ESL One Hamburg 2018 was action packed, filled with surprises and ended with an incredible grand final series. 12 invited teams and 4 qualified teams battled it out for a prize-pool of $300,000. In the group stages, the 12 teams were split into groups of 6, and the bottom two teams would be eliminated. The rest of the teams were seeded into a double elimination bracket with the 3rd and 4th place teams being sent into the lower bracket.
In Group A, Team Secret and Vici Gaming seemed extremely dominant and both of them ended with a solid 8-2 score. Surprisingly Alliance and Mineski both got eliminated in the group stages itself. Alliance was very strong in the Kuala Lumpur Major qualifiers, but they seemed a bit lacklustre at their first major LAN event.
In Group B, Team Aster and Virtus.pro had a strong showing with 9-1 and 8-2 scores respectively. NiP and EVOS Esports got eliminated. NiP’s captain, ppd got a lot of negativity after getting eliminated in the group stages because of a tweet that he had made earlier.
The Main Event of the tournament was an exciting ride, filled with surprises. After placing first in their group, Team Aster got eliminated without winning a single series in the main event. They lost to Vici Gaming in the upper bracket and paiN Gaming in the lower bracket.
Virtus.pro sent Team Secret to the lower bracket and faced off against Vici Gaming in the Upper Bracket Finals.
After dropping to the lower bracket, Team Secret made their way to the Lower Bracket Finals, beating Evil Geniuses and paiN Gaming with a convincing 2-0 in both the matches.
The Upper Bracket Finals was intense. In the first game, Vici Gaming’s offlane player Yang, completely dominated the game and seemed almost unkillable on his Necrophos. He had a Radiance by 26 min after making Hood and Euls, and he finished his Heart of Tarrasque at 33 min.
In the second game, VP seemed incredibly strong. They made very few mistakes and closed the game in 35 minutes.
The third game started out with an almost even laning phase. Vici Gaming only had a slight advantage but they kept on building their momentum by winning teamfights and taking objectives. They slowly wore out VP and ended the game by min 38, sending VP into the lower bracket.
The Lower Bracket Finals was the revenge match for Secret against VP and boy did they get it. Secret annihilated VP and MidOne was an absolute beast in this series.
In the first match, Secret got an incredible lead in the mid-game. VP showed some signs of life by getting a team wipe on Secret, defending their tier 2 offlane tower. Secret quickly got back their momentum by getting a perfectly timed kill on Solo’s Chen to take Roshan. They quickly closed the game afterwards by minute 40.
The second game was almost a complete stomp. Midone’s farm on PL was accelerating at a very scary pace. He had his diffusal completed by 13 min and completely took over the game. Secret took the mid racks by 20 min and forced out the GG from VP by winning the next teamfight.
The Grand Finals.
The winners of Group A, Team Secret and Vici Gaming faced off against each other in the Grand Finals. They went 1-1 in the group stages, and everyone was hyped to watch this epic rematch.
In the first game, Team Secret got an early lead and built it up strongly into the mid-game. VG’s lineup had extremely strong teamfight and it started to make an impact as they started dipping into the late-game. It almost seemed like VG was going to take the game but Secret managed to get back into the game with this incredible teamfight.
After the fight, Secret took Roshan and won another incredible teamfight, forcing a GG out of VG.
Game 2 was fairly even with both teams winning teamfights left and right, but Paparazi’s farm on his Terrorblade started going out of control. Secret slowly started crumbling to the pressure from Vici. The game went on for an hour and Secret called GG after losing a teamfight at their bottom racks.
Game 3 was completely one-sided. Vici Gaming had full control of the game and they never gave any chance for Secret to gain an advantage. Paparazi’s Luna completely manhandled Secret and finished the game with a GPM of 840.
VG was leading 2-1 and secret was facing elimination. Nisha stepped up for his team and put on an incredible performance with his Terrorblade. He did not have a single death in the game and carried his team to a final match against VG in the BO5.
In the final match, both teams were dead even in the early-game. At 17 min, Vici decided to go for a Roshan attempt after finding a double damage rune for Paparazi’s Terrorblade. They smoked into the Roshan pit and this turned out to be a complete disaster. Zai got a 4-man RP with his Magnus, in the Roshan pit and that was it.
This gave Secret a huge lead and they started pressuring Vici, giving them no room to breathe. They started taking every objective on the map and secured themselves the aegis twice after the first one. VG started to collapse to the pressure from Secret and called GG by 37 min.
Team Secret are the ESL One Hamburg 2018 Champions. MidOne was given the MVP award, and a new Mercedes E400 along with it. He consistently shined throughout the tournament and definitely deserved the MVP award.