Lower bracket: Secret vs. VGJ Storm

Secret vs VGJ Storm

Secret  began their lower bracket journey shakily, but steadily they lift up the form. NA Dota proved strong throughout the groups but that success didn’t translate well into the main event. In this draft we saw VGJ Storm getting out drafted hard in game one, and barely come out even in game two. Let’s see how things panned out.

Game 1

Secret vs. VGJ Storm ti8

Draft analysis:

First series of bans:

Opening bans were not much of a surprise. Aside from the standard Enchantress, Weaver, Phantom Lancer, IO and Venge bans, we had a newcomer on the list, Drow Ranger. The reason for Drow’s sudden popularity is her great win-rate in the last couple of days (She has lost only one game on the tournament). Her ability to open up draft options for the mid lane with her Precision Aura and the current physical damage meta makes her a new pick/ban priority.

First series of picks:

VGJ.Storm opened up with Wraith King, recurrent resident of the first five pick/ban phases. Secret used their first two picks for Clinkz and Silencer. Clinkz is a great single target hero that generally pairs well versus the enemy strength cores. Silencer pick gave Secret great team fight capabilities but at this point of the draft, versus WK it doesn’t do much, as WK has only one active skill. Mirana as next pick for VGJ.S was questionable. First of all hero doesn’t have good win-rate at the main event at all. It has been picked 7 times, but out of those 7, only 1 was a win! I think people got fooled by the hero’s success in the group stage. It’s worth mentioning that YawaR before this series was 6/6 on Mirana. Also Silencer’s Last Word is very good against Mirana as she would get silenced after the first leap.

Second series of bans:

VGJ Storm proceed to ban Bloodseeker, good laner and to protect Mirana pick from Rupture. Also they ban Winter Wyvern, reasoning behind this ban is unclear to me. I would assume they were making preparations for some Hero countered by her. At least that’s what Secret thought too. Secret, after banning Spectre, the ultimate late game carry with the ability to easily get on top of the enemy range heroes, banned  Lycan. Lycan, as is any hero with a lot of summons, is hard countered by the Winter Wyvern’s Winter’s Curse as it can turn your summons (illusions too) against you.

Second series of picks:

Earthshaker was the Secret’s choice for the next pick. When you are not sure if the enemy team plans to pick Broodmother or something along those lines, go for this hero. You can’t go wrong, the hero is strong throughout all portions of the game. Earthshaker pick was followed by Undying for VGJ.S. Plan was to boost up the lanes as Dirge is famous for lane domination, even though current meta is dual-lanes and that limits the Decay steal. Secret next picked Necrophos as there was no threat of magical damage on the enemy side. The hero is 5th on the most picked/banned list in this main event, but with only ~38% win-rate, versus this kind of lineup on VGJ.S, he represented a threat. So to counter it, they were forced to pick a support that can deal with the Necro lane. Silencer was already taken, Pugna (great versus Necro) is a core hero that can be played as support but is hard to pull off. So in the pursuit of holding on to the last pick for the core hero (not to reveal it too early), they picked Keeper of the Light. Plan was to push the lanes hard against Necro and to try to nuke him with Illuminate if he Ghost Shrouds. Also playing versus Secret there is always a threat of heroes like Meepo and Arc Warden and Keeper’s Blinding Light deals well with them at some portions of the game.

Last ban and pick:

Secret last banned Pugna to safeguard Necro, while VGJ banned Huskar to clear space for incoming Templar Assassin pick. First of all, at this point Secret already had better lanes, but  the TA pick was what ended this game before it even started. They were probably scared of Meepo pick, so TA in theory could stand in the mid lane and duke it out with him. What I can only assume they didn’t know, was that Clinkz’s Searing Arrows remove two Refraction charges with one hit and with them all of TA’s laning power. So Secret just put Clinkz in the mid lane and with space cleared ended their draft with the Aces famous Meepo and placed him in the side-lane.

Gameplay analysis:

There isn’t much to be covered about this game’s course. As I mentioned above the draft advantage was obvious. Secret came out of the laning stage firing out of all cylinders, and translated that lead into the mid game. Meepo had free reign over the map which resulted in an easy win for Secret.

 

Game 2

Secret vs VGJ Storm game 2 ti8

Draft analysis:

First series of bans:

Four out of six bans from the first game saw the reprisal, Weaver, Enchantress, PL and Drow. This time around Secret decided to let Wisp go trough since they had a 1:0 game advantage. Also Puppey likes to try to beat often banned heroes. Worth noting is that VGJ Storm have played Wisp only once this tournament and lost to Newbee. Scared from game 1, VGJ.S this time banned Necro instead of Venge.

First series of picks:

Secret didn’t think twice to pick up Venge as their first hero. VGJ.S’s first two picks were Mirana and Dark Willow. They were not ready to surrender YawaR’s Mirana and MSS decided to play one of the more prolific supports of the tournament, Willow. Puppey Silencer became his signature for this tournament and, as I said, countered Mirana pretty well, so Secret took it.

Second series of bans:

VGJ.S had partial success with Nature’s Prophet this TI so Secret probably banned it as a precaution. NP is very good for his map presence with Teleportation, especially in this bounty runes meta.  Secret also banned Chen, which as a lane dominator can be very good, but VGJ.S really doesn’t have a Chen player, so this ban felt random. We then saw respect ban for Ace’s Meepo and Bloodseeker ban for VGJ.S. Blood is another one of those heroes whose ultimate renders Mirana useless.

Second series of picks:

For a second support VGJ.S took Ogre Magi, all around a nice lane support with good scaling. Tiny is a hero that has a big pick/ban rate (3rd on this TI main event) but his actual win-rate of ~35% is very low. So it mostly went unnoticed until now, when VG took it. On the other side, Secret took Elder Titan and Clinkz. Physical damage just went through the roof, with the Vengeance Aura, ET’s Natural Order and Clinkz’s single target Searing Arrows.

Last ban and pick:

For the last ban we saw two cheese picks, Broodmother for Secret since they went all in on single target heroes. And Arc Warden for VG as, again, he is one of Ace’s signature heroes. Secret decided on Terrorblade for the last pick, since not a lot was revealed by VGJ.S. And Storm had room for 4 protect 1 strat, hence Secret wanted to be prepared for the worst and Terrorblade can match up with any late game carry in the game. As expected VG were cornered and had to rely on late game, so they picked Medusa.

Gameplay analysis:

This game was far more interesting on both sides. Secret made a few mistakes and almost lost but in the end managed to turn it around. Dota plus gave an advantage to Secret throughout the whole game. I’ll point out two fights that were setbacks for Secret and the final fight that ended the game in Secret’s favor.

Here we can see Secret getting caught split, so they ended dying one by one. Mirana’s arrow stun on Terrorblade followed up by MSS’s Terrorize into Stone Gaze is marvelous to watch.

Second situation is a prolonged fight with mistakes on both sides. One being Sneyking’s Tiny throwing Medusa into death without any need. And Midone on Clinkz waking up Mirana form Elder Titan’s sleep, so she got time to pop the BKB and make space for Tiny to make a huge Avalanche-Toss combo.

Ending fight is a story for itself. Even Medusa with Devine Rapier couldn’t stop Ace’s Refresher Shard usage that made all the difference, see for yourself…