Dota 2 The International: Team Secret

Team Secret are both the heroes and the villains of Dota 2. They’re a super-team, made up of superstars from all over the Dota scene, and all over the world.

Team Secret are also one of the teams who, a few months ago, you would have expected to be directly invited to TI6. They weren’t. Roster changes and team cohesion issues saw made sure of this. Secret had to go through the open qualifiers to get into TI6, a path that no teams want to take. They made short work of these qualifiers however, not even losing one game. And now, they’re slowly getting back to where they belong, right at the forefront of Dota 2.

Team Secret was created in 2014, after teams Na’vi, Fnatic and Alliance had performed poorly at TI4. Previous captain of Na’vi, Puppey, left the team and along with fellow Na’vi player Kuroky, Fnatic players n0tail and Fly, and Alliance mid laner s4, they formed Team Secret. An exciting time to be a Dota fan.


Secret started fairly well, but for a team with talent like theirs, it wasn’t well enough. This lead to players Fly and n0tail being kicked, and young superstars Arteezy and Zai from EG leaving their current team to join Team Secret. This team was incredible. During the lead up to TI5 they literally won everything. Almost certainly, the best team in the world at this point. They shaped the meta of the game, picking heroes like Shadow Fiend for Arteezy in the mid lane and Queen of Pain for s4 in the safe lane. They were unstoppable. This was largely down to the individual skill of each player, and the pre-existing friendships and understandings that already existed in the team.

Then came TI5. Hotly tipped as favourites, Secret were clearly confident. Entering the main arena in a slightly… vulgar fashion. Then from there they completely bombed. Losing almost all of their games and finishing 7/8th overall in the tournament. Yeah… not too good.

Team Secret 1

This was where cracks started appearing in the team. Arguments between players Kuroky and Arteezy were causing drama all over the Dota 2 community. Following TI5, four of Secret’s main players and biggest talents left the team, with only captain Puppey remaining. This mass exodus of team Secret was not a bad thing for their prospects however. Picking up players w33, Misery, Eternal-Envy and Pieliedie, Secret were back to their winning ways again.

From here, they dominated the scene for the majority of the past year, winning three tournaments (including a Valve hosted Major in Shanghai) and coming second in another. This was Secret at its best. Which is why it came as a surprise when they decided to replace star mid laner w33 and consistent offlane player Misery. Bringing back Arteezy for w33 and exceptional offlaner Universe for Misery, Dota fans were excited. This team had potential to be the best ever seen in Dota, not only with Arteezy “returning home”, but recruiting Universe, who is considered by many to be one of the best players to ever grace Dota 2.

Surprisingly, this team was absolutely shocking. Winning next to nothing and bombing out of every tournament they attended, this was not what anyone expected. The issues seemed to mainly stem from the offlane. Universe, a player who had played under one captain at EG for the vast majority of his career was clearly struggling, and this showed within the team. Loss after loss resulted in Universe leaving to rejoin EG and veteran offlaner Bulba coming the other way and joining Secret.

So now, on July 22nd 2016 Team Secret are as (in order of farm priority) ; Arteezy (1 / 2), Eternal-Envy (1 / 2), Bulba (3), Puppey (4) and Pieliedie (5).

The Supports

So, Team Secret’s position 4 support is Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, one of the most respected and skilled players in Dota history. Starting in Dota 1, he built up a reputation as one of the best drafters in the game. Bringing new and exciting strategies to the game, and setting the precedent for all other teams. He’s only ever played for 1 other Dota 2 team – Na’vi.

He was Na’vi’s captain and support during their glory years. Winning the first ever International and placing second at the next two, there isn’t much he hasn’t won. He’s known to be an incredibly versatile player, but his specialities lie mainly with jungling heroes. Many would argue that he plays the best Chen, Enchantress and Enigma of anyone in Dota 2. All heroes who start the game in the jungle and use the jungle creeps to pressure lanes early. A good player on any of these heroes has the capability to win all 3 lanes during the early game for your team. Which is something Puppey will regularly do. This short game demonstrates exactly what he’s capable of on the hero.

Puppey is the player that holds the team together. He is one of the few captains with the capability of reining in some of the more extreme egos on his team and focus them on one common goal. You can be sure that whatever is happening in the game he will always be calm, collected and have a plan in mind.

Johan “Pieliedie” Åström is Team Secrets position 5 support. So basically, he has no gold all game long. He’s one of the best in the world at this. In a past interview Eternal-Envy goes as far as to label Pieliedie as “the best player in the world” during the MLG Columbus tournament.

