posted by woodshrew,
The Summit 3 is over, and we have a new champion in LA! With VG, EG and Secret all still standing in the final day of the tournament, the top three teams in the world fought for a prize pool which totalled over 271,685 USD! Read on for our recap of the last day of the Playoffs, the final standings of the teams, and the 6 things we've learned from an exciting weekend of action.

1. The New Number One

Final standings1. Team Secret - $115,4662. Evil Geniuses - $61,1293. Vici Gaming - $35,3194. LGD Gaming - $27,1695/6. Cloud 9 - $9,5095/6. invictus Gaming - $9,5097/8. Rave - $6,7927/8. Not Today - $6,792Team Secret took down Evil Geniuses in the Grand Finals 3 games to 1, taking home ~115,000 USD and the Summit 3 Championship. After getting swept by Secret on the first round of the Playoffs, Evil Geniuses climbed their way back to secure the re-match, continuing their notorious reputation as 'Lower Bracket Kings'.

Although Game 1 went to EG, behind us Saahil 'Universe' Arora's spectacular Clockwerk performance, Secret bounced back to take the next three games in a row. Game 2 was the closest game of the series, stretching out to 45 minutes, the fifth longest match of the tournament. Despite losing a set of barracks to EG's intimidating Lycan-powered pushing strat, Secret maintained their composure and turned the game around. It was now se Ludwig 'zai' Wåhlberg's turn to showcase his skills on Clockwerk, and his clutch Hookshots gave Secret the openings to close out the game.

Secret's individual play from that point reached new heights. In Game 3, we witnessed an absolutely dominant performance from ca Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev's Shadow Fiend. It took Artour nearly 3 waves before he missed a single creep against Sumail's fabled Storm Spirit no less. Sensing blood in the water, ee Clement 'Puppey' Ivanov and de Kuro S. 'KuroKy' Takhasomi tortured pk Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan with brilliant smoke movement, completely taking EG's midlaner out of the game. Secret cruised to an easy Game 3 win, and had their sights set on the final blow.

If Game 3 was domination, then Game 4 was eradication--Secret was in control from the draft screen to the end of the absurdly short 13 minute affair. Old teammates exchanged words of sportsmanship and thanks for a great series in the hallway. At the end of the exciting weekend Zai and Arteezy stand as the first two-time champions of the beloved tournament, and Secret have finally begun to string together consecutive LAN wins after taking home first place at Redbull Battle Grounds only a week ago.

Old friends heading different directions, BTS

2. "Win Lanes, Win Game"

ppd knows best. The drafter and captain of EG shared his thoughts during a couch-cast on Day 1 of the Playoffs, and his wise words ring true. The Summit 3 has taught us a lot about 6.84b, but what sticks out most is the importance of obtaining early leads. With an average match time of approximately 30 minutes, The Summit 3 was over in a hurry.

Only two BO3 series went the full distance, and the average length of the games confirmed what we were seeing with our own eyes. Many of the longer games were already decided long before the gg call. All weekend casters and players speculated the reasons behind the shift back to the TI4 5-man deathball and most came to the conclusion that the freshness of the patch, alongside the sweeping changes of 6.84 were the cause of the surprisingly short one-sided games.

Looking forward it seems likely that drafting will be of more importance than ever, since strong matchups and lanes can reliably result in early leads. Secret and EG gave us a glimpse at how quickly a small advantage can snowball out of control in the hands of powerful team-fighting and pushing lineups.

3. VG tumbles down from the #1 Ranking

iceiceice and Fenrir reflecting on their performance, BTS

It seemed only yesterday sg Daryl Koh 'iceiceice' Pei Xiang and VG snatched the Starladder XII trophy on Western soil, and proclaimed to the world how surprisingly bad the other teams were. Oh how things have changed. The best of the West came to LA ready to take down VG: EG, Secret and Cloud9.

Cloud9 collapsed to VG's star supports, first in the hands of a fy's Bounty Hunter, and then to Fenrir's Visage. But Secret played superbly against Vici Gaming in their Playoff series, and with the help of Evil Geniuses, VG was elminated, sent straight back to the cards table to the join the rest of the Chinese teams.

4. On the outside, looking in

Ferrari430 departs the BTS house alongside Chuan, BTS

A line has been drawn amongst the top teams in the world, separating the best from the best. Entering the tournament we expected to see EG, VG and Secret to reach the Top 3, but we were surprised how effortlessly these teams handled the next tier of teams.

cn PSG.LGD, cn Invictus Gaming and were each 2-0'd in their exit series by the big three. While a lot has been said about the abridged, one-sided games throughout the tournament, we still expected to see a lot more fight coming from these contenders, with at least one or to series going the distance.

world Cloud9 bowed out of the Summit 3 to two familiar rivals, EG and VG. VG has haunted C9 ever since the Playoff series at TI4, and coincidentally sending the squad home at the Summit 2 as well. As for EG, they have made a habit of eliminating C9, with a total of 4 eliminations in 2014 in major tournaments.

The leaders of their squads, cn Zhang 'xiao8' Ning, cn Xu 'BurNIng' Zhilei, and ca Jacky 'EternaLEnVy' Mao all have their work cut out for them and will need to rethink their approach to the new patch, as the final stretch of major tournaments are on the horizon.

5. A gap as wide as the oceans

Yikes. That was not the showing SEA and South American Dota fans wanted to see. ph Rave* and pe Not Today* spiralled out of the tournament right from the start of the groupstages, and neither team won a single game in the entire tournament.

It was difficult to watch the two teams in their series, and the poor showing for the two teams will likely severly hurt their confidence in future engagements with tier 1 teams. The competition they faced may have been the most difficult so far at a single tournament since DAC, with 6 of the 10 teams direct invitees to the International 5.

Looking forward, it is clear that the level of play in the major regions are developing at different rates, which puts into the question Valve's method of dividing invites to TI by regions. Perhaps The Summit 3 will be regarded as another signal for future changes to Valve's qualification system to the International.

6. This scene is still all about the people

Until Cloud9 came and saved the day with their ensemble couch-casts, Beyond the Summit was under heavy fire from the /r/dota2 community for some interesting marketing methods. With the rest of the players hopping on throughout the weekend, the pros brought great insight and fresh perspective on the game we all love and enjoy, as well as some "unique" quotes which we'll make sure to collect in a retrospective piece later this week.

Between tons of Hotbid interviews, candle-lit baths, FATA's addiction to joinDOTA and VG's card game marathons, the Summit 3 gave us another candid look at the players and teams we follow and cheer for.

FATA refreshing the front page for the best news coverage in the scene

Tell us your favorite moment of the Summit 3! We'll read over the comments and round-up the list in the coming days! How many VG rares were lost?