OG have done the impossible, again.
Playing against adversity is what they are used to and it definitely showed in the upper bracket semi-finals against Team Secret at ESL One Los Angeles Online that nothing can stop the OG train. Up until this series, the two teams didn’t have a head to head matchup ever since EPICENTER Major 2019, when ironically, OG were playing with Titouan “Sockshka” Merloz, their coach at that time, standing in for Johan “N0tail” Sundstein who got sick during the tournament. Secret got eliminated from the Major in that match-up which set the stage for even more of an exciting semifinals series to end the first day of playoffs at ESL One LA Online.
OG, with two stand-ins this time around and with Syed “SumaiL” Hassan playing from the US on European servers went on demolishing Secret in game one with a mid-lane Void Spirit, an offlane Beastmaster and a support Pugna for Martin “Saksa” Sazdov. His role was essential in both games, but more so in game two. After they opened the series with an 18-minute victory, OG were put to great test by team Secret who were playing into a Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen Phantom Lancer and a mid lane Kunkka of Michał “Nisha” Jankowski. Sumail had one of his worst laning stage on a Gyrocopter against Nisha. He fell behind fast and no rotation from OG could save his life or ensure the farm.
By the 25 minute mark, Team Secret were leading 25 to 12 , had a 10K gold advantage and felt like they were unstoppable. Two perfectly timed pickoffs allowed OG to somehow stay in the game by claiming Roshan and placing the Aegis on Sumail, who was still extremely under farmed compared to Secret cores. “We knew exactly what kind of tools we have and we understood how to use them against Secret’s draft,” said N0tail in the winner’s interview at the end of an insane four Rapiers game and a comeback from a 40K gold deficit.
When they got to one lane of barracks down and unable to initiate safety with their Nyx or Sand King into Secret’s Gem of True Sight, Sumail decided to go for a Divine Rapier although his inventory was still pretty lackluster, just with a Mijolnir and a BkB completed. He put all faith in Saksa’s hands to keep him alive in the engagements with the Pugna and so OG were able to stall the game until SumaiL found the farm for a Satanic. He also got a lucky Paladin Sword neutral’s drop and in an absolute insane defense for the bottom lane of barracks, he was able to take down four of Secret’s heroes including the PL.
Nonetheless, OG were still playing without buybacks and had to be careful as Secret reached a 40K gold advantage by the 50 minute mark. Sumail went all in and purchased a second Rapier to wipe Secret fighting for the top lane of barracks and to finally be able to march mid with the entire team behind him. While OG were taking the first tier 3 tower around 53 minutes into the game, Matumbaman went for a Rapier of his own to stop the siege, but it was all too late as Sumail did the same and melted down Secret’s base with 3 rapiers in his inventory.
The game came to an end with Secret leading 50 to 33 in kills score and still holding a 20K networh advantage. OG’s victory in the semifinals ensures them a top four finish and a matchup with Virtus.pro for a spot into the grand finals. The upper bracket finals are scheduled for Saturday, April 18 at 20:00 CET, but before that, team Secret will play with survival on the line in the lower bracket against Vikin.gg.
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