Team Secret looked dominant in their return to competition at the ESL One Los Angeles EU-CIS online regional league, dominating Team Liquid, 2-0, in their group stage opener.
In game one of the series, last season’s top-ranked team showcased their signature teamfight prowess to cruise to an easy victory.
Secret opened the series with a strong five-man lineup to dominate the midgame, with Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen on Morphling, Michal “Nisha” Jankowski on Bristleback, Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg on Pangolier, Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat on Earth Spirit, and Clement “Puppey” Ivanov on Keeper of the Light.
Meanwhile, Liquid ran with a more mobile composition with Michael “miCKe” Vu on Slark, Maximilian “qojqva” Bröcker on Death Prophet, Samuel “Boxi” Svahn on Centaur Warrunner, Tommy “Taiga” Le on Rubick, and Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi on Grimstroke.
Puppey’s Keeper of the Light constantly kept his teammates’ mana pools high with Chakra Magic to fuel Secret’s early aggression, which allowed them to secure Roshan just 14 minutes in. However, Liquid was able to prevent Secret from making much use of the first Aegis of the Immortal to keep the game relatively even.
Secret took full control of the game by the 27-minute mark, however, as they took advantage of Liquid being late to contest their second Rosh attempt to win the ensuing teamfight.
That allowed Secret to easily take down two lanes of barracks at top and middle lane just before the 30-minute mark, which forced crucial buybacks from Liquid. It took one last well-executed smoke gank from Secret to pick off Boxi and miCKe without their buybacks to force Liquid to call GG by the 32-minute mark.
Matumbaman and Nisha combined for 18 of their team’s 26 total kills, while only having three deaths between the two of them, to lead Secret to a clean victory.
Secret went on to decisively defeat Liquid in game two of the series to secure the sweep and get an excellent start to their group stage campaign at ESL One Los Angeles EU-CIS league.
Both teams will have their next matches on April 7, with Secret taking on Ninjas in Pyjamas and Liquid facing Alliance.