Vici Gaming is for real.
The Chinese Dota 2 squad posted its biggest win of the season on the first day of the DreamLeague Major playoffs. Facing off with tournament favorite Team Secret, Vici posted one of its most impressive performances in months by taking a 2-1 series win.
The first game went according to plan. Secret mid laner Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng was an omnipresent force for the team, popping up for nearly every kill and still finding the time to get solid farm. That bought carry Michał “Nisha” Jankowski the time he needed on Lifestealer to come online, leading to Secret taking the opening win.
The second game was as competitive as pro Dota 2 can get. For 38 minutes, Secret and Vici Gaming traded kill for kill and creep for creep, with neither team amassing a sizable lead. The key difference was that while Secret kept up in terms of experience and net worth, Vici was able to more effectively siege Secret’s high ground, eventually securing mega creeps. A Nisha rampage gave Vici a bit of a scare, but Secret wasn’t able to complete the comeback.
Though Vici’s first win was a tight one, its second victory would come much more easily. The Chinese team was racking up kills from the start of game three. Nisha managed to get enough farm to drag the game out for Secret, but Zhang “Paparazi” Chengjun’s Morphling was too much for the European side to handle, giving Vici a lopsided win to seal the series.
This is a statement win for Vici Gaming. Secret was on a remarkable run entering the DreamLeague Major, walking into Stockholm as the reigning major champions after the Chongqing Major and entering the series riding a 21-game winning streak.
Despite being a lopsided matchup on paper, Vici showed that it should be regarded as an elite team. Vici was an afterthought in this tournament after failing to clear the qualifiers and instead earning its way into the event through the StarLadder Minor, but it has now established itself as a real contender to win.
Vici still has plenty of work to do, and will face Chinese rival PSG.LGD in the upper bracket semifinals. If Vici can keep up its current pace, it could potentially become the third team to secure a spot at The International 2019.
Meanwhile, Secret has a lengthy lower bracket run ahead which begins opposite Infamous.