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Team Secret’s Last Struggle against Nova for Last slot in HOK Invitational S2

Team Secret’s Last Struggle against Nova for Last slot in HOK Invitational S2

    Last Updated on June 26, 2024

Malaysia was Told to be the HOK Powerhouse in SEA

Malaysia has emerged as a formidable force in the Honor of Kings (HOK) scene, consistently demonstrating dominance through impressive performances. Team Secret, in particular, has showcased their resilience and skill, notably surpassing challenges from top contenders like Alter Ego.

Meanwhile, Nova Esports encountered a setback with a loss to Blacklist International, highlighting the competitive intensity leading up to the big battle for the final slot in HOK Invitational Season 2.

Game 1

Analyzing the draft, Nova Esports secured Da Qiao, a formidable hero known for her intimidating presence in fights, complemented by high crowd control and mobility from heroes like Guan Yu and Fuzi, alongside Pei for target chase. In contrast, Team Secret drafted compositions focused on enabling Son and protecting him from threats, setting the stage for contrasting strategies from both teams.

The early game saw Team Secret securing the Tyrant, bolstered by a kill on Loong, establishing an early advantage. Despite expectations for Nova Esports to capitalize on early engagements, their attempts were thwarted. Leading to a pivotal moment at the 9-minute mark where Team Secret capitalized on a failed engage, securing three kills uncontested.

Team Secret maintained their dominance throughout the match, culminating in a commanding 15-3 victory. Nova Esports struggled to execute rotations effectively with Da Qiao and failed to secure kills due to their composition’s lack of damage. As the game progressed, Team Secret methodically asserted control over the map. Shutting down any opportunities for Nova Esports to stage a comeback.

Nova’s experimental approach with a support Fuzi proved ineffective in shifting the draft’s momentum. Looking ahead to Game 2, Nova Esports aims to refine their strategy and bounce back stronger after this initial setback.

Game 2

Analyzing the draft adjustments, Nova Esports opted for Luna after banning Da Qiao, aiming to capitalize on her quick engage and disengage. Team Secret, meanwhile, maintained a similar composition from the previous game, which is constant balance of CC and damage. 

The early game progressed slower than anticipated, with no immediate kills from early objectives. The first significant action occurred when ZhanQ dove and eliminated Son in the farm lane, prompting Team Secret to respond with a coordinated dive in the mid lane led by Xuan and TianX.

At the 8-minute mark, a skirmish erupted at the Tyrant, where Team Secret’s coordination faltered. Allowing ZhanQ to secure an effortless triple kill while TianX’s solo effort yielded no results.

Throughout the game, ZhanQ continued to exert dominance with precise pickoffs. Exploiting the absence of hard crowd control to maneuver freely on the battlefield. Nova Esports capitalized on their advantage, swiftly concluding the game by the 10-minute mark.

Team Secret appeared disjointed in their gameplay, struggling to react effectively in the early stages. Son encountered difficulties landing impactful Fevered Barrages due to Nova’s scattered positioning and aggressive engagements.

Game 3

Game 3 saw Luna banned, a wise adjustment by Team Secret considering ZhanQ’s dominance with the hero in the previous match. This allowed Team Secret to secure Arli, a sought after marksman pick. While opting for a front-to-back strategy complemented by Mayene’s ability to secure backline pickoffs. Nova Esports, on the other hand, crafted a full engage composition with Di Renjie being their supportive marksman

The early game unfolded without much aggression around the first objective. The only kill occurred close to the 5-minute mark when Lcc2 and ZhanQ successfully dove onto Son, catching him out of position.

Mid-game skirmishes began to escalate as Nova Esports capitalized on Musashi’s swift executions, securing a favorable 1-2 trade in a teamfight.

Subsequent engagements saw both teams trading blows and equalizing kills across the map. ZhanQ once again emerged as Nova’s linchpin, leveraging Duel to Death for effortless pickoffs while Weipit’s ult resets further tipped the scales in their favor.

For two consecutive games, ZhanQ’s dominance proved pivotal in Nova Esports’ victories. Highlighting Team Secret’s need to elevate their performance in the upcoming game to avoid elimination.

Game 4

In Game 4, Nova Esports secured their prized Luna pick for ZhanQ once again. Bolstering their lineup with ample supporting firepower to amplify his impact. Team Secret, meanwhile, opted for a safer draft. Entrusting Son on Marco Polo while surrounding him with dive support from three teammates to create opportunities.

The match began with a critical mispositioning from LCC, resulting in First Blood as Son capitalized with a barrage of bullets. This back-and-forth engagement continued until the 8-minute mark, with both teams trading blows evenly.

A pivotal moment arose during a Tyrant fight when Loong’s massive engage effectively neutralized three members of Nova, facilitating an uncontested Tyrant take for Team Secret. Nova attempted to retaliate by diving the backline, but Yuhan on Yaria consistently denied ZhanQ’s access. Thwarting his maneuvers and disrupting Nova’s plans.

This pattern persisted throughout the game, with Son gaining a significant item advantage over Nova, enabling him to confidently unleash risky Fevered Barrages. Even when Loong and Son fell in battle, Xuann provided ample damage for Team Secret. Despite multiple attempts by Team Secret to close out the game, LCC and Muci’s wave clear prowess prevented them from finishing off Nova. This gave way to Nova securing a Tempest Dragon.

With the Tempest Dragon buff, Nova poised for a comeback, applying pressure on Team Secret. However, Team Secret managed to fend off Nova’s advances until the buff expired. Buying time for two more Tempest Dragon battles. The final clash at the Tempest Dragon saw Team Secret gaining the upper hand by eliminating Xuann and subsequently ZhanQ, clinching the series victory.

Game 5

In Game 5, Nova Esports surprised with a Garo pick amidst their composition heavy on engage power, potentially causing some disconnection in teamfights. Meanwhile, Team Secret opted for a different strategy, placing TianX on Luna and employing Mayene to target Muci aggressively.

The match opened with Xuann securing First Blood against Dharma. Prompting a skirmish where Lcc attempted retaliation but fell short of securing the kill.

The most significant engagement unfolded at the 8-minute mark, initiated by TianX, who managed to secure two kills. ZhanQ fought back by eliminating Son but was swiftly taken down by Team Secret.

This game marked a stark departure from the previous matches, with Team Secret demonstrating a transformed performance in Game 5. Overcoming their struggles from Games 1 to 4, where wins were hard-fought but not decisive, they defied all odds in this decisive game. Their final engagement was particularly noteworthy, as TianX executed precise maneuvers, swiftly dispatching opponents across the battlefield.

Team Secret Goes to the HOK Invitational Season 2

Nova Esports, despite being the third-placed team from Malaysia, posed a significant challenge in this five-game series against Team Secret. After trailing 2-1, Team Secret staged a comeback with a decisive victory in Game 4, setting the stage for a dominant performance in Game 5.

While Game 4 could be seen as a stroke of luck for Team Secret. Their strategic adjustments in Game 5, forcing Nova Esports onto an uncomfortable draft. Proved pivotal in securing the series win.

As Nova Esports now looks ahead. Team Secret advances to the HOK Invitational Season 2 as the only other SEA team qualifying through the LCQ. Their upcoming performance will be closely watched to see how they fare in the tournament.

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Written By
Michael Cruz

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