Dota 2: Underdogs Brame upset Team Secret in longest game of the WEU DPC

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Brame Esports' Tasos
Brame Esports' Tasos "NOOB1TO" Michailidis, Giorgos "SsaSpartan" Giannakopoulos, and Kharis "SkyLark" Zafeiriou. (Photos: Brame Esports)

Brame Esports pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Spring Tour by edging out Team Secret 2-1 in the Western European regional league.

As one of the two teams promoted from Division II at the start of the Tour, Brame were clear underdogs entering the match.

After Secret took a comfortable win in game one, the scrappy Greek squad turned the series on its head by prevailing in a 59-minute marathon in game two — the longest game of the Western European regional league thus far — before securing the upset in game three.

Let's dive into the insane slugfest between Brame and Secret in game two of their series:

Team Secret goes all in on teamfight, Brame opts to split-push

Secret opened their game two draft with Mars for Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang to provide stuns and team fight while Clement "Puppey" Ivanov played the position 5 Pugna to heal allies and nullify physical damage.

Yazied "YapzOr" Jaradat would provide all the magical damage Secret needed on Skywrath Mage, while Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan was tasked with carrying the team on Medusa.

The last pick for Michał "Nisha" Jankowski was Monkey King, whose high mobility and active playstyle was perfect to make space during the midgame.

Secret's draft was excellent. With Monkey King, Mars, and Medusa, the team could create an incredible “no-go” zone around objectives. Brame would have trouble defending objectives if Secret covered their siege attempt with a Wukong's Command and Arena of Blood.

The only weakness in Secret's draft was the lack of stuns.

Mars’ Spear is hard to land without an earlier setup. Neither support had any lockdown. Monkey King’s Boundless Strike was the best stun on the team but it has a fairly long cooldown and lasts less than two seconds.

Brame’s focus during game two was on split-pushing and using their heroes' high mobility to kite Secret around the map.

Brame picked Sand King for Dimitris "ThuG" Plivouris and Mirana for Sakis "dEsire" Kartsampas for this plan. Both these heroes have a form of invisibility, a mobility spell, and could clear creep waves quickly to force rotations.

Kharis "SkyLark" Zafeiriou took Chaos Knight in the offlane, which was a surprising decision. SkyLark rushed Aghanim’s Scepter in order to create illusions for his team to double down on their split pushing potential. Giorgos "SsaSpartan" Giannakopoulos was tasked with the difficult job of providing vision for his team on Clockwerk.

The linchpin of the plan fell on carry player Tasos "NOOB1TO" Michailidis’s Anti-Mage. The hero was a natural counter to Medusa and his high mobility made him nearly impossible for Team Secret’s low stun lineup to control.

Brame’s draft was the harder of the two to execute. Anti-Mage is notorious for being one of the slowest carry heroes to get online. The team would have a tough time making space for him against Secret’s superior teamfight abilities. From a draft perspective, it looked to be an easy victory for Secret.

But Dota 2 is about more than just the draft.

Secret start strong but Brame hold on

The laning stage went perfectly for Secret as they were able to shut down the Anti-Mage and put him at the bottom of the net worth graph, killing him twice in the first 11 minutes and limiting to only 3,500 net worth at the time.

Brame’s reveal of the Blink Dagger for Sand King also went badly. Despite having three heroes converging on Nisha, the midlaner managed to survive and take down SsaSpartan.

Secret were in firm control of the game until the 25-minute mark, when they decided to take Roshan.

Brame proved the strength of their lineup by landing an incredible arrow on iceiceice, forcing Nisha to use his Wukong's Command to discourage them from engaging.

The fight started with both teams trading offlaners, but the difference was that SkyLark had buyback and immediately used it, leading to a four-for-two trade in favor of Brame.

Despite winning the clash at Roshan, Brame could not hold on to their lead and Secret were able to regain control of the game.

But while Secret had the superior teamfight and a net worth advantage, they couldn’t end the game due to the relentless split-pushing from Brame's elusive lineup.

Each member of Brame had a clear job in the late game with their heroes. Sand King and Mirana were responsible for shoving one lane, while Chaos Knight would use his illusions to shove others.

SkyLark deserved to be commended for his itemization. He bought an Octarine Core and used a Spell Prism, which, along with the level 25 +10 Phantasm illusion duration talent, let him have a near 100% uptime Phantasm and cause a major problem for Secret.

NOOB1TO and SsaSpartan had the two most difficult jobs in the game. Only Anti-Mage could deal damage to buildings, forcing him to put his life on the line to keep Secret away from Brame's base. Meanwhile SsaSpartan’s job was to keep his carry alive and throw his life away if need be.

Anti-Mage would dive into Team Secret’s base to land a few hits on the tier four towers and use Clockwork’s life to ensure his escape. However, that plan didn’t always work.

Despite all their stalling tactics, Brame knew they wouldn’t be able to hold on forever, especially while being a barracks behind.

They then decided to go for an all-in base race against Secret. While SumaiL tried to get mega creeps for his base, SkyLark had the near-impossible task of distracting him while NOOB1TO took down the enemy throne.

It was an incredibly gutsy play and the only way Brame could take game two. And it worked beautifully.

Not only did SkyLark control SumaiL, Clockwerk was nearby in case Medusa used Black King Bar to teleport away. NOOB1TO itemized perfectly for the base race, buying a Divine Rapier and Assault Cuirass for maximum damage while equipping a Leveller.

Brame pulled off an impossible comeback in the second game and rode that momentum in game three, taking the series against an overwhelmingly-favored opponent.

While Brame still have a tough road ahead of them, facing OG and Tundra Esports next, the team proved their mettle against Team Secret and won’t be underestimated again.

Team Secret’s defeat definitely hurts their chances of finishing in the top four of their regional league. The team currently has 2-3 record and cannot afford another loss.

Fortunately for Secret, their next two opponents are Nigma Galaxy and Entity, the bottom two teams in the league.

Brame roster:

  1. Tasos "NOOB1TO" Michailidis

  2. Dimitris "ThuG" Plivouris

  3. Kharis "SkyLark" Zafeiriou

  4. Sakis "dEsire" Kartsampas

  5. Giorgos "SsaSpartan" Giannakopoulos

Team Secret roster:

  1. Syed Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan

  2. Michał "Nisha" Jankowski

  3. Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang

  4. Yazied "YapzOr" Jaradat

  5. 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.

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