Dota 2: ESL One Birmingham – The Grand Final Recap

| Tags: | Author
Dota 2: ESL One Birmingham – The Grand Final Recap

One of the most exciting non-DPC tournament is now complete. We saw tons of back-and-forth action for the past couple of days, which was a joy to watch. What’s more, this was the first tournament on patch 7.22. Let’s take a look at what happened during the playoffs.

Upper Bracket

Vici Gaming, LGD, Evil Geniuses, and TNC Predator were the teams that made it to the upper bracket. In R1, the US team, as well as the TI 8 runners-up, managed to deal with their enemies reasonably effortlessly.

Arteezy and his teammates had the hard task of facing PSG again after losing the series against them during the Group Stage. However, unlike the previous encounter between the two, the NA powerhouse completely ripped through their enemies like a knife through butter. One of the main reasons for their success was Artour. No wonder then Canadian superstar won the MVP vote in both of the games.

Lower Bracket

Like in every other big event, the LB was an arena of survival. What’s more, some of the favorites to win the event went directly there. That was due to their mediocre performance during the group stage.

In R1, the TI 8 champion had a mountain to climb in the form of Team Secret. The first game of the series was a brutal beatdown from Puppey and co. Unfortunately for OG, the second game was also not what they expected it to be. Team Secret needed less than 30 minutes in order to take full control of the game and eliminate OG.

The next challenge ahead of the EU squad was TNC Predator. This series was definitely more interesting to watch because the SEA team was actually able to put up a challenge. Despite that, Team Secret still managed to prevail and continued onward.

The LB semifinals was a rematch of the ESL One Katowice Grand Final. However, this time Gambit esports looked like they weren’t going down without a fight. Unfortunately for the CIS team, their European opponents were more than ready. Team Secret had little to no trouble in both of their games as they won both of them in under 30 minutes.

LB Final

PSG.LGD and Team Secret fought hard in a very close series. In the first game, the EU powerhouse focused mainly around Nisha’s Medusa, who was having an excellent game. However, after several crucial mistakes from Secret, LGD was able to steal away game one.

Despite the unfortunate loss, Team Secret looked very strong in the second game. They were able to grab an early advantage and carried it forward much more effectively. LGD tried to slow the pace of the game, but their efforts were futile.

Team Secret continued their absolute domination in the third game of the series. Even though the Chinese tried to outmaneuver their enemies, their attempts were nowhere as successful as those of the Europeans. The Chongqing Major champions built a lead of more than 10k gold, which seemed like a near-impossible obstacle for LGD. Having no answers for Secret’s push, the Chinese had no other option but to surrender.

Despite the loss, Maybe and his teammates proved that they are a tough opponent.

The Grand Final

The series between the two finalists is one of the modern El Classico’s of Dota. Both of these teams deserved the trophy, but only one got it.

In game one, both sides decided to bet on some very greedy line-ups. The top and bot lane were fairly even. However, the mid lane heavily favored Sumail. In fact, he was even able to solo kill MidOne.

Regardless of the good start, EG’s lineup had to get a few items before they could become fully online. Team Secret took full advantage of that and tried to push as much as possible.

There was tons of back-and-forth action, especially after the BKB purchases. Slowly but steadily, Secret’s lead started to increase as EG were just unable to properly team-fight. They tried to delay the game as much as possible in order to bounce back, but at the end of the day, Team Secret grabbed the lead in the series.

In the second game, EG and Secret took a page out of the other’s playbook. The EU powerhouse decided to draft a very “in-your-face” lineup, whereas EG had Leshrac and Sven as their cores.

Despite their aggressive enemies, Sumail and Co. were able to take control of the laning stage. Team Secret tried to fight back, but their damage output was nowhere to be found.  After winning yet another team fight, EG’s advantage was just too much to handle. The EU team had no other choice but to GG out.

Game three was probably the most interesting one yet. EG picked a classic lineup around Artour’s Lifestealer, which has become one of the go-to picks for him in this meta.

The game was very even for the first 20 minutes, even though Secret were a little bit more aggressive. Eventually, they were able to secure the first Aegis, which gave them the chance to push into EG’s base. Even though the NA team was able to fight back, Secret was slowly gaining momentum. After yet another perfect Ult from the Enigma, the game was pretty much over.

Game four was everything we expected from a Grand Final. Whenever we see Sumail on his Storm Spirit, things are serious. Unlike the previous game, EG controlled the game from the very start. Team Secret tried to play around Nisha’s PA, but the damage output from EG was too high, forcing the series into an incredible game five.

Team Secret took no chances during the last game of the series, and they banned out Storm Spirit. In addition, Puppey decided to pick one of MidOne’s strongest heroes – Monkey King.

Since this was the last game of the series, neither team wanted to take any chances. Despite that, kills came often during the early stages of the game.

Even though EG’s cores were doing ok, Nisha was the star of the show. His Naga sat on top of the net worth chart the entire time. Evil Geniuses tried to itemize in a way to counter him, but he was just too far ahead. Having no way to team fight, the NA team had no other option but to surrender.


Team Secret has proven yet again that they are the best team in the world. Their ongoing domination seems to be at its peak right now. In fact, this was their 4th ESL One trophy, which is just mind-blowing.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Image Via: ESL One

Dota 2: ESL One Birmingham – The Grand Final Recap
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.