Alliance are back to online form at ESL One Summer 2021. They defeated Team Secret 2-0 in their opening match.
Coming off the back of the AniMajor, both Alliance and Secret have had a rough time. Secret, played into a tough wildcard and ended up not qualifying to the groupstage. Alliance on the other hand, directly qualified to the playoffs, and then proceed to lose both their upper bracket and lower bracket matches. The ESL One Summer tournament is an opportunity for those of these teams to prove themselves after falling short. With TI coming up, it is essential that both teams hone their skills before facing their toughest international competition yet.
Supports come in clutch for Alliance
The first game draft featured a signature Tiny for Linus "Limmp" Blomdin, and a late game focused draft, with a Terrorblade pickup. Although Secret drafted a Troll Warlord for Lasse Aukusti "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen, which can go to the late game, it was clear that Secret were on more of a timer. Still, Secret drafted a Dark Seer for Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg, which, in the later game can be devastating against Terrorblade.
The early game started off well for Alliance, with Nikolay "Nikobaby" Nikolov topping the set worth charts and Gustav “s4” Magnusson’s Tidehunter doing very well against Troll. Allaince contuned to press their early lead, but very few kills were had with both teams trying to farm up. To a certain extent this favored Alliance better, but MATUMBAMAN also need to farm up to get his timing.
With a 3k lead, Secret wanted to makle some moves to defend their towers. Unfortunately, this led to a bad fight where they lost two of their big cores and gave Alliance a now 6k lead. Not one to count themselves out, Secret eventually snuck out a Roshan with their Troll’s strong early Rosh taking ability and tried to bring themselves back into the game. With a nice double impale from Yazied "YapzOr" Jaradat, Secret were able to bring the lead down and keep themselves in the game.
However, A key jump again from the supports of Alliance allowed them to get 4 free kills and put the team on top again. It was off the back of this play that Allaince took another fight, and then secured the Rosh. After acquiring that big of a lead, there was no stopping Alliance as they took game 1.
Dread it, run from it, Nikobaby comes for us all
In game two, Secret seemed to be going for a higher tempo draft, picking up the Luna for MATUMBAMAN, and Clement "Puppey" Ivanov’s signature Chen. Luna has often been seen as a lane counter to the popular Timbersaw, a signature for s4.
In the early game, Secret seemed to be playing to their draft very well, dominating the lane against the Timbersaw. In the bottom lane, the Sven of Nikobaby seemed to be getting bullied out of lane and had to jungle at level 5. Michał "Nisha" Jankowski seemed to be doing decently in the mid lane against the Limmp Viper.
Despite this early advantage however, Alliance was able to get key pick offs on MATUMBAMAN and Nisha. These pickoffs helped Sven and Timbersaw to come back into the game. The game was relatively even then for a while when Secret was able to take an early Roshan fight. With This advantage, Secret looked to push the top tower. However, Luna was out of position and due to the high damage from Alliance, she died easily.
Though Nikobaby brought Secret back into the game with a careless death, Alliance continued to batter into Secret. A final Roshan fight secured the Aegis for Alliance and they continued to win every teamfight until the game was over.
Both teams face tough competition moving forward
With this win, Alliance showed a dominating performance against one of former top teams of Europe. This puts them in a good position in the upper bracket, facing off against Virtus Pro tomorrow. Secret on the other hand, go into the lower bracket to face Nigma, who despite having a rough day at this tournament, went on a tear to finish 4th at the AniMajor.