No matches
photo by: ESL One

ESL One Katowice 2019 has come to an end with a clean 3-0 sweep from Team Secret over Gambit Esports in the best-of-five grand finals.

Team Secret came to Katowice to give their young carry player Michał “Nisha” Jankowski the chance to fight for a trophy in front of his home crowd fans. “We want him [Nisha] to enjoy this Dota life as much as he can. I would love for him to win a tournament at home. I know the feeling can be very amazing, although I, personally, haven’t had it yet. So, we decided to go to Katowice for him,” told to us Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat last month when Team Secret have crowned the champions of Chongqing Major. As a team technically already qualified for TI9 via Dota Pro Circuit points, Team Secret are restless and this week they got uncontested in their super-dominant run from group stages to the grand finals. In the six-day event, Team Secret dropped a single game. It happened on the very first day of the tournament, in the opening series of ESL One Katowice, Team Secret vs OG. Ironically, OG were extremely close to making it to the grand finals, but it seems that they have a kryptonite to overcome in the form of Gambit Esports, who are now on 9-0 win streak over the TI8 champions.

Gambit put up a great fight on the finals day in Katowice to join Team Secret in the grand finals, and even though the final score of the series is 3-0, Gambit played fearlessly and gave Secret many reasons to up their game as well. In all three games, Gambit started with a hyper-aggressive playstyle, early dives and successful early kills that might have given them the false impression that they can keep the control over Team Secret. However, the superior tournament experience and the individual skill of each member of the Secret squad allowed them to recover every time. In game one they ran a core Bounty Hunter on Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, but because the early laning stage went south, they decided to prioritize YapzOr’s Lion and secured his level six first to be able to counter-initiate and find the kills needed to take the lead.

Secret outplayed and out maneuvered Gambit in game two with an old but very effective combo, Puck-Venge while in game three, they sealed the deal with a last pick Anti-Mage for Nisha and an Enigma for Zai, who took home the tournament MVP prize as well. “New year, new me,” said Zai at the end of the tournament when he was asked what is his secret of success. His captain, Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s words upon lifting the ESL One Katowice 2019 trophy were “We are still experimenting, and experiments work,” making a reference to their victory from ESL One Hamburg 2018 when they toyed with their opponents with experimental drafts that brought a support Legion Commander among plenty of other unorthodox pics.

Today’s victory brings a new record in the history of Dota as the current Team Secret line-up became the roster with the top LAN win rate. The record is per roster, and not per organization. At the same time, Team Secret are now one of the four teams to have won an ESL One grand finals with a 3-0 sweep. The other three teams to have previously done that are Wings Gaming at ESL One Manila 2016, OG at ESL One Frankfurt 2016 and at ESL One Birmingham 2018.

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