How can we sum up the DreamLeague Minor finals between Team Secret and Fnatic?
The yapzor show
Team Secret put on a display similar to EG’s during the Jakarta Minor, no team looked like they could touch them. The 3-0 one sided finals were fairly one sided, don’t let EE getting the MVP vote fool you (Twitch chat decided to gift the player who was perceived to have played the worst on the losing team the MVP vote after most of the games). While Fnatic was able to do well in the laning stage, at least a lot better than most other teams that Secret ran over on their path to the finals, Puppey seemed to have a solid plan from start to finish which his team executed nearly perfectly. Team Secret’s path to the finals had them go through Empire, Newbee, Team Liquid, and finally Fnatic in the finals. Team Secret’s average game length was only a little over half an hour. Ace once again proved how terrifying he could be as he dealt 13,000 building damage in only 17 minutes as Lone Druid against Empire. With DAC ahead Team Secret look to be going into the Major in their best possible form.
For Fnatic DreamLeague was also quite an important tournament. The second place finish netted them 90 points each which moved them only 16 points behind Mineski, after that only a small gap remains between them and a direct invite to TI. With DreamLeague marking the halfway point in the DPC it’s more important than ever for teams like Fnatic, who are on the cusp of gaining a direct invite, to continue to perform well. Fnatic had to take down OG, Empire, Newbee, and Team Liquid on their way to the finals, which they did at the same time as picking up some tournament records. Abed did the most damage in a single match with his Gyrocopter while EE had the best KDA of the tournament on Lycan. Pieliedie also stuck to his old ways and had the most deaths in two separate games while also having the most healing done on his Warlock.
While Team Liquid once against secured a top 4 finish this time it was without their mid superstar Miracle. Instead Kuroky took up the position while Heen, Liquid’s coach, filled in Kuro’s role as support. Kuroky used DreamLeague to play some heroes he hadn’t been able to play previously and has overtaken Fear as the individual who has played the most heroes in Dota 2 competitively. While missing your mid and having your support take his place would normally be a death sentence for teams Liquid managed to beat Fnatic 2-1 in the upper bracket. In that series Liquid not only secured their top 3 finish by moving on to the upper bracket finals, they also won in the fastest time of the tournament, 17 minutes 23 seconds, with a Kuroky mid Timbersaw. Team Liquid will be competing with their full roster at the upcoming DAC Major in China.
For Newbee their 4th place finish is just another mediocre end to a tournament that should have gone better for the Chinese giants. The once strong hold over the early game that was held by Kaka and Faith has whittled away and it has left the team looking sometimes clueless, unsure of what their next move should be. Hesitation in pushing towers or fully committing to pushing into a fortified enemy position are uncharacteristic of Newbee and yet they continue to repeat these errors time after time. Their cores still show signs of the brilliance that brought them to the finals of TI7 and it is off the back of some extraordinary team play that they continue to win games. However, as we saw during DreamLeague Newbee is still occasionally overcome by losing the larger picture in the middle of a game and make mistakes which can sometimes cost them dearly. It’s rare to see a team that can be so hot but also be so cold during the same event, fans can only hope Newbee can find the root of their problem quickly.
This sums up the tournament for the following teams
Lastly there are OG, Empire, Immortals, and Pain Gaming. Not much can be said of Pain who went out in two straight 0-2 series to Team Liquid and OG. They did place 2nd at WESG but unfortunately they couldn’t translate their performance into DPC points. Immortals also bottomed out in DreamLeague but managed to take one game off Empire before being eliminated. The NA based team has struggled in recent months and given the competition they face it may be unlikely we see them again any time soon. Empire’s single win over Immortals 2-1 was about what was expected from the Russian/Ukrainian squad but OG’s loss to Newbee only further demoralizes fans of OG. Yes they are now playing with 7mad instead of Resolution but the ways OG lost games were particularly troublesome.