Four teams. Two Favorites. Two day one upsets. Who had the upper hand in the semifinals of ESL One at New York Super Week?
Semi final #1 – Team Secret vs CDEC Gaming
This series was not one for faint hearted Arachnophobes. Yesterday already gave us a taste of things to come and Team Secret continued to roll with Broodmother picks today. But for the sake of throwing CDEC a curveball, Puppey opted for a complete rarity, an Elder Titan pickup! But it would be all about Misery’s Broodmother in game one, which drew lots of attention to the bot lane early on. And even though he died in the early game, he was able to find his farm and towers with CDEC eventually being unable to lock him down with their lineup, which lead to tower after tower, followed by barracks after barracks and a pretty straight forward first game victory for Team Secret.
Game two and another Broodmother for Misery. If it works once, why shouldn’t it work again for Team Secret. And while the Brood pick was effective yet again, Secret had a much harder time in game two against the Invoker and Bristleback on CDEC’s side. The Chinese managed to fend off Team Secret for the longest time, raking up a lot of gold in the process thanks to Bounty Hunter’s Track to give them a chance at a comeback. But all it needed at the end was a clutch refresher Reaper’s Scythe by EternalEnvy to allow Team Secret to go for an incredibly quick base raze with two heroes out of the picture for 50+ seconds. In the end CDEC put up and admirable fight, but the fact that they let Broodmother through the banning phase twice in a row came back to haunt them.
Final Score: Team Secret 2-0 CDEC Gaming
Semi final #1 – Invictus Gaming vs Vega Squadron
After seeing the games from Secret earlier today, as well as Mag’s performances yesterday, Invictus Gaming learned from the countrymen’s mistakes and banned Broodmother in the first banning phase right away, all the while going for the first Sven pick of the tournament. And with loads of burst damage at their disposal mostly thanks to their Skywrath Mage and Doom, iG eventually came out ahead after a back and forth start to the game. And the longer the game went on, the more apparent iG’s teamfight advantage became as the Chinese managed to win huge team fights in succession, ultimately leaving Vega with no other choice than to call GG.
In the spirit of 6.85 we got to see a bunch of new picks in game two from Vega Squadron, who opted for a Beastmaster and Ursa against iG’s aggressive Undying and Venomancer combo. And Mag’s Beastmaster flourished in the offlane, grabbing an early Necrobook to seize complete control of the map and early teamfights. Even with Venomancers wards iG were unable to leave their base for most of the game due to Vega’s overwhelming teamfight power and map control. With a gem in hand, the CIS squad patiently furthered their advantage, farming the entire map and getting pick off after pick off before finally breaching high ground and taking game two in their favor in an incredibly one sided affair.
Even though Mag’s Beastmaster was hugely successful in game two, iG did not choose to ban Mag’s hero in game three. And if you don’t ban the Beastmaster, you essentially get a redo of game two with map control being completely handed over the Vega. All it took was a few successful team fights early on for Vega to completely run over iG. They even managed to pull off three successive team wipes during their spell of utter dominance during which the Chinese completely lost their grip on the game and their hopes of making it to the finals. Hopefully Team Secret have been paying attention as Broodmother and Beastmaster are bound to become highly contested picks in the grand finals against Vega
Final Score: Invictus Gaming 1-2 Vega Squadron
This leaves us with Team Secret versus Vega Squadron in the grand finals of ESL One at New York Super Week. Tune in right now to catch the action live!