Team Secret are the DreamLeague Season 8 Major Champions
picture courtesy of DreamHack
Team Secret’s run in the DreamLeague Season 8 Major will not be forgotten anytime soon. Reaching the grand finals by dropping just one game the entire tournament, the best-of-five grand finals was an impressive display of dominance over The International 7, the SL i-League Invitational Season 3 and the DotaPit Season 6 Minors Champions. The DreamLeague grand final was, in fact, a rematch of the upper bracket final but despite Liquid’s thirst for revenge, Clement "Puppey" Ivanov out-drafted Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi three times in a row to place his team at the top of the Dota Pro Circuit rankings.
The series kicked off with 72 minutes long game, where Yazied "YapzOr" Jaradat had an absolutely stunning performance on Elder Titan. The early laning stage went terrible for Secret’s carry Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard who found it extremely hard to farm or to stay alive even, against Liquid’s Nyx Assasin – Keeper of the Light mana burn duo. However, while he was losing the lane and Nyx was happily walking around with a five minutes Hand of Midas, Secret’s Yapzor won the other two lanes and kept his team in the game with 100 % kill participation at the 10 minutes mark. Secret managed to team wipe Liquid for the first time at the 20 minute mark, and despite getting overrun, and losing the entire map control, the TI7 Champions had Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen on lone Druid to ensure that a rat strategy would take the game to very late stages.
Matumba’s super farmed Lone Druid kept Liquid in the gold lead even when the scoreboard was 30 to 9 in Secret’s favor. With Aghanim's Scepter on him as well as on Maroun "GH" Merhej KotL, Liquid had both the push and anti-push power to hold onto their base up to 72 minutes. What they didn’t have was a real answer to a core Kunkka of Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng who became a killing machine with a Divine Rapier in his inventory.
Team Liquid opened the game two draft with a ban on Elder Titan and denied two of Puppey supports as well while trying to line-up a Tinker split push strategy as Secret were the first to get their hands on Lone Druid this time around. The early to mid-stage game time went fairly even, both teams trading kills everywhere. However, Secret had a more powerful teamfight combo with Adrian "Fata" Trinks on Tidehunter and MidOne on Arc Warden.
With both Lone Druid and Tinker splitting up the map, game two went close to 70 minutes as well, however the Ace Lone Druid made the difference as he took down all the three lanes of barracks with his Aghanim's Bear while Liquid found it impossible to push the high ground against a Refresher Orb plus Refresher Shard Tidehunter.
One game away from a Major title, Team Secret came prepared with something completely different for the third game of the series and surprised Liquid with a last pick Troll Warlord into a Pit Lord. Team Liquid, had a game plan of their own with a Draw ranger strategy but they started the game with an aggressive trilane that proved to be a total loss as Puppey had Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barqawi’s farm under control with his Enfeeble-Bane spell. At the same time, Fata had an explosive start of the match with two solo kills in his offlane and a 12 minute completed Crimson Guard. Liquid had no real magic damage and their right clicks were easily soaked by Fata’s incredible early Crimson, which allowed Team Secret to push the high ground only 17 minutes into the game and sweep Liquid 3-0 in the DreamLeague Season 8 Major.
1st place: Team Secret - $500,000 + 750 DPC Points
2nd place: Team Liquid - $200,000 + 450 DPC Points
3rd place: Evil Geniuses - $100,000 + 225 DPC Points
4th place: Natus Vincere - $70,000 + 75 DPC Points
5th-6th place: Virtus.pro / Newbee - $45,000
7th-8th place: Infamous / Fnatic - $20,000
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