The Shanghai major is over, and the winner is in! Secret Take home the Trophy and the big money prize, defeating Team liquid 3:1 in the finals.
The day started off with Team Liquid facing off against EG for the chance to play Secret in the Grand Final. Team Liquid stepped up to the challenge and both out drafted and out played EG to easily take the series 2:0. That put Liquid straight back up against Secret who also defeated them the day before 2:0 in the upper bracket.
The arena took a break form the games while a live orchestra played some of the music from Dota 2.
As the teams went into the match, the English analyst desk were predicting Secret as the strong favourites.
First game of our best of 5 series started out with some respect bans from either side with Puppeys renowned Chen being banned first by Liquid followed up by an Earth spirit ban by Secret who obviously did not want Jerax on the hero.
The game started out and already Secret were starting to pull ahead, the disparity between the offlaners farm was a big factor as misery on Tidehunter had a much easier time finding farm and kills which left the Liquid tri-lane floundering. By 30 minutes Secret had amassed a 15k net worth lead and all but sealed the game. Liquid showed signs of a comeback with some stellar base defenses but would ultimately lose in the end.
The picking phase saw a hero we have not seen in competitive play since being nerfed in the most recent balance patch. Puppey decided to last pick a Winter Wyvern in hopes of countering the early game push by Liquid, however things did not go all according to plan. This game was definitely a step in the right direction for Liquid. Early rotations and lane pressure provided by their supports allowed Lycan and Invoker to snowball from the start thus creating space for Mind Control on Beastmaster to split push with his necro units and boars. This game proved to be exciting and Liquid looked very comfortable as they took all the right team fights, had great control and dictated the pace. It all ended at the 50 minute mark when Lycan charges straight into base after a bottom lane push and takes the throne.
Liquid decided to draft an old favourite combination of tiny and wisp and duel laned mid with some very sneaky pulls from the dire jungle. However this tactic would not bode well for them as they conceded first blood in their own jungle during the pull. Team Liquid looked like they were trying to force fights but it only ended in unfavourable trades and bad positioning which Team Secret took advantage of. The standout for this game was w33 on his Invoker who was paramount in controlling teamfights and dishing out damage on command which put his team on top.
This was the most dominant game for Secret who essentially won this game in the draft. The analysts and casters were unanimous in declaring that team Liquid would have an uphill battle from the start. Unfortunately for Liquid it seemed that Secret were not going to give them an inch let alone a mile. It was a disaster for Liquid from the onset as Secrets lanes all seemed to be winning substantially with Puppey playing his jungle Doom and roaming consistently to set up ganks with his team. Eternal envy on Slark was just too out of control for the late-game oriented Liquid draft and they crumbled, conceding defeat at the 25 minute mark.
Congratulations to Secret on winning the Shanghai Major. Also Team Liquid put up a good fight to make sure the high quality Dota continued right to the end.
Unfortunately there were no surprise announcements at the end of the tournament, so we’ll have to keep waiting for more on the next Major, the Manilla Major. The only details so far are that it will be in early June.
Until then we’ll be following the smaller tournaments, team shuffles and Dota drama that make up the Dota 2 Esports scene.
** Leeroy contributed to this recap writing the game summaries.