The Kuala Lumpur Major entered the playoffs stage today and the first best-of-three series in the upper bracket was another display of great coordination from Team Secret, who have now secured a top-six finish.
Team Secret were pitted against Vici Gaming, the team that just forced a game five from the Europeans exactly two weeks ago in the ESL One Hamburg grand finals. Today’s series, however, was not as disputed as their grand finals from Hamburg. In the first game from today, VG aligned a Draw strategy, emphasizing the right clicks potential of their cores, with the only source of magical damage coming from a support Shadow Shaman. When asked to describe it in one word, Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier’s called it “a rubbish draft”. Secret on the other hand, secured Michał “Nisha” Jankowski’s Terrorblade and Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat’s signature Rubick and closed the draft with a last pick Zeus, which messed up VG’s plan entirely. Five minutes into the game Secret were already 2k gold ahead and snowballed to an under 30 minutes victory on the back of perfect coordination and perfect plays from their supports.
In the second game, Secret were forced to play from behind as VG targeted Nisha with their bans and picks, denying Secret’s newest addition the two heroes on which he excels, Terrorblade and Morphling. Secret went on placing all their trust in Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng, who was given a mid-lane Phantom Lancer while Nisha played Venomancer. The game started with a trilane versus trilane, Secret wishing to secure Nisha’s good start, but while they focused on that lane, VG’s mid lane Tiny went out of control pretty fast and was able to start the rotation early to disrupt Secret’s farm. VG held the gold and experience advantage for most of the game while playing aggressively, always hunting with Tiny who was an absolute beast. However, Secret were able to protect their PL and as the time went by, Tiny’s BkB duration dwindled, which allowed Secret to find the counter-initiations and turn around two crucial team fights to force the GG call out of VG even before losing a tier three tower.
First day of the playoffs stage continues with another upper bracket series, PSG.LGD versus Alliance and will end with two elimination matches scheduled for the second part of the day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.