Some top tier action at the EPIC League resumed yesterday with Team Secret faced the rising superstars of Virtus.pro in what was expected to be a close hot contest. But Virtus.pro, like their other series in the tourney, was spot on with their drafting and gameplay as they destroyed Team Secret to secure a comfortable 2-0 victory. With this series win, the CIS Dota 2 has cemented their place in the upper bracket playoffs.
After a three-day break, EPIC League Division 1 kickstarted its final stages of group stages with the customary three series. While Na’Vi outplayed mudgolems 2-0 in the first series of the day, Nigma came out on top of a close three-match series against Vikin.gg in the second one. In the last series for the day, Team Secret- a team that had been in superb form over the previous six months faced Virtus.pro- a team that had picked up a similarly excellent form only in this tournament.
Game 1 saw Secret drafting a highly tanky lineup in a bid to keep epileptick1d’s Phantom Assassin silent. Also, Team Secret drafted Axe to counter VP’s Phantom Assassin. The laning phase went in Secret’s favor as they picked up a sizable lead of 7K at 20 minutes. However, Virtus.pro played the teamfights to sheer perfection as epileptick1d grew into a beast with Empower from DM’s Magnus. Moreover, with all the tanky heroes, Secret jumped on epileptick1d, but DM was always positioned in the right place to hit multiple heroes with his RP. All of Virtus.pro grew stronger and bigger, negating all sorts of tankiness of Secret’s heroes. Secret fell heavily apart after a successful initial phase to lose game 1 in 34 minutes.
Game 2 witnessed Secret pick some not very in-meta heroes for Nisha and MATUMBAMAN. While Nisha played the last pick Outworld Devourer, MATUMBAMAN was on his signature Lone Druid. Nisha was all out of sorts in the mid lane as he got ganked time and again. Team Secret seemed to be heavily out drafted as they could not accomplish any objectives in the game. Once the teamfights began, Secret got bundled out of place. While Tier 2 towers were still up, Puppey tapped out of the game in 26 minutes to hand Virtus.pro another dominating series win in the tourney.
Despite a recent dip in form and momentum, Secret was still the favorites to win this series. They seemed to be a little creative in their drafts which massively backfired. MATUMBAMAN had also mentioned in a recent interview that they felt a severe lack of motivation, which might be a reason for this. Secret has also taken a break from the upcoming OGA Dota Pit S4, which is another indicator. However, Team Secret will still want to win another series in 2020 in the form of EPIC League and with five series win out of eight, they currently stand in the number 3 spot in the group stage table. Their last series of the group stages is against Na’Vi on December 5, and a win would certainly be a confidence booster going into the playoffs.
Virtus.pro, on the other hand, seems to have a spectacular understanding of the meta, and their teamfight gameplay has arguably been the best in the tournament. With this sixth series win, they have booked a spot in the upper bracket playoffs alongside Vikin.gg and will look to continue this good run as they play their last group stage match against Alliance today.