Steven R. February 25, 2019
Team Secret continues its run atop the Dota 2 world.
The squad led by Clement "Puppey" Ivanov hoisted yet another trophy at ESL One Katowice, capping a strong run in the tournament with a 3-0 win over Gambit Esports. The win puts more wind at the back of the European squad, which is arguably the best team in Dota 2 right now.
Opening the event with six-team round robin group stages, Secret asserted itself as the top team by posting a dominant 9-1 record. That gave the team an upper bracket start to the playoffs, which it converted into a quick run to the grand finals with 2-0 wins over Ninjas in Pyjamas and Gambit Esports.
Gambit worked its way out of the lower bracket by beating OG, but it didn’t fare any better against Secret in the rematch. After being squashed in the first game, Gambit adjusted to better keep pace with Secret early in the laning phase. Even after shoring up its early game, it still found its footing eroded by strong carry work from Secret’s Michał "Nisha" Jankowski and playmaking by Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg. The end result was a convincing 3-0 victory for Secret.
ESL One Katowice was an almost flawless tournament from the squad.
Combining both phases of the tournament, Secret posted a record of 16-1 during the event with all three series in the playoffs coming via sweep. The sole blemish during that came in Secret’s first game of the event, a loss to OG in a 54-minute slog.
It’s a dominant showing in what is shaping up to be the best year ever for Team Secret. Since retooling its roster after The International 2018, the team has been white hot, reaching the grand finals of all but one tournament it has participated in thus far. That includes a victory at the Chongqing Major, a win that saw Secret lock up an invitation to The International 2019 seven months in advance.
While Secret could take this time to kick back, the team’s hoping ESL One Katowice gives an extra boost in momentum going forward as Secret is set for a quick turnaround at the Stockholm Major.