clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Team Secret eliminated from The International Dota 2 Championships

Everyone picked them as favorites, but their quest to win The International is over.

Team Secret were supposed to dominate The International Dota 2 Championships, but they will be left wondering what could have been. A largely disappointing tournament from the constructed team of All-Star players saw them squander an early lead and lose a three-game series against Virtus Pro. At least it was the best series of The International so far.

The battle of European Dota continued in the second lower-bracket series of the day with a surprise Medusa pickup from VP kicking off the series. It put pressure on Team Secret to pressure early and push the pace, which they were able to do. An early Lina pick from Secret gave their lineup greater adaptability than the slow-building Virtus team. Every team fight went Secret's way thanks to early farm, and cruise to an easy win.

Game 2 saw a much more traditional lineup from Virtus Pro. They selected heroes that synergized better together and added a Visage to add some disable. Arteezy from Team Secret played his Luna, which has become an aggressive hero he's favored throughout TI:5, and a symbol his team were looking to play aggressively and finish early. That didn't come to pass in the early game with VP jumping to a quick lead thanks to early successful pickups, but this was quickly eroded by complete map control from Team Secret. They controlled both jungles, with Puppey on Enigma getting an astounding amount of early farm without harassment. It felt like VP were in the driver's seat, but in reality their lead wasn't as big as it appeared. Arteezy's farm recovered from his early deaths, while S4 on QoP led both teams and it seemed the comeback was on. Suddenly excellent team fight synergy from Virtus Pro came through, winning numerous big fights and taking back control of the game. The series was level.

Team Secret went back to their roots in Game 3. They selected a lineup of comfort heroes with every player getting the best possible chance to win this critical game. Virtus Pro responded with a similar lineup they played earlier, but with a Drow Ranger added to the mix. Uncharacteristic mistakes from Secret opened too many gaps, and it became quickly apparent that Team Secret's weakness is an inability to deal with Storm Spirit. Their support selections were unable to disable and punish VP's carries, and the selection of Drow proved to be a worthwhile risk that carried Virtus Pro to victory and keep their dreams at TI:5 alive.

Arteezy spoke after the first round that losing was good for Secret, but that probably doesn't extend to being eliminated from The International. The team's dominance leading up to the event is indicative of their ability as a team, it remains to be seen how they will cope with a loss of this magnitude.