After a commanding victory in the upper bracket quarterfinals against OG earlier today, VGJ.Storm continued to impress in China and are now one series away from the MDL Changsha Major Grand Finals.
VGJ Storm kicked off the series with a high tempo pushing draft that gave them no room for mistakes. In theory, they could have taken the win in under 30 minutes and all went according to plan with a super good laning stage for them.
Secret’s both safe and bottom lanes got crushed, their Doom and Ember Spirit were completely shut down while the supports had little to no tools to stop the NA’s team push. However, one hero got away unchallenged at all. Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard on a mid lane Medusa focused on farming for 20 minutes straight, then he showed up with a completed Skadi on top of Hurricane Pike to turn around the fate of the game.
With Ace saving the mid stage of the game and Clement “Puppey” Ivanov casually placing four wards in the enemy jungle, Secret took consecutive successful team fights in VGJ Storm’s safe lane and secured game one for themselves.
“ We realized they will be scaling a lot better than us so, we played a bit scared the entire game one. We just came with a different mentality in game two, we relaxed and we forced them to play our game instead” said Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok in the winners’ interview at the end of the series.
Reso was given Slark in game two and went with the hero in the safe lane while Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu on Doom, baby sited by Io and Winter Wyvern, bullied Secret’s safe lane Spectre. Just like last week in Jakarta when VGJ.Storm won their first Minor of the season, Sneyking was extremely important in the NA’s team strategy. He itemized for huge HP regeneration and kept on forcing Secret in a defensive stance, which gave Reso all the space to farm his key items.
Thirty minutes into the game, Slark was the front liner with a completed Silver Edge on top of Echo Sabre and BkB and nothing could stop him. Team Secret’s only option was to survive long enough to reach the very late game stage and they did try to achieve that, but going for defensive items on all their cores meant no damage output in the team fights and the game was lost in 35 minutes.
The only time VGJ.Storm didn’t ban Kunkka, Team Secret picked it and game three was shaping up as a bloodbath where the TI8 qualified team could have secured a top-three finish at the MDL Major.
Team Secret had the laning stage advantage and all the map advantage as VGJ.Storm’s towers were dropping one after another. Eleven minutes into the game team Secret wiped out the entire VGJ. Storm, four minutes later they were already pushing the tier three tower bottom lane with a Helm of the Dominator and level 3 Necronomicon Book of Lycan, but VGJ Storm waited patiently for their KotL to finish the Aghanim’s Scepter.
Despite all the madness, Avery “SVG” Silverman was able to get the item done at the 19 minutes mark and from there on his team played exclusively around the day timings and managed to catch Secret on the wrong foot to take the series victory and secure a top-three finish at MDL Changsha Major.