Team Secret struggled in all three tours of Dota Pro Circuit 2021-2022. Clement “Puppey” Ivanov started the season with a changed roster after Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen and Ludwig “zai” Wahlberg decided to join Team Liquid.
Arguably, these two players were among the world’s best at their respective roles (carry and offlane), so their replacements, Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan and Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang had a very difficult task.
After the first tour, in which Secret failed to secure a top four position in Western Europe’s first division, it was obvious that something wasn’t working properly. However, Puppey decided to wait and was probably optimistic about the roster’s capacity to improve in the coming months.
The second tour finished with a similar result for Team Secret, who were now in a very bad position. This time, Puppey was convinced that his roster couldn’t compete against Europe’s best teams, so he started to make changes.
He dropped Sumail and replaced him with Remco “Crystallis” Arets. Then, a few months later, he benched Yazied “YapzOr” Jaradat, who had been having health problems, and replaced him with Bakyt “Zayac” Emilzhanov.
Right after these changes, Team Secret was invited to participate in one of the biggest tournaments in the history of Dota 2. The event, Riyadh Masters 2022, offered $4 million in prizes. And out of the 10 competitors, Secret finished third-fourth.
However, this excellent result was obtained with a stand-in. And that stand-in was Roman “Resolut1on” Fomynok.
This experience convinced Puppey that Resolut1on was a much better position 3 player than iceiceice, so he decided to make the change permanent.
Stand-in no more.
The best offlane duo is finally back together.
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) August 3, 2022
Secret’s chances to qualify for The International 2022
The qualifiers for TI11 are just one month away. Depending on the results of PGL Arlington Major, Secret may have to face one or a few formidable opponents in Western Europe’s regional qualifier.
If Team Liquid and other top European teams manage to finish the Dota Pro Circuit in the top 12, Secret’s main battle will be against Nigma Galaxy. This is a very strong team led by Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi, who won The International in 2017 and played in two other Grand Finals.
KuroKy used to be Puppey’s teammate and the two players know each other well. Historically, KuroKy has done quite well against Puppey, thanks in part to the fact that he deeply understands his mindset.
But even if Secret lose against Nigma, they are likely to qualify for TI11 by finishing 2nd and then winning one of the two remaining tickets in the Last Chance Qualifier. However, if Secret will need to play against two strong competitors, they will likely fail to qualify for the event.
Header: Team Secret