Team Secret vs Tundra Esports – Winner advances to TI11 Grand Finals

The stakes are getting higher at the International 11 (TI11), especially for Team Secret and Tundra Esports. The two European powerhouses are the last teams standing in Upper Bracket. The winner advances to TI11 Grand Finals, where they will await the most important best-of-five series of their career and a healthy chunk of the Ti11 Prize Pool.

Baqyt “Zayac” Emiljanov from Team Secret

The International 11 Upper Bracket Final

It will be either team’s first time in a grand finals of TI Championship. Well, except for Martin “Saksa” Sazdov, Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, and Roman “Resolut1on” Fomynok.

Saksa and Resolut1on were formerly teammates in Digital Chaos, winning second place at TI6. Today, the iconic duo are support player on Tundra and offlane player on Secret respectively. Meanwhile, Puppey, who is captain of Natus Vincere that won the first TI, also played in two other TI grand finals, namely TI2 and TI3.

Regardless, it will be a brand-new milestone for these Esports namesakes at TI11.

Team Secret from TI11 LCQ to Finals doorstep

Team Secret qualified for TI11 through the TI11 Last Chance Qualifier, which is dubbed the worst way to qualify for TI. However, they have since proven their worth after defeating PSG.LGD and Thunder Awaken in the TI11 Playoffs to make it thus far.

Michał “Nisha” Jankowski, who is among the longest-serving players on Secret, has consistently performed. Albeit underrated among other flashy mid players, Nisha’s Leshrac often goes under the radar despite how quickly his signature pick can overwhelm opponents.

Meanwhile, Baqyt “Zayac” Emiljanov, the latest addition to Secret, is an ideal support player. His aggressive playstyle on initiation heroes, such as Marci, makes him a terrifying threat and nuisance to enemies in lanes.

Of course, the rest of the pack make wonders as important players that their opponent must be wary of. If anything, that’s how Team Secret manages to win most drafting scenarios, often with ideal picks that enable their players.

Nobody expected Tundra to be this good

Certainly not the flashiest of teams at TI11. Comparing Tundra Esports to the likes of popular teams like team OG, the latter usually have more one-sided games that highlight a key MVP of their team, such as Ammar “ATF” Al-Assaf. However, the high stakes on ATF often cripple OG as a team when he gets priority bans from his opponents.

Unlike its inter-region rival, Tundra consists of a balanced line-up. They don’t often get featured on the top plays in TI11 showcase, nor do they frequently deliver that game-winning play. Yet, here they are, rocking their dynamic roster of flawless victories.

If there’s one factor that leverages Tundra as a superior team, it’s their drafts, which do not reflect the meta picks at TI11. Instead of the typical Marci, Dawnbreaker, or Primal Beast first picks, we get to watch classics, such as Slark, Tusk, and Tiny.

Wu “Sneyking” Jingjun from Tundra Esports

Team Secret vs Tundra Esports – Setting Expectations

Breaking down the match-up between Secret and Tundra, I’m expecting an very even series. However, we likely won’t expect the third game just because of how one-sided matches are when these teams played.

That said, we slightly favor Team Secret just because they have more explosive drafts, which leverage on better lane synergy. Tundra can be defensive during the early game, so Secret ideally would push Tundra to react to their midgame movements.

While Tundra is never a fan of long-duration matches that are resulted from comebacks, Tundra is not a team that is easily shaken up by an opponent’s fast-paced momentum. Both teams do have very similar playstyles, with only their draft differences giving away their uncanny forms.

TI11 Upper Bracket Finals featuring Team Secret vs Tundra Esports

At this stage, it’s likely Puppey of Secret would pull off an unorthodox draft that he has been saving until today. We haven’t really seen any comfort picks that Secret players are renowned for, so where else besides the Upper Bracket Finals would they be revealing them?

Additionally, Tundra and Secret are probably scrim buddies for months, so they probably know each other better than any other regional rivals. Let this TI11 Upper Bracket Final be a thrilling showcase of the two teams’ best on October 29.