Dota 2: IEM Katowice Final Day and Grand Final Recap

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Dota 2: IEM Katowice Final Day and Grand Final Recap

After five days of the highest quality Dota, it’s time to say goodbye to ESL One Katowice. The tournament was home to twelve of the best teams in the world who gave it all for that sweet $300,000 prize pool. The only downside of this event is the fact that it was held at the same time as MDL Macau.

As expected, Team Secret completely demolished their competition. They only lost a single game up to the Grand Final. One of the biggest reasons for this success has to be their position one player – Nisha. The young Polish prodigy has been on top of his game as he ripped through everyone.

Yesterday, the European powerhouse got a quick 2-0 against Gambit and secured themselves the first spot for the Grand Final. OG, on the other hand, had a way harder job. They had to deal with Fnatic, who fell to the Lower Bracket following their own match with Gambit. After dropping a very back-and-forth game one, Fnatic felt demoralized. Seeing the opportunity, the reigning TI champions stepped in and quickly took game two. Despite that, OG could not handle the pressure and lost in the Lower Bracket Final.

OG vs Gambit

Gambit is undoubtedly one of the biggest winners recently. The team is slowly but steadily becoming a force to be reckoned with. However, OG is not a team that goes down without a fight. The TI champions took matters in their own hands but unfortunately, it was not enough.

Game One

In the first game of the series, OG picked a classic: Topson Invoker. On the other side, Gambit took no chances and stuck with the meta carry in the form of Ursa. Jerax and Co. were able to take control of the early game. However, a somewhat questionable Roshan fight shifted the balance of power. Daxak’s Ursa had a phenomenal game and was the top net worth hero for the vast majority of the game. After yet another bad team fight, OG had no other option but to prepare themselves for the second game.

Game Two

The second game was an absolute kill fest. It had a similar vibe to the first one because OG were able to win the laning stage and completely shut down Gambit’s Ursa. Despite having the early advantage, the TI 8 winners just couldn’t take full advantage of it. The CIS Team had a very tanky and team-fight based line-up that was just too much to handle for OG. To makes matters worse, the Lycan pick turned to be completely useless. He had no impact whatsoever. Having no chance of winning, Jerax and his team-mates had no other choice but to surrender.

Despite the loss, OG finished third and secured themselves $35,000. This is their first good performance since the TI 8 trophy. Probably one of the main reason for that is the absence of Ana. It seems like OG just can’t recover from it. I hope that they will be able to bring the same performance in the other tournaments. However, they will miss the upcoming Major.

The Grand Final

The “David vs Goliath” match as some referred to it. Prior to this match, Team Secret had already managed to beat Gambit two times – during the group stage and in the Upper Bracket Final. Having said that, the CIS team came back with renewed energy.

In the first game of the series, TS decided to pick Viper for MidOne, a hero which the Europeans love to play. There was a lot of ganking acting going on, especially during the early stages of the game. Gambit tried to shut down Secret’s cores, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Slowly but surely, the Chongqing Major Winners were able to take full control of the game. After another decisive fight going in favour of Secret, Gambit realized that this game was over. Nisha’s Morphling just ripped through them like a knife through butter.

Gambit went into game two with only one goal – to win. Their overall performance was definitely better compared to game one. Despite the fact that the early and mid game was definitely favouring Secret, Gambit managed to win some crucial team fights and quickly bounced back. The unorthodox core Vengeful Spirit pick on the side of Team Secret was actually pretty good. The only problem with her is the fact that the hero does not scale as well as the other cores.

As the game approached the 45-minute mark, Team Secret had a whopping 19k net worth advantage. After dying without having a buyback, Gambit’s Juggernaut called the gg, giving Team Secret a 2-0 lead in the series.

The final game

Seeing how the series was going, Team Secret went with one of their most comfortable picks. Despite being down by two games, Gambit played as if they had nothing to lose. They’d made a very interesting draft that secures their early game as well as their late game. However, Nisha’s Anti-Mage had other plans. The young Polish player had an outstanding game yet again. Apart from him, Zai’s Enigma also played a crucial role in Secret’s victory.

Final thoughts

Team Secret are, arguably, the best team in the world right now. Their performance is similar to that of VP from last year. The big question is if they can keep it up until the most important tournament of the year – The International 2019. Today’s victory is also a new record in Dota history. The current line-up of Team Secret is the roster with the highest win rating in LAN events.

The next big challenge ahead of Puppey and his team-mates is the upcoming DreamLeague Season 11. The third major of the 2018-2019 Pro Dota Circuit will start in just a few weeks. The competition will be fierce because apart from the best western teams, PSG.LGD will also return to the scene. Make sure to watch it because it will definitely be worthwhile.


The other “hot” team right now is Team Liquid. They absolutely wiped the floor with Evil Geniuses in the MDL Macau 2019 final. If you missed any of the action make sure to check our final recap HERE.


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Dota 2: IEM Katowice Final Day and 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.