Fitting with his name, Pieliedie dies in game a lot. He can regularly be found either dying to save one of his team mates, dying to gain information about where the enemy team are, or dying while being used as bait for a strategy being employed by his team. While he’s one of the players you can easily bet on to die over 10 times during a game, literally none of these deaths will be meaningless. He makes sure that his loss is almost always to the gain of somebody else on his team. This is why he is considered such an incredible support player. Because he does exactly what you, as a core, want your support players to do.

While at Cloud 9 he played the same role with carry Eternal-Envy, and this friendship can clearly be seen in the game and is an asset to them massively. Although, following a poor run of results he was kicked from Cloud 9 and went through a few tier 2 teams trying to make something work. He got his big break after TI5 when Team Secret came knocking, and I’m sure he hasn’t looked back since.

His signature heroes include Lion and Bounty Hunter. Two heroes that he can, and often does absolutely dominate games on. During the Shanghai Major he was picked Lion almost every game, and was, unanimously (and unofficially) voted as the best player of the tournament.

Team Secret 4

The Carry Players

Now, Artour “Arteezy” Babaev. Love him or hate him, he is, at his peak, one of the best players in the game, known to be a particularly explosive carry player with a personality to match. He is the golden-boy of Dota 2. He boasts a huge following online, with fans in large number from every corner of the globe. And of course, there are reasons for this world-spanning fan base. When he’s at his best he can match, and generally beat anyone.

As a fairly young player, he burst onto the scene as a standin for Cloud 9 (then Speed Gaming) during MLG Columbus. A tournament that they went on to win. From there he’s had multiple spells at both Evil Geniuses and Team Secret, winning almost every tournament there is to be won, apart from an International.

He’s known for playing heroes that require huge amounts of farm, but can eventually dominate games, such as Lycan, Shadow Fiend and Outworld Devourer. However he is very capable of playing most heroes in the game, boasting an extremely large hero pool. He’s also, at this moment, the highest ranked player (in terms of Match Making Rating) of any player in Dota, sitting at over 9000 MMR.

While he is an incredible talent in a proper competitive environment, what people love most about Arteezy is his personal stream. He was one of the top streamers on twitch, and the top streamer for Dota 2, until he took a break from it earlier this year. His stream is known for his very odd taste in music, unbelievable skill and just for being a pretty funny guy. While streaming as well he’ll often find himself in some pretty odd situations.

Finally, Team Secret’s carry player, Jacky “Eternal-Envy” Mao. Envy has been a part of the Dota 2 scene for a long time. Since it’s inception, and has forged a path to becoming one of the best carry players in the game. This sometimes can be debated however, due to his tendency of making game losing mistakes. This is something that he is often criticised for by Dota fans. Especially because the vast majority of the mistakes would come in the late game while playing on team Cloud 9. Cloud 9 were a team who would often play for the late game… so the issue there is fairly clear.

While this may be the case, it’s an issue that Envy has clearly worked on over the years and he has moulded himself into a leading figure in Dota. While on team Cloud 9 the team and Envy were known by the community as being “cursed” to only ever finish in second place during major tournaments. After a dismal performance at TI5 he left the team and joined Team Secret. Winning 3 major tournaments while on Secret; I think it’s safe to say the curse is broken.

Eternal-Envy has also, in the past, had an extremely popular Dota stream. Lover of anime and Japanese culture. He plays the game with his Dota set to Japanese and playing weird Japanese pop music while he streams. Envy plays heroes that need lots of farm to operate, and also for his ability to farm extremely efficiently. It’s not uncommon for him to be cemented to the top of the net-worth graph for a whole game. His signature heroes include Luna, Terrorblade and Gyrocopter, his Terrorblade being one of the best in the world. He’s another player who doesn’t follow the meta of the game, but instead creates it. He was the player who brought carry Naga Siren to competitive Dota, whether that’s a good thing; debatable.

Team Secret 3


Offlane

Secret’s offlaner, Kanishka ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosale, hasn’t been on the team long enough to really make any judgement. But from the little bits we’ve seen from him, he looks to be the stable offlaner, capable of making big plays, that Secret were desperately crying out for.

His career in Dota has been an odd one. Before this year he had never really been a player for any tier 1 teams capable of winning and International. Now, finding himself on Team Secret after the EG-Secret roster madness. Could he be the player to stabilise this current team secret?

He has been to two International’s with the former Team Liquid, so is absolutely good enough and deserves to be there. Also, from TI3, who can forget this moment…?

Well, that was Team Secret. Battling their way into the International 6 through the open qualifiers, so are fully deserving of their spot. I genuinely believe that they have the capability to finish in the top 5 of the tournament. A team full of potential and star players. This International we’ll see if they’ve worked out the kinks and can be a top team again.

Will this be the year that Arteezy finally wins an international?