posted by Malystryx.GDS,
Navi's first trophy in over 20 months - (Image from SLTV Flickr)
The LAN Finals held at the BTS House in Los Angeles was the last offline tournament ahead of The International 6, which gets underway in less than 10 days. The new rosters of Team Secret and Evil Geniuses were both in attendance as well as Fnatic and TI6 direct invite Navi.
Team Secret made it through to the Grand Finals through the winner-bracket, their first since their roster change which brought in Sam 'Bulba' Sosale to fill the void left by Saahil 'Universe' Arora. Awaiting them was Navi, a team they had won against in the WB Finals, and a group of players who are looking sharp in the run-up to the biggest tournament of the year.
1. Natus Vincere
2. Team Secret
4. Chip+4* (former VP - fng)
5-6. Evil Geniuses
5-6. Planet Odd*
7-8. compLexity Gaming
Bo5: Navi and Secret the last teams standing
The CIS team had opened with a electic mix of both old and new meta, combining the popular Beastmaster pick from the Manila Major with the increasingly popular Timbersaw. Sand King was another hero Navi had been experimenting with but Secret thought it was worthy of a first phase ban, alongside Wisp which Akbar 'SoNNeikO' Butaev plays extremely well.
Navi fell behind after losing the first game of the bo5, but fortunately for them Danil 'Dendi' Ishutin's Invoker got into his groove and carried his team on his back in the second game to begin their retaliation.
In Game 3 the Drow Ranger made it through the draft and Secret picked it up for Jacky 'EternaLEnVy' Mao, however the combination of Bulba's Tidehunter and Puppey's Elder Titan was not enough to keep Navi at bay from converging on their carry.
The combination of Faceless Void ChronoSphere and Magnus' Reverse Polarity was more than enough disable to pin Secret down for Dmitriy 'Ditya-Ra' Minenkov's Ember Spirit. With General going Manta Style and Diffusal Blade on Void, mana becoming an issue for their opponents, and Navi pushed Secret aside despite an impressive performance on Mirana by Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev.
The fourth and final game was the shortest of them all, lasting only 18 minutes compared to the previous three which all went on longer than 40. Navi ended the game swiftly courtesy of of a Huskar pick and a very active General Bat Rider and Sonneiko Oracle. It was a incredibly fast finish to the series, with the TI6 direct invite managing to take out 7 towers in the short game and even take out a set of barracks. Secret were not really prepared for such an onslaught and were forced to conceded the game and the series.
The 3-1 victory for Navi means they are the Starladder Season 2 champions, an especially important title considering TI6 is around the corner AND that the organisation has not had any offline silverware since D2CL Season 4 in November 2014. The closest they came to silverware in recent history was as runners-up at ESL One Frankfurt, DreamLeague Season 5 and the first Starladder Invitational.