By Ivan Saldajeno
TAGUIG--The "The International" title remains elusive for Southeast Asia as Team Secret ousted Mineski, the last ASEAN club alive in TI9, in the second round of the lower bracket at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on Thursday.
A Game 1 comeback by Secret turned out to be the difference as the European side took a 2-1 win against Mineski to eliminate the latter.
Just a few seconds after Mineski forced the mega creeps on the Radiant side, Ludwig Wahlberg delivered a crucial Tidehunter Ravage that eventually killed four heroes, including Kam Boon Seng's already dominant Alchemist.
With Kam having to wait two full minutes before respawning due to the buyback death penalty, Secret launched a quick push to the middle lane that Filipinos Michael Ross and Ryan Qui and Bulgarian reinforcement Nikolay Nikolov, who was forced to use the buyback on his Wraith King, failed to stop, leading to the GG in the 36th minute.
Secret attempted to pull off another comeback in Game 2 with Michal Jankowski leading the charge.
But Nikolov, now playing Faceless Void, pulled off two successful Chronosphere plays to nearly team-wipe Secret, and Mineski made its own fast push at the middle lane, leading to the finish in the 54th minute.
Mineski had a chance to pull another comeback after completing a team-wipe at the Radiant Secret Shop area.
But the team slowed down after killing Roshan to obtain the Aegis of the Immortal for Kam's Death Prophet.
The change of pace turned out to be costly as Secret pulled off a pivotal clash win while pushing the middle lane to force Mineski to concede after 47 minutes.
Secret will take on Infamous, which shocked Newbee, 2-1, in their own second round meeting, in the third round of the lower bracket playoffs on Friday.
Mineski, on the other hand, will join Newbee, Virtus Pro, and Southeast Asian rival TNC Predator in joint ninth place.
The four clubs will take home US$676,581 (around PHP35.4 million) each.
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