ESL One Germany 2020 is over and few people would have guessed its winner. Let’s have a look at what happened in this tournament.
ESL One Germany 2020 Group Stage
ESL One Germany 2020 had an unusual competitive format for a Dota 2 event. This format was the rarely used Modified Swiss system, in which teams with similar win-loss scores play each other and either qualify (after 3 wins) or get eliminated (after 3 losses).
The best two teams in this stage were Alliance and Team Secret. Both of them looked amazingly strong. But in spite of this, none of them finished the tournament in the top 3. Team Liquid wasn’t far from the top and qualified for the Playoffs with 3 wins and 1 loss. The wins came against important competitors (mudgolems, Natus Vincere, and 5men), while the loss came against Team Secret. At that point, it was believed that Secret would win the tournament.
The teams that survived the Group Stage of ESL One Germany 2020 were the following:
- Alliance: 3 W – 0 L
- Team Secret: 3 W – 0 L
- mudgolems: 3 W – 1 L
- OG: 3 W – 1 L
- Team Liquid: 3 W – 1 L
- Natus Vincere: 3 W – 2 L
- Team Nigma: 3 W – 2 L
- gg: 3 W – 2 L
The Playoffs Stage of ESL One Germany 2020 was full of surprises. In the first round of the Upper Bracket, Secret defeated Nigma, mudgolems defeated Liquid, Natus Vincere defeated OG, and Vikin.gg defeated Alliance. Arguably, only Secret’s result was expected. The other three matches ended with an upset.
Liquid’s loss meant that they now had to repeat their TI 7 performance. In case you don’t remember what happened there, the team lost its first Upper Bracket match and then had to win a lot of matches in a row to win the Aegis of Champions. To the amazement of everyone including themselves, Liquid succeeded in beating everyone on their path to the Grand Final: Nigma (2 – 1), Vikin.gg (2 – 0), Secret (2 – 0), and mudgolems (2 – 0).
In the Grand Final, they encountered Na’Vi, a team they had already defeated in the Group Stage. The match was really fun to watch and Liquid showed great versatility. The barely repeated heroes in their drafts and went for a different carry each time. The final score was 3 – 1.
With this victory, Liquid is officially a formidable competitor in Europe/CIS once again and should not be underestimated in future tournaments.
Team Secret’s Failure
The biggest surprise of ESL One Germany 2020 was Team Secret’s failure to reach the Grand Final. Puppey and his squad had won the previous 7 consecutive tournaments and it’s quite shocking to see them finally lose. I guess their adversaries have caught up with their tactics and strategies. Dota 2 is a very complex game and given enough time, you will get read and dismantled if you don’t evolve. This 4th place caused by some unexpected defeats was Secret’s wake up call. They tend to do this type of thing at The International, after dominating the entire season. Now they did it much earlier.