ATF at TI11


What Is Happening in Nigma? ATF Begins Playing Offlane Once Again in Pubs

Rakshak Kathuria
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Nigma Galaxy's carry Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf has shifted his focus largely to offlane lately and is picking heroes more suited for the position.
ATF has played 70 ranked games in the last eight days. Despite the prevalence of carry games, they have primarily been on the offlane, with an emphasis on both in-meta heroes and his favorites.
However, it is unclear whether this is a casual return to offlane for ATF or a sign that Nigma is planning a move.

In the 2023 Tour 1: Division 1 of the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC), Nigma Galaxy had another disappointing performance. Even though the team managed to keep its spot in Division 1, the general outlook for the team was not very promising. As a result, Nigma's lineup, like many of the other reputed teams that failed last season, has been discussed for adjustments, with an emphasis on Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf. ATF had transitioned to carry from offlane when he joined the team before the start of the last season. And it seems that the player might just be returning to his original role judging by his recent Dota 2 ranked games. In the past eight days, ATF has shifted his focus largely to offlane and is picking heroes more suited for the position.

ATF's shift to offlane in ranked games might mean an incoming roster change for Nigma Galaxy

While ATF still plays as the safelaner in some games, the amount of games in which he is an offlaner has been rapidly increasing. The focus has shifted to both in-meta offlane heroes such as Doom and Broodmother, and his favorites, such as Sand King and Underlord.

Although the player has not been a carry player for a long time and even favored offlane heroes such as Mars during the DPC season as the carry for Nigma, he has actually been playing in the offlane in these ranked games lately, giving other players the role of carry.

ATF's match history as per Dota 2 Pro Tracker

However, at the moment, whether this is a casual return to offlane or a sign that a move is on the horizon for Nigma, is unclear.

If Nigma decides to make changes, its continued presence in Division I may make it relatively easier for the team to attract some of the best talents available. At the same time, the team's standout carry player Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi, who is currently on a hiatus from competitive Dota 2 due to health reasons, can also return to round out the lineup.

It will be some time before Tour 2 begins with Division 1 in the DPC 2023. The focus in the near future will be on how teams perform at the Lima Major 2023, which is to take place from 22nd Feb to 5th March. Following the conclusion of the Major, a rush of roster changes is expected leading up to the start of Division 1 of Tour 2 likely at the end of March.

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As a passionate Dota 2 fan for eight years, Rakshak has indulged himself completely in its esports circuit for the past two years as a professional. In addition to covering major news developments, he takes a keen interest in understanding team strengths and player personalities.

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