The Shanghai Major, after a lousy run finally ended satisfyingly with Team Secret taking the $1.11 million prize against Team Liquid in the BO5 grand finals yesterday.
After the disappointing performance by Team Secret in The International 2015 last year, a lot changed as star players Artour ‘Arteezy’ Babaev and Ludwig ‘zai’ Wahlberg left the team for Evil Geniuses. Puppey, like the amazing captain he is, came up with a brilliant new roster consisting of w33, EternalEnVyy, pieliedie and MiSeRy. People were quite skeptical of this line-up at first, not only because it was w33’s first time being in a top tier team and competing internationally, but also because of him being paired up with EternalEnVyy who showed some disfavor towards w33.
Regardless of the beginnings, Team Secret has come a long way since then. Taking home second place in the Frankfurt Major was a good deal for them. And now, winning the Shanghai Major is even better. This marks the first major win for Puppey, and his second time competing in a DOTA 2 Major.
Grand Finals – Team Secret vs Team Liquid
After winning against Team Liquid in the upper bracket and dropping them down to the lower bracket, Team Secret had to face Liquid once again in the grand finals.
Game 1 – Team Secret Wins
Puppey picked a very versatile draft for his team. OD and Slark’s solo pick-off potential was paired with Tidehunter’s amazing crowd control abilities paved an easy way to victory for Secret. Unlike them, Team Liquid seemed highly reliant on well casted Chronospheres by the Faceless Void. By gaining an early advantage, Team Secret continued snowballing out of control. There was a point where Liquid pulled off amazing Chronospheres and it seemed like the tide might shift into their favor, but to no avail as the early to mid game advantage was clearly in favor of Secret.
Game 2 – Team Liquid Wins
Team Liquid came out strong in this match, as they drafts made the game quite balanced between both teams. Unlike the last game, this time Liquid had the ball in their favor as their Invoker and Lycan combo was quite strong. Secret took some amazing teamfights nonetheless and it looked good for them at one time, but Liquid played a textbook bait and eventually won over Secret.
Game 3 – Team Secret Wins
This match was quite important for Team Liquid, because if they lost there would be immense pressure on them for being two games behind. Liquid immediately went for an IO Tiny combo. Secret responded with an unorthodox line up including Invoker, Clinkz, Doom, Disruptor and Nature’s Prophet. Liquid struggled throughout the game and it felt like they were trying their best to get the IO Tiny combo online, but it just didn’t work. Eventually Secret run over their base and won the game. w33 played exceptionally this game and showed off great Invoker skills.
Game 4 – Team Secret Wins
Right from the beginning Team Liquid’s gameplay looked shaky. They returned to a similar playstyle as the first game, and this ended up being heavily outplayed by Team Secret. It was understood that to make a difference in such a one sided game, Liquid had to initiate great teamfights, and so they tried but ultimately didn’t hold up against Secret’s highly farmed heroes. The game ended up with Liquid calling good game before the 30 minute mark.