Nigma Galaxy is the second team to withdraw from the controversial Games of the Future.
The prominent Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) organization, Nigma Galaxy, has withdrawn from Games of the Future. This announcement came after a wave of backlash as the Dota 2 community called for Nigma to restrain support from the controversial Russian tournament.
Nigma Galaxy leaves Games of the Future
Games of the Future is a $1 million dollar tournament, set to take place in Kazan, Russia. This tournament, hosted by a Russian organizer of the same name, invited many tier 1 teams including LGD Gaming, Azure, Ray, beastcoast, and Entity. Nigma Galaxy was also among the invited teams and for the first time this year, the star-studded lineup had a chance to attend a LAN event.
But following the lineup announcement, many people in the community expressed disappointment towards the reputable organizations in this event. This backlash came mainly from Ukrainian players and personalities in the Dota 2 scene who publicly called out participating teams to stop showing support for the Russian government.
The wave of criticism includes a post by caster Oleksii "BafiK" Bafadarov who stated: "Every team that plans to visit Russia to attend their Dota tournament in Kazan should be banned by Valve." Note that the campaign against the Russian government stems from the Russian invasion in Ukraine which began in February, 2022.
After almost two weeks since the heated backlash, Games of the Future announced Nigma Galaxy's withdrawal from the tournament. The organizer did not disclose any specific reasons for their departure, but we can expect it to happen due to the criticism from the community. Prior to Nigma's withdrawal, North American team, Nouns also dropped out from the event.
Geek Fam to replace Nigma Galaxy in Games of the Future
In the same announcement post, Games of the Future revealed Geek Fam as the replacement for Nigma Galaxy. Geek Fam is a Southeast Asian team with an all-Filipino lineup led by Andrei "skem" Ong. As for now, two teams have withdrawn from the Russian tournament. The rest of the participants have yet to comment or respond to the backlash. We will see the rest of the teams compete in Games of the Future starting on February 19th, 2024.