Tundra Esports have secured the first final slot at The International 2022 after defeating Team Secret 2-1 in the upper-bracket final of the Dota 2 championship on Saturday.
The game was relatively close by the end of the first two maps, unlike the series between Team Aster and Team Liquid, which saw Liquid dominate almost throughout. It was not until the third map that Tundra went on a rampage with Leon “Nine” Kirilin playing Tusk, assisted by Neta “33” Shapira using Enigma.
Game one saw Tundra clinch the win with a slow game strategy to push lanes and outbattle Team Secret in the team fight. The Wu “Sneyking” Jingjun-led franchise recorded 45 kills as opposed to Secret’s 35, as the most kills were recorded by Nine and Skiter, who were responsible for 19 and 14 kills, respectively.
Secret had a firm grip on game two as they fought back with a more balanced approach, which led to them setting the tempo and recovering from little errors while pushing through Tundra’s lines. Secret’s comeback was led by Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok’s Dawnbreaker and Remco “Crystallis” Arets’ Drow Ranger.
Tundra were in full force in game three, proving to everyone that they deserve a shot at the championship title in the grand final. Their game three win was quite decisive, with the franchise registering 37 kills while only allowing 13 frags from Secret in the process.
Nine was outstanding as he recorded 20 kills and suffered only two deaths, giving his team the advantage. In a post-game interview, Tundra’s support, Martin “Saksa” Sazdov, shed some light on the team’s shaky start to the series. He chalked it up to the team being cautious as it was the final game before the finals. However, he was confident the game was over after the first fifteen minutes.
“In the first 15 minutes I felt like the game was kind of already over,” Saksa said.
“The game kind of got prolonged a bit much. It’s the final game to get into the finals so people were a bit more careful than usual, but the game felt pretty over early on.”
Secret, on the other hand, were pushed down to the lower bracket, owing to the loss. This will see Clement “Puppey” Ivanov and the lads go up against Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi and Team Liquid for the second grand final slot.
Both teams made it to the main stage through the Last Chance Qualifier. Puppey will be reunited with former teammates Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg.
The Secret in-game leader has featured in more games with the Liquid duo than he has with his entire current team combined. With Matu and zai, he has played 1,068 games as compared to 1,047 games with the other four players on the team’s roster.
Tundra, who came into the main stage as the top seed from Group B, have maintained their dominance for the entirety of the tournament. They have swept all their opponents in the upper bracket series and only dropped a map to Secret. Their win over Secret guarantees them a top-two finish in the Dota 2 tournament.
They will take on whoever becomes victorious in the lower-bracket fixture between Team Liquid and Team Secret, with the latter pegged as --100 favorites at BetOnline. Regardless of who wins the Aegis of Champions, a European team will become the best Dota 2 team in the world.