glance, things are not as simple. The organization would have likely appreciated having some match practice considering recent roster changes. Nigma recently released Daniel “Ghost” Chan and Roman “rmN-” Paley and brought aboard Saieful “Fbz” Ilham from Southeast Asia and Farith “Matthew” Puente from South America. The newcomers haven’t had much time to practice so Nigma will be under a lot of pressure at the closed qualifiers, which start on January 28.

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