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The three ESL One trophy streak of Virtus.pro was stopped by Team Secret today in Hamburg, with another strong performance from the newly shuffled European squad and especially from their new carry player Michał “Nisha” Jankowski.

Coming to Hamburg, at the first big LAN event post TI8, Team Secret managed to set a new meta within the meta. The patch is the same as the one from The International 2018, all the teams play the same 2-1-2 strategy and prioritize the laning stage, and so does Team Secret, but with a few innovations. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, one of the most respected captains in the Dota 2 world, especially for his capability of setting meta trends, found the motivation towards the end of the patch to innovate and take his opponents by surprise. From a position 5 Legion Commander or Brewmaster to a position four 4 Tiny, Team Secret found the synergy to slay Evil Geniuses, paiN Gaming and now the tournament favorites, Virtus.pro, to make a lower bracket comeback.

In the first game of the best-of-three series against VP, Team Secret played more of a four protect one draft, where Nisha’s farm on Terrorblade was ensured by applying pressure with the other four heroes on VP. With Puppey on Brewmaster building an early Drum of Endurance  and Zai on Necrophos opting for Eul’s Scepter, the team was constantly moving as a unit of four, taking tier one towers and opening the map for skirmishes and easy Roshan kills. VP fell behind fast and they hoped that a successful Aegis contest would stop Secret’s momentum. They tried to prevent a third kill on Roshan, but failed and with three of their heroes dead and without buybacks, they called out the GG before losing a tier three tower. Game two went even worse for the CIS legends, despite being allowed to have comfortable picks and an overall signature VP draft. Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev got to play his mid lane Broodmother, while Alexei “Solo” Berezin was on Ogre Magi. But Secret’s plan was to play fast with a Phantom Lancer in the front lines and very strong team fight tools provided by Venomancer, Enigma and Crystal Maiden. The game lasted just 20 minutes and Secret never gave away the gold and experience advantage.

With the defending champions knocked out of the contention, the ESL One Hamburg 2018 battle for the trophy and the Mercedes Benz MVP prize will be held between China and Europe, as Vici Gaming and Team Secret will fight in a best-of-five series on the Barclaycard Arena big stage starting at 16:00 EET. You can catch all the action live at live.esl-one.com


Interviews from ESL One Hamburg 2018:

– Saksa: “After I left Planet Odd I made a lot of bad decisions team-wise”
– Universe: “Moving to SEA was a pretty crazy decision”
– Kpii: “Mineski was the best offer that I had”
– Solo: “ArtStyle had no fresh ideas and he realized this by himself”
– Fenrir: “I and Fy are in fact inseparable”

 

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