Team Secret capture their 2nd title of the season at ESL One Hamburg 2018

Vignesh Raghuram

29th, Oct, 2018
Image Sourced from ESL

Team Secret came back from down 2-1 to win the final two games and top Vici Gaming to win the Dota 2 finals at ESL One Hamburg in Germany on Sunday and take home the $125,000 grand prize.

Here’s a brief look at the events that went down on the final day of ESL One: Hamburg 2018 at the Barclaycard Arena.
Lower Bracket Finals: Team Secret vs Virtus Pro

After being knocked into the lower bracket by Virtus Pro earlier in the tournament, Team Secret got their revenge against VP at ESL One Hamburg.

Team Secret was just flat-out better than Virtus.Pro on this day. They took Games 1 and 2 handily behind a strong early game movement from Midone. Even when Virtus.Pro brought out their signature Broodmother picks for Roman ‘RAMZES666‘ Kushnarev in Game 2, they just couldn't keep a hold on Midone as he completely snowballed on Virtus Pro to close out the series 2-0.

The defending ESL champions, who had won the 3 ESL One events last season, were thus eliminated in third place, leaving Secret to face ViCi Gaming in a best-of-five grand finals matchup. 

Grand Finals: Team Secret vs ViCi Gaming

Game 1: Game 1 in the BO5 series seemed to set a devastating tone for the Chinese organization as Secret took a very early advantage. But ViCi Gaming fought back with some incredible Teamfight executions allowing them to gain the upper hand. However, a small misplay from Ori’s Faceless Void, gave Team Secret an opening, and the Europeans fully capitalized and secured the win to go 1-0 up in the series.

Game 2: Vici Gaming would counter back in Game 2 by playing around Zhang ‘Paparazi‘ Chengjun and his Terrorblade. They paired this with Pan ‘Fade‘ Yi building an Aghanim’s Scepter on his Position 4 Weaver for that added survivability. This decision ultimately paid off after an hour-long battle of attrition as Vici Gaming tied the series 1-1.

Game 3: In the third game, Vici once again drafted themselves a support Weaver and raced off to a huge early game lead thanks to great laning by Zhang ‘Paparazi‘ Chengjun and Zhou "Yang" Haiyang. Textbook Dota came out from the Chinese side as consistent pick-offs left Secret without a chance to really play around the Arc Warden as they wanted to which lead to them conceding a Game 3 loss. 

Game 4: Team Secret, now playing with their tournament life on the line, turned the tides in game four by falling back into some old tactics that proved viable. Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng set the pace for Team Secret on his Mirana, as he was able to apply heavy pressure on to ViCi Gaming right from the early game. Michal ‘Nisha‘ Jankowski benefited from this the most as his uber-farmed Terrorblade helped Team Secret force a Game 5.

Game 5: In the final game, Team Secret went with a fast-paced lineup. A combination of nerves, pressure, and fatigue led to uncharacteristically sloppy plays and over extensions on the side of Team Secret, especially MidOne. However, after 20 even minutes in the deciding game, Vici made a gamble for Roshan after their Terrorblade got himself a Double Damage rune. But Ludwig "zai" Wahlberg's Magnus found a reverse polarity for Secret, a move that devastated Vici. Less than 20 minutes later, the match was over.


With that last win, Team Secret officially claimed the 2018 ESL One Hamburg championship, while Midone claimed The Mercedes Benz MVP prize. With the event now over all eyes turn to the Dota 2 Pro Circuit which kicks of today with the DreamLeague Season 10 Minor.


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