Team Secret and Nigma clashed in the WePlay! Tug of War: Mad Moon upper bracket semi-finals and delivered a breathtaking series. Although Nigma played brilliantly and were extremely close to winning the series, Secret made some genius decisions and turned the decisive game 3 around from a 9,000 networth disadvantage. Detailed analysis of Team Secret’s decisions in the article below.
Laning stage farm:
Nigma started to play aggressive since the first bounty rune spawn and Secret decided to lane Morphling solo against Omniknight. This helped Centaur to secure some farm. And Morphling solo can surely get farm against solo Omniknight. The 1-1-3 lane approach also made sure that Nigma’s GH doesn’t get enough time to gank mid. This way, Secret even secured mid lane’s farm. If Secret’s would have gone with a 2-1- 2 lane approach, they would have given Slark more room.
Finding kills even when Nigma were controlling Secret’s jungle:
At the 17 minute mark, Slark had Diffusal Blade and Nigma took down all tier 1 towers. From there, they started controlling Secret’s jungle because they had a stronger team fight advantage at that moment. Secret avoided team fights during this stage and quickly found and killed Nigma’s supports. This forced Nigma to step back for a couple of minutes. Disturbing momentum by killing a few heroes is wiser than trying to win a big team fight and risking big.
Split pushing in key moments:
As soon as Nigma’s heroes respawned, they started establishing their control on Secret’s side of the map bu,t Secret found a way to split push in the top lane. Nigma rotated top to stop them so Secret went back to their jungle. Nigma didn’t rotate many heroes top so when Secret decided to find some kills on Nigma heroes they got trapped. Secret lost a bit due to this small team fight loss but it was still a good move to attack the remaining heroes in their jungle.
Strong high ground defense after the failed split push:
When a split push fails and enemy starts to attack on the high ground, some teams give away a tower or barracks out of respect and avoid a big risk of loss. But Secret didn’t do that. They fought Nigma the moment they stepped on the high ground. Secret’s heroes had low HP but still, they didn’t retreat and fought with full force.
Split pushing whenever there was an opportunity:
For 10 minutes after that high ground fight, Nigma tried their best to control the map and surely built up a good 9,000 networth lead but Secret didn’t stick to their base. They went out far to find farm wherever possible.
Team fight but after securing a pickoff :
Secret avoided the 5v5 team fights but the moment they found 1 kill on a support, they didn’t mind fighting Nigma’s other 4 heroes. Nigma misjudged a bit in this situation and lost a couple of heroes and towers.
No Roshan contest:
Although this wasn’t the first Rohan kill of the game, thus it gave a bigger advantage due to the Cheese drop, Secret still didn’t go to contest it. It was perhaps one of the most important decisions of the game, as they went to split push at the bottom tier 3 tower and successfully destroyed it. Nigma had to return back to defend and had to waste some time. Due to all these manoeuvres, Nigma’s lead dropped from 9,000 to 2,000.
Ready to burst down a hero the moment it stepped on the high ground:
Nigma had the Aegis and the Cheese so, they went on to push Secret’s high ground. The moment Slark stepped on the high ground, Secret used most of their spells and killed him straight away. Even though Nigma lost only the Aegis, they had to retreat and postpone their attack. This was the last time Nigma would step on Secret’s high ground.
Taking the first team fight in enemy’s territory with a bait:
Centaur stepped away from the teammates and started farming in the mid lane near the enemy tier 2 tower. Nigma decided to get that kill but it was a bait. Secret’s heroes were ready and killed 2 enemy heroes without losing any of their own.
After that fight, Secret decided to push high ground and when Nigma bought back on their heroes, Secret retreated even though they were 5v4. They created an illusion. They made Nigma think that they are weak at the moment. Nigma fell for the trap and decided to chase the retreating Secret heroes. Secret counter-attacked and destroyed them.
Didn’t rush in the final moments:
Secret played the end game smoothly. After the previous team fight victory, they went back to base to regen their mana and buy some items. They could have pushed and applied more pressure but they were comfortable and knew that the victory was secured. So they didn’t rush but forced Nigma to leave their base to make something happen. Nigma smoke ganked and found 1 kill but kept on chasing and lost more heroes. This way Secret took control of Nigma’s base and without caring about a few alive heroes, they destroyed the throne.