Team Secret has won their sixth straight tournament victory in a row, defeating Team Nigma at BEYOND EPIC: Europe/CIS in a tight series. Despite the 3-0 scoreline, the matchup was far from smooth sailing, with a leveled-up Team Nigma pushing Team Secret to the limit during a hellacious series of games.
Starting with the WePlay! Pushka League S1, Secret has continued an unprecedented run through the recent online events, winning at Gamers Without Borders 2020, OGA Dota PIT 2020 Online, ESL One Birmingham 2020 – Online, BLAST Bounty Hunt, and now here at BEYOND EPIC. Each one of them has been a 3-0 victory.
Team Secret had not had the cleanest event, dropping to the lower bracket after being 2-0’d in the opening playoff game by Team Liquid. Seemingly caught off guard by the zoo strategy in game one, and pushed to the limit in a 55-minute brawl in game two, Team Secret were humbled and sent crashing to the lower bracket.
But after a demolition of Vikin.gg the seemingly troubled squad had regained their momentum. A series the same day against Fly To Moon, underdog favorites who’d managed to take games of Nigma, and defeat Virtus.pro in their last two matchups, also resulting in a victory for Team Secret. It seemed as if their winning ways had returned.
Against Team Liquid in a rematch of their sole playoff defeat, the squad put on a brave face and readied for the worst. Team Liquid began immediately trying to capitalize on their moment by harassing with their Clockwerk, before rotating into a Tri-lane. However, the Tri-lane didn’t go well as Queen of Pain somehow fell behind on creeps despite having two supports to look after her. Luckily Samuel “Boxi” Svahn played out of his mind getting first blood on Timbersaw in a one-vs-two lane. But despite this incredible start to the game, TL slowly began to buckle. Team Secret felt overpowered with Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s constant harass on Chen, allowed the stack to push every lane at once, eventually winning through sheer pressure.
In the second match, Secret started the game more confident thanks to their last pick Broodmother. What’s more, Nisha spent most of his lane constantly taunting with a “HOLY MOLY” voice line in an attempt to tilt the opposing team.
Despite the Broodmother taking large amounts of harass in lane, the game was clearly on a timer. Even before the Brood could come online, the sidelines were starting to get out of control. Despite momentary glimmers of hope for Liquid, there was little they could do to hold on.
Team Secret advanced to the grand finals, while Team Liquid, in one of their strongest tournament performances of the year, head home with a respectable $25,000 and third-place honors.
HERE WE GO AGAIN
Despite the deceptively one-sided scoreline, this was a tight matchup between closely matched teams. Right from the first game it looked as if Nigma could take the win. They started strong, with a heavily farmed Gyrocopter protected by Io. However, as the match evolved into a protracted late game, Team Secret began to show their adaptability. Faced with a near unkillable and unstoppable Gyro, Secret did the one thing they could: Ignore him. They used creep wave timings and rotations to avoid a fight that could have spelled disaster, eventually pushing down and taking game one.
For Selemene! ?— Beyond the Summit (@BeyondTheSummit) June 28, 2020
Despite the Rapier pickup, Team Nigma can't stop @teamsecret from taking Game 1! ?
Game 2 will be up shortly, let's see what happens ?
?️ @TrentPax @lizZardDota2
? https://t.co/VZnt4kwr7v#BeyondEpic pic.twitter.com/RPx4m4JZV6
Reeling from a surefire win turned to dramatic loss, Nigma attempted to rebound with the Death Prophet and Dragon Knight combo. With two hyper carries, it would be much harder for Secret to stop the snowball. But as the game began, Secret’s captain Puppey immediately made his presence known on his Weaver, facilitating multiple early kills.
Nigma farmed up to equalize the gap, grabbing kills with their potent carries as they came online with their talents. Ngima had taken control of the game and looked like they would even up the series. However, a disastrous push mid allowed Secret to grab the upper hand once again. Nigma’s carries had peaked and couldn’t advance further, while there wasn’t a cap on Secret’s scaling. After fending off Team Secret’s pushes for close to 15 minutes, Nigma finally caught a break by grabbing Roshan. This allowed them to push the game into a much longer state and get their carries where they needed to be, capping off talents and grabbing BKBs.
With the game veering into 70+ minutes and both teams on pretty much full builds, Nigma made a crucial mistake fighting in the river in an unfavorable position. Perhaps tired, or affected by the ongoing connection issues, the team was wiped and gave up after a titanically long clash.
Game three was the breaking point. After a crushing loss in a super long game, Nigma was unable to lane against Secret anymore. Despite an excellent start to the game, there was more sloppy play. In a slow, painful manner, Team Secret wrapped up the tournament with yet another 3-0 victory.
It really does seem as if there’s no one out there who can stop this team. They’re strong beyond measure, and here showed even more depth to their strategy. It’s one thing to out-farm an enemy carry, but it’s a whole other talent to have an opponent scale out of control, and still win by out-macroing them. There’s a small break in Dota 2 action, with no major tournaments currently announced, apart from the CIS only Parimatch League Season 3. Hopefully, this will give orgs time to try and find a strategy to stop Team Secret.