Western Dota‘s newfound hope for an International title is perfect no more.
Vici Gaming downed previously unbeaten Team Secret at the Dota 2 Asia Championships in Shanghai this morning. The loss marks Team Secret’s first two game losses since signing prodigious talents Ludwig “Zai” Wahlberg and Artour “Arteezy” Babaev.
The European power did not go quietly, however, taking the contest to a deciding game three before Vici Gaming’s Medusa, Sniper combination proved too much for the previously unbeaten new lineup. Secret carry and Dota veteran Gustav “S4” Magnusson turned in an uncharacteristically poor performance in the deciding contest, giving up six deaths in 23 minutes.
Team Secret found itself in unfamiliar territory early in the series. After winning the pool-play phase of the Dota 2 Asia Championships with a flawless 15-0 record, the Clement “Puppey” Ivanov-led squad surrendered a 76 minute opening epic in which Vici Gaming faced mega creeps for over 13 minutes.
The second game was classic Secret, however, after Babaev’s Bristleback battled back from an early game deficit to earn a 30 minute equalizer.
With a birth in the winner’s bracket final on the line in game three, the nascent Team Secret’s flaws were revealed in game three after a lost laning phase turned the taut endeavor into a foregone conclusion. With Babaev’s signature Shadow Fiend falling well behind Xie “Super” Junhao’s Sniper and Dominik “Black” Reitmeier’s Medusa enjoying free farm against Wahlberg’s Juggernaut, the contest tipped quickly in the 2014 International runner-up’s favor.
With the defeat, Team Secret falls to the loser’s bracket where it awaits the winner of Cloud9 and HyperGloryTeam. With its tandem of veteran talent and burgeoning wunderkinds, however, its campaign is likely far from over.
Image via Valve