The Western Time Lapse: Unshook Hands, LAN Threats, and Nigma Woes

Vignesh Raghuram
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>33 and Quinn Feature in this week's Western Time Lapse</p></div>
33 and Quinn Feature in this week's Western Time Lapse


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This week, we’ve sifted through the chaos, the confusion, and the outright comical to bring you the tales that have dominated discussions, memes, and even Twitter threads. From Team Liquid’s handshake snub to potential LAN face-offs, Nigma Galaxy’s puzzling slump, some good old trash talk, we’ve got it all. So, buckle up, and let’s dive into the Dota drama that’s been unfolding. And remember, your support fuels our passion for esports storytelling. 

Join us on this weekly journey as we delve into the chaos that unfolded in Western Dota this week.

Handshake-Gate: The Mysterious Case of 33’s Air Five

In a move that left spectators more bewildered than your Herald friend trying to figure out Invoker's combos, Team Liquid’s offlaner Neta "33" Shapira refused a post game handshake, leaving his opponents (Gaimin Gladiators) hanging in the literal sense after a match at the BetBoom Dacha 2024 Dubai. The Dota 2 world hasn’t been this confused since Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao retired from the pro scene to venture into options trading. Speculations ran wild: Was it a personal vendetta? A silent protest? Or perhaps an extreme aversion to Team Liquid cooties? 

Gaimin Gladiators’ Quinn "Quinn" Callah, who has historically been one of the most PMA players in the scene😏, took to Twitter to douse the flames of controversy, stating that there’s no bad blood, just an awkwardness that accompanies the post-game rituals after a loss. 

Meanwhile, Team Liquid’s coach, Blitz, also added another twist to the tale with a Tweet suggesting their actual grievance was with Quinn himself, injecting a bit of humor into the situation. 

This handshake debacle has left fans pondering the complexities of Dota 2 etiquette: Is it ever the right time to shake a Broodmother specialist’s hands? (ew)

SabeRLight vs. TORONTOTOKYO: The Pre-LAN Banter

As far as Dota 2 beefs go, here’s one that actually exists. The latest scuffle to catch the community's attention is none other than the brewing storm between Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek and Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek

At the heart of this drama was a match that many might have dismissed as just another day in the trenches that are European pub games. TORONTOTOKYO, steering a Winter Wyvern, delivered a performance that, let's just say, left fans and players wanting. The match took a nosedive into infamy when TORONTOTOKYO, in a moment brimming with frustration and perhaps a dash of impetuousness, dropped a bombshell. He threatened to "bash SabeRLight’s head in" at their next real-world encounter, specifically at the BetBoom Dacha 2024 Dubai LAN.

But SabeRLight- responded by simply stating: “We’ll see about that.” Taking his defiance to the airwaves on the "Who's got BEEF?" podcast, SabeRLight- didn't just accept the challenge; he elevated it, proposing that their next face-off be more than just digital, more than just a game, at the ongoing BetBoom Dacha 2024 Dubai LAN.

Quinn couldn't help but comment on the physical disparity between the two, likening it to a mismatched bout of biblical proportions—David versus Goliath, if you will. “I feel like out of all the people he could bash the face in, it's not you, you’re like 7 '12. You’re gonna like squish him with your pinky,” he quipped.

Honestly, part of me wishes Dota 2 players would just ditch the keyboards and head straight for a boxing ring to sort out their beef. Imagine the spectacle! I'm here for the drama, the action, and, let's be real, the hilarious possibility of watching Puppey slice some noobs with his machete. 

The Nigma Conundrum: A Team in Turmoil

Nigma Galaxy's journey so far with its new roster has been more turbulent than my last pub game with a Pos 5 Sniper. It has failed to find solid ground despite numerous roster changes. The once-dominant team now finds itself in a perplexing slump, sparking widespread speculation on the root causes. 

Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi and Quinn delved into Nigma’s troubles, suggesting a lack of leadership and outdated strategies as potential culprits. The game has evolved, but Nigma seems to be playing a version that's a few patches too old, struggling to adapt to the dynamic and vocal nature of modern Dota. This ongoing saga has fans and analysts alike watching closely, hoping for a revival of the team’s former glory.

Nigma Galaxy is gearing up for a critical juncture in their competitive journey, with their next appearance slated for the Games of the Future 2024, commencing in just a week. This tournament stands out as a pivotal opportunity for the team, particularly because it's perceived as being somewhat less competitive than typical Dota 2 championships. Yet, with a substantial $1 million prize pool on the line, the stakes remain high.

The absence of top-tier teams such as Team Spirit, Gaimin Gladiators, Team Falcons, and Team Liquid, among others, positions the Games of the Future 2024 as a prime battleground for Nigma Galaxy to prove their mettle. This context intensifies the pressure on the team; failing to secure a respectable placement in a tournament that lacks many of their formidable rivals would significantly underscore the pressure and criticism of their current roster.

Tundra's Triumph and OG's Despair

The ESL One Birmingham 2024 WEU closed qualifiers also concluded this week with Tundra Esports ultimately triumphing over OG in the Grand Finals to secure a place in the event. 

The Grand Finals was quite the spicy affair since Tundra Esports and OG didn't just play Dota; they engaged in a full-blown psychological tug-of-war, complete with more tipping than what many five-star restaurants are gonna see on Valentine's Day. OG in particular kept focusing their tips on Tundra’s newest support, Edgar "9Class" Naltakian after every outplay.

However, 9Class had the last laugh after winning the series, and dropped a mic with a simple yet savage "Just better" in the all-chat after the final match of the series.

In the aftermath, OG’s Ceb emerged not with a pitchfork but with class, lauding Tundra's gameplay. He asked the community to cut 9Class some slack, stating that “winners can speak, it's the rule of dota”. 

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.