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Tundra Esports and Team Secret faced off in Week 3 of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Summer Tour regional league for Western Europe on Tuesday (21 June).
It was a pivotal match for each team, as Tundra Esports sat at the top of the leaderboard while Team Secret needed a win to keep their hopes of attending the Arlington Major alive.
After a heated three-game series, Tundra Esports emerged victorious to improve their record to 3-0 in the league.
Team Secret became the only team in the league thus far to take a game off Tundra but ultimately proved unable to win the series.
Let's break down how the showdown between Tundra and Secret:
Tundra shuts down Secret's last pick Techies in game one
Secret opened their draft for game one with two core picks, Razor for recent addition Remco "Crystallis" Arets and Beastmaster for Daryl "iceiceice" Koh Pei Xiang.
The opening picks gave Secret two solid laners along with the ability to take buildings early on.
Clockwerk and Zeus were the next two picks for the team for Clement "Puppey" Ivanov and Michal "Nisha" Jankowski. Clockwork has been played as either a support or an offlaner in this patch, though it was clear Secret intended the hero to be a support due to the Beastmaster pick earlier.
Secret surprised with their last pick for stand-in Baqyt "Zayac" Emiljanov by taking Techies, everybody's favorite hero to play against in pubs.
Zayac is currently standing in for Yazied "YapzOr" Jaradat, who is on a break to focus on his health.
Secret had a balanced draft with a good mixture of physical and magical damage. Their heroes also excelled at providing vision on the map, thanks' to Beastmaster's Hawks, Clockwerk's Rocket Flare, and Thundergod's Wrath.
Tundra Esports had different plans for their opening game of the series. The team had a greedy draft with three cores who all needed some farm: Chaos Knight for Oliver "Skiter" Lepko, a mid Winter Wyvern for Leon "Nine" Kirilin, and an offlane Alchemist for Neta "33" Shapira.
There was a lot of pressure on Martin "Saksa" Sazdov's Weaver and Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu's Dazzle to create space in the early game for their cores to get online.
Tundra had a tough draft to execute but, in turn, their late game was far stronger than Secret's.
The biggest issue for Secret was the fact that picking Razor early in the draft revealed too much.
Razor is exceptional at shutting down one of the enemy's physical damage dealers. Yet when faced with multiple heroes who deal physical damage, Razor loses his value.
This is why Tundra relied on Chaos Knight's illusion damage, along with core Winter Wyvern and Alchemist.
The laning stage was even between the two teams, which favored Secret as they were the ones facing an Alchemist. Credit goes to Puppey for his rotations around the map that set up several kills for his team.
Due to Tundra's greedy draft, they weren't able to take early skirmishes as well as Secret did. This cost Skiter and 33 their lives at the 11-minute mark, as Secret descended on the top lane to take their first tower of the game.
Despite a valiant effort by Secret, they weren't able to shut down 33. Alchemist has emerged as the strongest carry in this patch, with a 13-5 record across all regions.
Due to the hero's insane farming ability, Tundra had the net worth advantage by the midgame.
The game-winning fight for Tundra happened at the 21-minute mark. Secret was aware that they were losing control of the game and needed to secure the Aegis of the Immortal.
Tundra intercepted their attempt to bring down Roshan and a brawl ensued.
Despite Puppey's fantastic Hookshot, Tundra managed to keep Skiter alive and bring down both of Secret's supports while only losing Sneyking.
Secret threw everything they had at Skiter and couldn't bring him down, which gave Tundra the confidence they needed to take over the map and win the game.
While it was a convincing victory for Tundra in game one, Secret struck back in the second match of the series.
While it took them over an hour and a 69,000 gold lead, Secret managed to tie up the series and force a deciding game three.
Medusa fails to show up in game three of the series
In the decider, Tundra gave Chaos Knight and Dazzle to Skiter and Sneyking once more, a lane combo that led to them winning game one.
Tundra focused on heroes that provided vision in the offlane, and to that end, picked Night Stalker for 33 and a support Monkey King for Saksa.
Zeus was Tundra's last pick for Nine. The Lord of Olympus is in a good spot right now and teams have been trying him out on both support and mid laner roles.
Secret picked the Clockwerk for the third game in a row for Puppey. Clockwerk is one of the best heroes in the laning stage due to his ability to protect his carry from any aggression. Crystallis played Medusa, whilst Nisha would make space on Pangolier.
The two interesting picks for Secret were the offlane Marci for iceiceice and the position four Doom for Zayac.
Teams have been experimenting with Marci to figure out the best role for this hero and so far she is played as either a support who saves allies and ignores her ultimate or as a core who focuses on building damage items to bolster Unleash.
Similar to the first game of the series, it was an even laning stage, with neither team pulling ahead. The only lane that had a decisive winner was the bottom lane, as Skiter and Sneyking overwhelmed iceiceice and Zayac.
The biggest issue for Secret in the series was that they were playing with a stand-in.
It appeared like there were some communication issues going on, as Zayac occasionally missed calls from the team and ended up losing his life in awkward situations.
This was on display 20 minutes in the match when Zayac inexplicably walked into all of Tundra seconds after Crystallis managed to escape them.
The pivotal fight of the match occurred 29 minutes into the game, as Tundra collapsed on Secret. Skiter lost his Aegis but in return took down three members of the enemy squad.
It became apparent that Crystallis lacked the damage necessary to bring down the cores of Tundra.
This was a huge issue for the Secret, as Medusa was their only significant source of damage in the late game.
With all this going for them, Tundra managed to double their net worth advantage before their next big team fight against Secret.
This lead proved too much for their enemies to overcome and Tundra took the match and their third win of the Summer Tour in 39 minutes.
It was a big win for Tundra, as a second place finish in the Summer Tour would provide them with enough DPC points to attend The International 11.
The road ahead for Secret is a tough one. The team only has 60 DPC points to their name and one more loss at the Summer Tour will be enough to prevent them from attending the Arlington Major.
Secret needs to win their next three matches as well as potential tie-breakers in order to go to Arlington. The most likely way for Puppey's squad to attend the TI11 will be through the regional or last chance qualifiers.
Tundra Esports roster:
Oliver "Skiter" Lepko
Leon "Nine" Kirilin
Neta "33" Shapira
Martin "Saksa" Sazdov
Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu
Team Secret roster:
Remco "Crystallis" Arets
Michał "Nisha" Jankowski
Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang
Yazied "YapzOr" Jaradat (Baqyt "Zayac" Emiljanov stood in for this match)
Clement "Puppey" Ivanov
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.