Team Secret are undeniably the unstoppable force of the moment. Four grand finals in a row, all won 3:0 is the record to beat in Europe and CIS.
ESL One Birmingham Online: Europe and CIS is the latest tournament victory locked in by Team Secret at the end of a clean 3-0 sweep. The victory is also a full revenge over Alliance, the ones who sent Team Secret to the lower bracket right at the beginning of the playoff stage. Today’s best-of-five series unfolded in a completely different manner than the upper bracket series lost by Team Secret.
Alliance got outplayed right from the get go. A mid lane Nature’s Prophet for Michał “Nisha” Jankowski and three early Blink Daggers inside the Team Secret line-up messed up the entire Death Prophet’s game for Alliance. Linus “Limmp” Blomdin got pressured in the mid lane, the side lanes were also going south, courtesy of constant rotations from Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat on Earth Spirit, and all Alliance could do was to find four kills across the 30 minutes beat down. Unfortunately, they had no chance in the second game either, as Secret got away with a very good Meepo draft and took the 2-0 lead in under 30 minutes.
The series went down 3-0 for Secret, however, the last match witnessed a revitalized Alliance. Secret were fighting with Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen on Ursa, Nisha on Templar Assassin and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg on an offlane Dazzle. They once again tried to bully Limmp in the midlane, but Alliance were much quicker in reacting and turned the early mid lane ganks in their favor. Nonetheless, Matumbaman was crushing the safe lane and started to join the fights in the mid lane, even before finishing his first key item. His rotations gave Gustav “s4” Magnusson’s Axe the space to get his Blink Dagger and join what turned into a 5vs5 mid lane for Alliance’s tier one tower.
Despite s4’s tremendous efforts to keep his team in the game, Secret were able to find the right initiations to ease their Roshan attempts and Alliance were cornered in their base before the 30 minute mark once again. A great high ground defense gave them a bit of hope that they could still spin the game in their favor, but Matumban’s Ursa became impossible to take down and Alliance had to tap out.
ESL One Birmingham Online: Europe and CIS final standings:
1st place: $60,000 – Team Secret
2nd place: $38,000 – Alliance
3rd place: $25,000 – VP.Prodigy
4th place: $14,000 – Team Nigma
5th-6th place: $10,000 – FlyToMoon, Team Liquid
7th-8th place: $7,500 – Vikin.gg, HellRaisers
9th-10th place: $5,000 – Natus Vincere, Cyber Legacy
11th-12th place: $4,000 – Team Unique, Ninjas in Pyjamas
13th-14th place: $3,000 – Family Team, OG
15th-16th place: $2,000 – Gambit Esports, Winstrike
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