After months of group stages and an equally tense weekend, plus a season full of “almosts,” Team Secret has cinched a Major victory—literally. The European squad took a 3-0 Grand Final against The International 7 champions and European rivals Team Liquid at the ROG DreamLeague Season 8 finals this weekend.
The prize for this accomplishment is not only $500,000 USD, but 750 Qualifying Points for The International 8’s direct invites, as DreamLeague is registered as a Dota Pro Circuit Major. With the points stacked on top of their second-place Major finish at ESL One Hamburg, plus multiple other events, they leap ahead to the top of the DPC leaderboard—950 points ahead of Liquid, now the second-place leader.
Secret gave Liquid very little room to breathe throughout their final best-of-five series. In all three games, Secret drafted heroes that, both with the skill of their players and as a whole, dominated all aspects of gameplay: pushing, laning and especially teamfighting. Liquid played exceptionally as well, holding up especially in the first game, but little could be done in the end against the rapidly-improved Secret.
The match between the two wasn’t the first this event, either, as they met in the upper bracket finals the day before. Here, Secret sent Liquid down to the lower bracket in a much closer 2-1 bout.
Secret had an absolutely dominating run through this LAN final. They began in the upper bracket and stayed there, also knocking down Chinese team Newbee and North America’s Evil Geniuses down a bracket.
Winners aside, it was a tight event for plenty of teams, all of who showed off as the best of the best in their regions. Liquid did extremely well to earn their finalist slot, including capping off a match against CIS rivals Virtus Pro, which ended Liquid’s early-season winning streak at ESL One Hamburg in October.
Evil Geniuses also put themselves on the leaderboard with one of their strongest runs this season, making it to third and falling to Liquid. Natus Vincere, meanwhile, showed that their banner’s comeback isn’t a farce, taking fourth to Evil Geniuses.
The Qualifying Point distributions for this event are as follows, per the Pro Circuit standards:
- Team Secret (EU) — 750 QP/player — Overall Standing: 3690 QP — #1
- Team Liquid (EU) — 450 QP/player — Overall Standing: 2700 QP — #2
- Evil Geniuses (NA) — 225 QP/player — Overall Standing: 765 QP — #5
- Natus Vincere (CIS) — 75 QP/player — Overall Standing: 225 QP — #8
(*The teams shared an equal third-place position at the event, thus they receive the same number of points.)