Team Secret and Virtus.pro are the first two semifinalists of ESL One Hamburg 2017. The teams secured $90,000 and 150 Pro Circuit Points.
The battle in Hamburg started yesterday. The eight teams were split into two groups, and clashed against each other in a double-elimination format. Secret and VP were both undefeated in the group stage, and ended at the top of the respective groups with a 2-0 score.
In the group A, Team Secret beat Evil Geniuses in the first Bo1, and then claimed a 2-1 victory versus Newbee in the winners’ Bo3.
Team Secret vs Evil Geniuses match recap
EG succeeded in the early game with multiple ganks against Nightstalker and Ember Spirit - the latter died five times in the first 20 minutes. Their strategy was solid, but was ruined by Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard who freely farmed on Juggernaut, becoming unstoppable in the mid-game.
EG’s team was mostly composed of pushers and gankers, with Artour "Arteezy" Babaev as the main carry on Clinkz. Instead, Secret had a better late game, and already after 25 minutes proved the capacities of the lineup winning a decisive teamfight.
The net worth difference between the two teams moved in favor of Secret, that finished with a 22k lead. Two team wipes at 34 and 36 brought to the destruction of four barracks, and EG was forced to surrender.
Team Secret vs Newbee Bo3 recap
Secret maintained the lead during the entire first match, devastating the Chinese team in the lane phase, and scoring multiple kills over Hu "Kaka" Liangzhi on Earthshaker.
The first real teamfights took place around the 15-20 minute mark. The teams traded blows, but Secret resulted victorious, and kept pushing the lanes exploiting the firepower of Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng. His Leshrac scored 11-1-13 by the end of the match, and inflicted 6.6k damage to towers.
The situation reverted in game two, as Newbee won with a net worth difference of 33k. They won all lanes, as proved by their optimal GPM, and punished Secret in teamfight as soon as the lane phase ended.
Clement "Puppey" Ivanov, on a roaming Nightstalker, tried his best to secure kills for the team, but they only claimed the heads of the two supports.
We saw a strenuous battle in the decisive game of the Bo3. Secret opted for an aggressive trilane, while Newbee played a roaming Earth Spirit.
Adrian "Fata" Trinks proved the qualities of Doom in the offlane, as he managed to survive against any gank attempt, and properly farmed while facing Enchantress. Instead, Newbee's offlaner, Chaos Knight, wasn’t able to achieve the farm needed to carry with such a hero.
The teamfights in the mid game were under the control of Fata and Ace. The latter scored almost 600 GPM, and dished out a huge amount of damage with Monkey King as he already had a Butterfly and a Battle Fury.
Secret’s Death Prophet became immortal once she bought a Shiva’s Guard. Thanks to her pushing power the team quickly brought down the enemy defenses in the bottom and mid lane. Newbee called GG after 35 minutes.
Virtus.pro obtained a clean victory against Keen Gaming in only 29 minutes, and then entertained the audience with a grand best-of-three battle vs.Team Liquid. They defeated the US team 2 to 1.
Virtus.pro vs Keen Gaming match recap
The fights started very early, but no team gained a real advantage over the other in the first 15 minutes. A radical shift took place just one minute later, as Virtus.pro killed all Keen’s heroes, and solidified their new gold lead.
The battle continued 5 minutes later, with VP at the head of every fight and push. Keen Gaming suffered a final defeat at 28 minutes, and the CIS team destroyed their base.
Virtus.pro vs Team Liquid Bo3 recap
An absolute victory in the first match for Virtus.pro. They played aggressively and destroyed the enemy mid-lane composed of Tiny and Io.
Liquid had no time to breath, and even Io’s Relocations weren’t sufficient to fight back VP. The teamfights continued without stop, and the CIS team barely suffered any casualty - their squishy Bane was targeted the most.
Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev had a perfect game with Lifestealer, getting a 10-0-16 score and inflicting more than 11.5k damage to enemy buildings.
Game two was a massacre: it lasted an hour and featured a 49:33 score for Team Liquid. Initially, Virtus.pro had the upper hand and obtained a 18k net worth lead, but they lost the advantage due to two nasty teamfights at 32 and 35 minutes.
VP’s best player was once again RAMZES666, who won the offlane even if he was in a difficult situation: Roman had Weaver, and fought against Venomancer and a jungler Enchantress.
Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barqawi’s Phantom Assassin scored 26-3-16, and had seven items once the match ended - he bought a Satanic at 55 minutes. The final 15 minutes of the game were marked by his killing spree.
Virtus.pro defended up to the very end, when only the bottom barracks were left. A team wipe at 57 minutes forced them to give up.
In game three, Liquid deployed again Broodmother, but this time she wasn’t as successful as in the earlier match. She was sent mid versus Troll Warlord, played by Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko.
Both heroes farmed during the lane stage, but BM had to endure multiple ganks, losing her life five times in the first 20 minutes. Troll also had a bigger impact in teamfights, and effectively carried the team to victory.
The ganks started early, and Virtus.pro quickly gained a gold advantage, that grew to 20k at 30 minutes. Pavel "9pasha" Khvastunov contributed to all teamfight with an exemplary Brewmaster: he won the lane against Venomancer, and finished with a 7/1/12 K/D/A.
This time Liquid had really no answer against them - even Miracle- with a six-slotted Terrorblade couldn’t change the fate of the teamfights. Slowly but steadily VP destroyed the entire enemy base.
Header Image: Cybbet
Vincenzo is an esports writer with five years of experience. Former head editor for Natus Vincere, he has produced content for DreamHack, FACEIT, DOTAFire, 2P, and more. Follow him on @SkulzDota.