In a clash between two of the top European teams at ESL One Birmingham Online EU/CIS league, Team Secret emerged victorious over Team Nigma in a dominant 2-0 sweep on the final day of the group stage.
Secret made Nigma look like amateurs in game one of the series, which ended with a very lopsided 33-4 kill score after just 23 minutes of action.
Nigma opened the series with a strong midgame tri-core of a carry Tiny for Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi, a mid Silencer for Aliwi “w33” Omar, and an offlane Luna for Ivan “MinD_ControL” Ivanov. The support duo of Maroun “GH” Merhej on Io and Kuro Salehi “Kuroky” Takhasomi on Treant Protector brought up the rear.
Secret countered with a mobile, heavy push lineup consisting of Spectre for Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen, a mid Beastmaster for Michal “Nisha” Jankowski, an offlane Earthshaker for Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, Enigma for Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat, and a support Weaver for Clement “Puppey” Ivanov.
Secret struck hard early on, as they looked to shut down Nigma’s lineup before it even got off the ground. Zai’s Earthshaker was key to Secret’s aggression, as he repeatedly roamed around the map and set up crucial kills for his team.
Secret’s early dominance allowed them to build up a 10,000 gold advantage at just the 13-minute mark, which they then used to further exert their control over the map. Despite Nigma’s best efforts to fight back, they could do little to stand against their opponents’ overwhelming pushing power. After Secret stomped in their own base, Nigma was forced to call GG to end the game after just 23 minutes.
Zai and YapzOr both notched a game-high 9 kills, with the latter ending the game with no deaths, to lead their team to victory. Nisha and Matumbaman also notched seven and six kills of their own, respectively.
Secret went on to dominate Nigma again in game two to secure the series sweep. Both teams end their group stage runs at the ESL One Birmingham Online EU-CIS league tied at 6-1, though Secret held the edge after winning their head-to-head matchup.
Secret will open the first set of Upper Bracket playoff matches by taking on Alliance, followed by a showdown between Nigma and VP.Prodigy.