Team Secret continue to look a level above the competition at the ESL One Los Angeles EU-CIS online regional league after making short work of Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) in their group stage matchup.
After being utterly dominated by Secret in game one of the series, NiP looked to bounce back in game two with a heavy team fight composition with Nikita “Daxak” Kuzmin on Naga Siren, Jason “TANNER” Weedon on Void Spirit, stand-in offlaner Evgeniy “Blizzy” Ree on Dark Seer, stand-in support player Milan “MiLAN” Kozomara on a support Spiritbreaker, and Peter “ppd” Dager on Jakiro.
Meanwhile, Secret opted for a four-protect-one strategy headlined by a mid Alchemist for Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen, a Position 2 Pangolier for Michal “Nisha” Jankowski, a Position 3 Tusk for Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, Rubick for Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat, and a support Nature’s Prophet for Clement “Puppey” Ivanov.
NiP went on the offensive early to try and impede the farm of Matumbaman’s Alchemist, but Secret were able to match their aggression and make space for their carry to build up his core items.
MATUMBAMAN was able to pick up his Radiance at just 11 minutes in, which gave Secret the edge they needed to exert map control and secure the first Aegis of the Immortal for their carry at the 12-minute mark.
NiP was able to strike back by winning fights around the 13 and 15-minute marks wherein they caught the rest of Secret while their Alchemist was on the other side of the map. With that said, they still couldn’t stand up to MATUMBAMAN no matter if he was alone or together with his team.
NiP looked like they were finally going to win a huge fight at the 18-minute mark when they caught their opponents in a Song of the Siren into a Vacuum-Ice Path-Macropyre combo, but Secret dashed their hopes for a comeback by simply tanking through those abilities to win that decisive clash.
With NiP left virtually powerless against MATUMBAMAN’s monstrous Alchemist, who had Radiance, Heart of Tarrasque, and Assault Cuirass after just 20 minutes, Secret cruised to a 22-minute victory to secure the series sweep.
MATUMBAMAN notched nine kills to lead Secret, while zai and Puppey added eight and seven of their own, respectively, in another dominant showing which ended with a lopsided 32-18 kill score. Interestingly enough, Puppey also notably finished the game second in overall net worth with 10,300 gold behind MATUMBAMAN’s 20,900.
With their win, Secret improve to a 2-0 match record, with a clean 4-0 game record, to lead Group B, while NiP now sit at 1-1 in the middle of the pack.
Both teams will continue their group stage campaigns at the ESL One Los Angeles EU-CIS online regional league on April 9, with Secret taking on Natus Vincere and NiP squaring off against Chicken Fighters.