Secret and VP Playoff Bound, Fnatic Eliminated

From the god-awful best-of-one series of Day 1 of the ESL One Hamburg Major, we’re finally treated with proper best-of-threes in Day 2 of the tournament, highlighted by none other than The International 7 grudge match of Liquid vs VP.

And boy, did the series, not to mention the entire day, not disappoint.

VP Hand Team Liquid Their First Loss of the Season

Liquid vs VP was THE matchup of the day if not the entire tournament; a battle between two top-tier teams who, despite what the betting odds say, are evenly matched.

In Game 1, Virtus.Pro’s core duo of Vladimir ‘No[o]ne’ Minenko and Roman ‘RAMZES666’ Kushnarev combined for 21 kills as Virtus.Pro gave the reigning champions a sound beating despite giving Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej his vaunted IO pick. 

Virtus.Pro then looked to sweep Team Liquid down to the lower brackets with No[o]ne and his buffed up Alchemist leading the way in Game 2. However, as Kuro ‘KuroKy’ Salehi Takhasomi and co has proven time and time again, you can never really count Team Liquid out until the game is over.

Despite a few questionable plays, Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barqawi and his Phantom Assassin were key to Team Liquid’s victory. Preying on Virtus.Pro’s supports constantly, in particular on Alexei ‘Solo’ Berezin, Miracle helped Team Liquid come back from a considerable deficit to win the game and tie the series 1-1.

Unperturbed by their slip up in Game 2, Virtus.Pro roared back in Game 3. The CIS bears looked dominant once again right from the get-go in the series clincher. They also learned well from their earlier mistakes, making sure not to give Team Liquid any chance to pull off another comeback win.

Despite their best efforts, Team Liquid just dug themselves too big of a hole early on and had no choice but to call GG at the 47-minute mark with Virtus.Pro wiping the entire team out.

Team Secret Are Back to Their Winning Ways

The new Team Secret lineup blitzed through the Pro Circuit Qualifiers in Europe by utilising a three-pronged attack where their three cores took turns in carrying the team from one game to another. However, when push came to shove in a LAN setting, Team Secret went back to something familiar and less effective; Yeik ‘MidOne’ Nai Zheng was, once again, the focal point of the entire team, which led to mixed results.

After following up a 4th-place finish at the Starladder Minor with an early exit at the PGL MinorTeam Secret seem to have realised their mistakes. And, so far at the ESL One Hamburg Major, the European mix have gone back to letting their cores take turns in carrying the team to a win.

MidOne and his performance on an unexpected Leshrac pick was the story in Game 1 of their series against Newbee. However, the Kings of Chinese Dota would bounce back in Game 2; Team Secret had no answer to Song ‘Sccc’ Chun and Xu ‘Moogy’ Han as they finished the game with a combined total of 22 kills and just 1 death.

Team Secret’s latest additions Marcus ‘Ace’ Hoelgaard and Adrian ‘Fata’ Trinks then stepped up in the series clincher to help the team secure a spot in the playoffs.

Evil Geniuses Boot Fnatic Out of the ESL Hamburg Major

Unlike Team Secret vs Newbee or Liquid vs VP, the match between Evil Geniuses and Fnatic was anything but close.

Evil Geniuses took complete advantage of Fnatic’s lack of cohesion as a team and styled over them in both games. While the series wasn’t quick, Fnatic were never a threat to take at least a game off in any way.

If there’s one thing that Jacky ‘EternaLEnVy’ Mao and co proved in their first LAN appearance of the season, it’s that they look more like a team who was just happy to be there than a team playing with a chip on their soldier. Although the occasional flashes of brilliance were there, Fnatic, as a whole, just looked like a team in complete disarray.

Schedule for Day 3 of the ESL One Hamburg Major

Liquid Vs VP

Image via ESL

If you missed Liquid vs VP, don’t worry, because, there’s still a chance for the two teams to meet again in the Grand Finals. However, Team Liquid will have to make it out tomorrow first against the winners of the matchup between tournament underdogs, Keen Gaming and SG e-sports. 

On the other hand, another The International 7 Grudge Match between Newbee and Evil Geniuses is also set to take place in the penultimate day of the first Major of the season.

12:00 CEST — Keen Gaming vs SG e-sports
15:45 CEST — Newbee vs Evil Geniuses
19:40 CEST — Team Liquid vs Keen Gaming/SG-esports

What do you think? Will either one of Keen Gaming or SG e-sports be able to pull off an upset tomorrow and prevent a Liquid vs VP Grand Finals from happening? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below. 

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