posted by Smyke,
We're finally back in the Upper Bracket of The Kuala Lumpur Major! Four teams had a break of four days until they had to play their next game. Although all teams had enough time to prepare for the opponent, the matches were still not as close as maybe fans had hoped for. The favourites won and aim for the Grand Finals on Sunday. Two world elite teams faced each other in the first series: Team Secret and PSG.LGD. Both teams hadn't lost a single game in The Kuala Lumpur Major before this series started.

Although the Chinese TI8 finalist had enough time to prepare for this series, they made one huge mistake. LGD didn't ban Arc Warden in the first phase. Secret took this chance and picked him for Michał 'Nisha' Jankowski. Secret's new hard carry is one of the best players on this hero - and he proved it instantly in game one. In a match with not many team fights he only died once and killed five opponents.

The game was even for most of the time. LGD even had a small net worth advantage, but Secret was just waiting for one specific fight to end LGD. The Chinese team was forced to call 'GG' after getting team wiped.

The panel was a bit surprised that LGD was confident enough to not respect ban Arc Warden in the second game. They gave Nisha another chance to underline why he's a world class player on this hero.

In combination with a strong Yeik Nai 'MidOne' Zheng who clearly enjoyed playing in front of his home crowd, Secret won game two as well. Yao 'Somnus' Lu on Tinker and Wang Chun 'Ame' Yu on Slark didn't stand a chance against the Secret duo.

The drafts decided the games between NiP and VP

As expected the first draft between Ninjas in Pyjamas and was already a highlight. However, the surprising part was that the panel didn't approve Peter 'ppd' Dager's draft.

The draft was even until the end, but ppd picked a Razor for Adrian 'Fata' Trinks. It was not a fitting hero for this lineup and VP proved that against the European squad. The CIS team was in the lead for most of the time and finished NiP off after exactly 37 minutes.

In game two VP put everything into a Slark pick with Phoenix and Dazzle as the two supports - two perfect heroes to keep the carry alive in the brutal early game. However, a roaming Pavel '9pasha' Khvastunov made it impossible for the supports to stay around Roman 'RAMZEs' Kushnarev the whole time. It was a rough start for the Slark player with three early deaths.

Although NiP got many kills in the first phase of the game, Vladimir 'No[o]ne' Minenko on Dragon Knight had enough time to farm and lead his team. 9pasha's kills in the roaming phase pressured NiP enough and gave VP the space they needed to carry Slark through the early game.

The Russian team pushed aggressively in the following minutes knowing NiP couldn't stop them. They utilized their heroes perfectly and won the game after barely 26 minutes. will face Team Secret in the Upper Bracket Final on Saturday, while ppd and his team have to play against TNC Predator in the Lower Bracket.

Photo credit: ESL - Adela Sznajder