Team Secret has proven once again that they’re one of the best teams in the world. Having cruised through ESL One Katowice to the Grand Finals with only one game dropped, the legendary team comprised of Nisha, MidOne, Zai, Yapzor and their captain Puppey beat Gambit Esports in an impressive 3-0.
Despite losing their very first game at the event to reigning TI champions OG, Team Secret quickly picked themselves back up and proceeded to sweep through the likes of Gambit Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Mineski without breaking a sweat. The only team that could hope to touch them, OG, was knocked out of the tournament by their very own ‘Kryptonite’ Gambit Esports. The CIS team beat OG in all four games they played against each other.
However, Gambit Esports was no match for the titans of Team Secret, and were beaten despite some promising and exciting gameplay.
The Group Stage and Playoffs
The Group Stage was quite the spectacle, with both expected and unexpected results . Alliance, Forward Gaming, For the Dream and Complexity were all knocked out by the end, with the likes of OG ending up in the Lower Bracket. The teams kept dropping during the Mainstage, with NiP, Fnatic, Mineski, Team Aster and Chaos E.C all failing to make it to the Final Day. Gambit Esports, who until quite recently were considered an ‘underdog’ team, looked incredibly strong, finishing the Groups in the Upper Bracket alongside Team Secret and displaying some real skill throughout the entire event.
The Grand Final was as spectacular as it was short. Despite promising drafts and gameplay, Gambit Esports was simply too inexperienced in playing against such a high-level team.
Game 1 showed that Gambit was willing to change things up a bit, a necessity warranted by their earlier 0-2 to Team Secret in both the Group Stage and the Upper Bracket Finals.
The Daxak Terrorblade proved to be quite menacing in the early game, with Gambit taking a fast lead. However, Nisha’s Morphling continued to grow in power while MidOne consistently earned kills on fng’s Nature’s Prophet and Afroninje’s Pangolier. Eventually a mid-game teamfight around Roshan led to Nisha netting an Ultra Kill, and Team Secret pressed the victory, storming into Gambit’s base. Unable to prevent the unrelenting push and the sheer damage from the likes of Yapzor’s Lion, Gambit called GG at around 31 minutes.
Game 2 was the closest between the teams, with Gambit eager to stay in the Finals. Team Secret dominated the early and mid-game, with Yapzor’s Rubick and Zai’s Puck creating an insane amount of space for Nisha’s Troll Warlord and MidOne’s Vengeful Spirit. However, Gambit weren’t to be beaten so easily, and managed to turn around an initiation by Team Secret into a 4 man wipe. The CIS team desperately tried to make the most of their newfound advantage, but Secret bounced back off of multiple Roshan’s and eventually claimed their second victory.
Things didn’t fare much better for Gambit in Game 3, as a surprise last-pick Anti-Mage for Nisha threw the team off guard. Despite losing Mid to Afroninje’s Viper, MidOne’s Monkey King continued to obtain kills around the map, providing the space needed for Nisha to farm an extremely fast Battle Fury. After that, it was only a matter of time until Gambit crumbled. Despite a couple of successful kills on Nisha, they simply did not have the lockdown nor damage to burst him down. Desperate to stop him, Gambit scrambled all over the map, allowing Team Secret to get further ahead in both gold and xp. After a couple of amazing Black Holes by Zai’s Enigma, it was clear Gambit Esports had no chance, and thus GG was called.
That’s all from ESL One Katowice 2019!
Team Secret walk away from ESL One Katowice with $125,000 and a brand new Mercedes for Zai, who was voted the Katowice MVP.