Team Secret falls in first match at ESL One Manila
While they were heavily favored against their opponents Empire, the young Russian team completely demolished the superteam that now features Evil Geniuses superstars Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora. The two core players of Empire, Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and Roman “Scandal” Sadotenkov, put on an incredible show as Spectre and Puck respectively in both games, a combo Secret seemed incapable of dealing with throughout the best-of-three encounter. Secret will now face EHOME in Group B’s loser’s match tomorrow.
Despite the impressive display Empire provided in their opening match, the team fell short against Fnatic, who seem to be on a meteoric rise following their impressive run at the Shanghai Major last month. The temporary addition of Adam “343” Erwann Shah bin Akhtar Hussein, who is filling in for Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung, looks seamless as the team retains the dominant shape it’s displayed in online competition. However, the final game against Empire devolved into a chaotic bout that saw RAMZES666 lose two Divine Rapiers throughout the course of the game.
In what now appears to be a recurring event at international LANs, we saw neither of the two Chinese teams advance out of their group at the conclusion of day one. Whilst Daryl “iceiceice” Koh’s EHOME went down 0-2 in their opening match against Fnatic, Wings Gaming came closest to a spot in the tournament’s semifinals by upsetting compLexity Gaming. In their second match of the day against Team Liquid the inexperience of the squad became apparent as Liquid managed to claw their way back into both games after unfavorable starts.
With Fnatic and Liquid sitting securely in the playoff bracket, four teams will be eliminated in tomorrow’s matches before we know the two squads that will be competing in the Mall of Asia Arena this weekend.