Steven R. October 30, 2020
For the first time since April, Team Secret has been eliminated from a Dota 2 tournament.
Dota 2’s top-ranked team has been booted out of ESL One Germany. The team was handed a 2-0 defeat in the lower bracket by Team Liquid. This came after being knocked out of the upper bracket by mudgolems in another sweep.
Liquid needed to manufacture a wild comeback in order to take the first map. The opening minutes of the game saw Clement “Puppey” Ivanov and Tommy "Taiga" Le both struggle to stay alive, but Secret regained its bearings in the mid game with successful ganks. That allowed the team to build up its lead from there, take the first lane of barracks.
Secret kept the pressure high, but an overly aggressive play for Liquid’s middle barracks bit them. While the second lane of barracks was knocked down, it allowed Liquid to storm down the mid lane and take a lane of barracks on their own. A team fight broke out and when Liquid won that, it set them up to take the ancient as well.
The second game wasn’t nearly as exciting. After a slow-paced early game, Liquid took the first proper team fight of the map. Taiga’s exceptional play on Earthshaker allowed Liquid to get the better of each engagement and take a quick victory to seal the series.
With this loss, Secret exits ESL One Germany with a fourth-place finish worth $25,000.
Team Secret’s first-place streak broken by Team Liquid
Team Secret’s loss to Team Liquid marks the end of one of Dota 2’s most impressive winning streaks ever. The European squad has been by far the strongest team in the world during this online league era, with the team taking first-place finishes at eight tournaments in a row. This started with the WePlay! Pushka League and continued on through Dota PIT League Season 3.
Along the way, Secret had a winrate over 80% within a 100-game stretch. This was a level of dominance not seen since the 2013 iteration of Alliance, which went on to win The International that year. Even without The International happening this year, Team Secret has carved out a very strong season that includes almost $1 million in prize pool winnings.
Though the streak is broken, Secret is still positioned firmly at the top of the Dota 2 pro scene. The team will continue to enter every event it competes in as the heavy favorite. This does put a few cracks into Secret’s mystique though, and it will be interesting to see how Puppey and company rebound from this.