The road for redemption continues for Tundra as they crush Secret 2-0 to earn their rematch against Team Spirit in the OGA Dota PIT Grand Finals.
It's been a bit of a slow start to the new DPC season, but the OGA Dota PIT Season 5 has been a welcome holiday treat for Dota 2 fans. After the past week of highlight-worthy matches all around - only three squads remained. It would be a final bout between Team Secret and Tundra Esports to determine who would move on. Waiting for them in the Grand Finals was none other than the big bad TI10 Champions, Team Spirit.
Coming into the Lower Bracket Finals, Clement "Puppey" Ivanov's star-studded squad had a pretty smooth cruise. They easily swept both old allies Team Liquid and longtime rivals Nigma Galaxy. However, up against Team Spirit, they fell 2-1, landing them in the Lower Bracket.
On the other side of the coin were Tundra, who also lost to Spirit in the first round. From there, they would plough through the Lower Bracket, only dropping a single game to Navi. They had a solid script for success, thanks in part to the recent addition in the coaching seat, Aui_2000. Of course, beating Secret would not be an easy feat. In fact, the two teams had already faced off just last week in the WEU DPC, with Secret coming out on top 2-1.
For both the European hopefuls, this match would mean a shot at redemption, and a chance to dethrone the big bad CIS Kings of Dota 2.
Tundra Deliver a drubbing Team Secret will not soon forget
As with every high-stakes match, both teams unsurprisingly chose to stick to their guns. For Tundra, this meant securing Neta "33" Shapira's reliable Doom, and the absolute menace also known as Wu "Sneyking" Jingjun's Weaver. In turn, Secret would snap up Daryl "iceiceice" Koh's signature Timbersaw, along with a final Michał "Nisha" Jankowski Morphling. The real spice would be the final pick for Tundra though. They would lock in a perfect Anti-Mage pick for Oliver "skiter" Lepko.
While it was a perfect AM game, in theory, every Dota 2 player knows the dread of seeing AM picked on your team. More than anything, it's a clear signal that you're playing one man down for the first 20 minutes. True enough, the early game saw Secret gobsmack Tundra, dominating the lanes. It didn't help that the typically reliable Leon "Nine" Kirilin could not match up to Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan's beastly Leshrac.
Despite this, Secret couldn't seem to convert their lead into anything substantial. With his Midas and Devourer ticking away, it was once again 33 that would keep the game even. His Doom leading the charge gave Tundra an immovable mountain to play around. With his completed BKB along with Nine's fresh Shadow Blade, Tundra would strike Secret at their weakest, breaking the game wide open.
With the momentum in their favor, Tundra would continue making decisive moves around the map. The constant chaos veiled the true threat for Tundra, their steadily farming Anti-Mage. Sensing their window close rapidly, Secret would band together for what was supposed to be a free pick onto Adrian "Fata" Trinks - gone horrendously wrong.
As much as I'd like to say Secret put up a fight - they simply couldn't muster a strong punch back. The carnage was unrelenting, and Secret continued to bleed out to Tundra all across the map. With Nine reaching Tokyo Drift levels of speed, and no way of killing the Anti-Mage, Secret were forced to tap out of Game 1 by 35 minutes.
Rinse and Repeat
Coming into the second game, Secret needed to break away from the abysmal first and refresh. In true Puppey fashion, however, he opted to allow the same two picks that had terrorized them to fall into Tundra's hands again - the Spirit Breaker and Weaver. The response was a Shadow Demon, followed by easy stun set-ups in Nyx and Centaur Warrunner. With limited damage and wave clear, Tundra spotted their chance to sneak in a last-pick Broodmother. This pressured Secret into answering with Sand King, traditionally a strong counter to the pesky arachnid.
Now Broodmother is nowhere near the terror she used to be. However, the way the hero works has changed drastically as well. While Sand King can clear Spiderlings in theory, you don't really want to AFK defend a tower, especially as a mid SK.
Unfortunately, Secret wouldn't even make it to that point. Despite lane swaps to try and tide the early pressure from Tundra, the Secret heroes crumbled in the early game. The awkward lanes of Medusa SD and Nyx Centaur did nothing to slow down the Brood, who promptly took control of the entire Secret Jungle. Map control slowly slipping away, it was the Sand King Blink Dagger that was supposed to deliver Secret an opening. They would use all the gas in the tank just to take down the Space Cow - only for him to buyback, and Tundra to wipe them in return.
Only 1 King can reign
While SumaiL was busy fending off spiders, skiter had studied the blade. With Armlet and Blink completed, Tundra would once again move into the Secret triangle to snuff out their opposition.
Unfortunately for anyone who didn't catch the games live - there aren't any real highlight moments. Why? That's because Tundra simply and methodically proceeded to choke the breath out of Secret for the following 15 minutes, just as they had in Game 1. All the while, skiter was once again powering up. Between higher levels in Reincarnate, the Aegis of the Immortal and even Sneyking's Weaver Agh's, the Wraith King had nothing to fear.
Skiter would waltz upwards to high-ground, and promptly take out the racks. Sure, Secret would get a kill here of there thanks to their chain-stuns, but they just could not repel the full might of Tundra. Almost like deja vu, Tundra would force costly buy-backs, and abuse them - eventually sweeping the game from Secret in an almost casual fashion.
Tundra on a Warpath
With their loss here, Secret bow out of this incredibly stacked tournament at 3rd place, bagging themselves $20.,000USD. As with every superstar-filled roster, it seems it'll take some time before they really hit their full stride.
On the other hand, though, Tundra will move on and get their much-deserved shot at redemption. As caster Dominik "Black^" Reitmeier mentions, while Tundra seemed to struggle at the start of this season, they've reinvented themselves to make it to this point - and it's been working out.
Between making use of cheesy last-picks and their clinical and unforgiving playstyle when in the lead, they are definitely a force to be reckoned with and stand a real chance at culling Team Spirit.
Of course, the TI10 Champs are no pushovers themselves.
You can catch the Grand Finals of the OGA Dota PIT S5 here.