Image by Mars Media
Team Secret's path to the MDL Disneyland title ran through some of the toughest competition this season: PSG.LGD, OG, Evil Geniuses, and Team Liquid. It was Team Secret's second Major title this circuit, with their first at Chongqing Major, where they secured their slot for the upcoming TI in Shanghai.
Once Liquid took control of game 1, it looked like it would be a tough out for Secret and its captain Puppey to grab their second title. Both teams have championship pedigrees, with veteran captains who've been through the pressure. But the series turned after that game, and Secret brought the gentleman's sweep, taking the next three games against Liquid.
Team Liquid banked their series on a last pick Sniper
Team Secret has such a collection of talent that one could reason any team member to be its MVP. Zai dominated at the Chongqing Major. Yapzor finds more impact playing the 4 position than other pros, perhaps by siphoning a bit more farm as a support--a strategy also championed by Open AI's near-perfect bots. Nisha remains as one of the most stable carries around, in a meta that often hinges on the strength of its carry player. MidOne pulls out clutch play after clutch play, and he dominated what was set up to be in an unfavorable matchup in the final game (TA vs. Sniper). Supports playing the 5 position aren't in the spotlight enough to receive the bulk of the credit, but Puppey was awarded the MVP for this title.
Team Secret takes home the $350,000 first place purse and a few DPC points they didn't need. With only two DPC events before Shanghai, there are scarce opportunities for other teams to break into the standings. And they'll be meeting the caliber of teams who have dominated all season, who are still competing despite their guaranteed slots. For these top tier teams, it helps to keep momentum and practice good habits under pressure. The prize pool is also a plus.
Teams at the Paris Major are directly invited to the closed qualifiers for the Epicenter Major. That event begins May 15-19, so they'll only have a few days to regroup, plan, and perhaps adapt to what might be a post-Major patch around the corner.