It’s been awhile since Team Secret has won a premiere LAN event.
That isn’t to say the team hasn’t been successful, of course. Secret won the Shanghai major the Shanghai Major nearly two years ago. Since then, it has been near the top of a number of tournaments, ranging from ESL One Hamburg to Epicenter to the MDL.
But they’ve only been near the top. Not at the top.
Well, Secret changed that at the DreamLeague Major with a strong grand finals sweep over Team Liquid.
That wasn’t an easy feat, of course. Team Liquid is the most resilient team in Dota 2, winning TI7 in large part due to its exceptional defensive play and ability to mount comebacks. That was on full display in the DreamLeague Major finals, as the series kicked off with back-to-back hour-plus games, including a Game 1 that lasted 72 minutes in spite of a lopsided 69-27 kill count in Secret’s favor.
In both cases, though, Secret ultimately managed to seal the deal and in Game 3, Liquid seemed to have no more tricks up its sleeves. After establishing a substantial gold lead on the heels of heavy early aggression, Secret kept the pressure high, went for the kill and scored the conclusive GG at 37 minutes.
Secret didn’t necessarily need this win. Despite struggling to close out tournaments, Clement “Puppey” Ivanov and co. have had no trouble in amassing Dota Pro Circuit points, and entered sitting in second place on the season standings. Still, the win (and the $500,000 prize) have got to feel good.
Fan Favorites Get on the Board
Team Secret and Team Liquid were the top teams at the Dream League Major...but they weren’t the fan favorites. That honor, unsurprisingly, went to Natus Vincere and Evil Geniuses. The Black and Yellow and the Boys in Blue are two of the most beloved teams in Dota 2 but, to this point, both have struggled to amass points in the newly implemented Dota 2 Pro Circuit.
By the end of the DreamLeague Major, both wound up on the board with EG’s third-place finish netting them a big 225 qualifying points in the DPC (and $100,000) while Na’Vi’s fourth-place translated to 75 QP and $70,000. DPC ramifications aside, those are huge milestones for both teams.
Evil Geniuses has been reeling since its flop at The International 2017. Despite being regarded by many as favorites to win the event, EG notched a rough 9th-12th place finish, falling well short of most fans’ expectations. Despite early enthusiasm regarding the DPC, the ghosts of that flop have lingered on with less-than-impressive performances at PGL Open Bucharest and ESL One Frankfurt.
Third-place at the DreamLeague Major, though, gives EG its first significant bounty in months and hopefully marks a return to form for the organization.
Na’Vi, meanwhile, seems to have found the right roster after a three-year rebuilding phase. After an extended stretch of disappointing performances and high turnover, Danil "Dendi" Ishutin seems to have a supporting cast capable of bringing him back to the big leagues. Despite taking a few tries, the DreamLeague Major gave the team its first batch of QP and suggests the team is officially a contender, at long last.
Dota Pro Circuit Standings Following the DreamLeague Major
Unsurprisingly, the DreamLeague Major delivered a fairly large shakeup to the Dota Pro Circuit standings.
First and foremost among those shifts, Team Secret and Team Liquid now occupy first- and -second-place in the standings, stepping over Virtus Pro. VP held something of a commanding lead entering this weekend (check out our coverage of the Perfect World Masters to see the previous standings), but their sixth-place flop at the DreamLeague Major coupled with the strong performances of Liquid and Secret have seen them fall to third place. That isn’t a bad spot to be in, of course, but the Russian squad fancies itself as the best team in the world, and will now doubt come back motivated after losing their spot.
Second, Evil Geniuses’ third-place finish in Jonkoping helped Team USA vault into fifth place on the season. That’s a big jump for Clinton “Fear” Loomis and co., who entered the event with just 30 QP on the season (courtesy of a fourth-place finish at PGL Open Bucharest), and one that suggests that the team is still capable of performing well in big events.
Finally, it is worth noting that there are now a number of teams with points that fall outside the top-eight. Four squads (LGD Gaming, LGD.Forever Young, compLexity Gaming and Immortals) are on the board, but not in a way that would hypothetically allow them to qualify for The International. Six tournaments deep into the 2017-2018 seasons, teams now have to notch multiple top-four finishes in Minor events order to break into that lot.
There are two more Minor events in December between MDL Macau and The Summit 8. We’ll see if CompLexity and LGD can reclaim their spots.
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