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Always the favourites; Team Secret - three Major reviews

posted by EskayDota,
Since their formation, Team Secret have never faltered from being one of the best of the best teams, however their expectations and their success don’t always see eye to eye.
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Team Secret often finds themselves the favourites to win Valve events. Attending all but 2 Majors so far since 2015, there have been fleeting occasions where Secret have not been on the direct invite list. However, this doesn’t necessarily correlate to their success.

To have won as many as they have come second, it’s important to take time to look at the occurrences where Secret came close, but couldn’t take home the gold.

The Frankfurt Major 2015



After TI5, Secret parted ways with one of the most all-star line-ups imaginable. In the run-up to the first ever Valve event, Puppey put together an iconic cross-over roster, featuring EternalEnvy, pieliedie, w33 and Misery.

Secret went undefeated in the group stage of the competition, and set themselves up for an upper bracket run. Taking out Mineski, Vici and EG to secure themselves in the final, Secret were a difficult team to figure out. Mastermind drafting strategy and a wealth of individual talent, Puppey and co looked unstoppable.

It wouldn’t be Dota however, with an underdog story and a tale of revenge. Ex-Team Secret 1.0 members Fly and n0tail took their then-new team OG to the final through the lower bracket, where the two titans would face up against each other. In the first ever Valve major, 7 of the 10 players had already played for Team Secret.

They came painfully close, and would only have to wait 4 months before finding their first major success.



ESL One Hamburg 2017



Topping a group with EG, Fnatic and Newbee is never an easy ask regardless of the rosters. Team Secret once again swept aside their opponents, securing themselves a place in the semi-finals against Team Liquid.

Team Secret at this point consisted of a roster more persistent in recent memory, featuring Ace, MidOne, Fata, YapzOr and of course Puppey. Ace had recently joined the roster just a month before the ESL One Hamburg LAN, and was looking for success at his first major.

Unfortunately for Puppey and co, they would fall short for the silver position once more. This time, however, Secret would fall short to Virtus.pro, as they would take their first of now five Major victories. Establishing an interesting trend, Secret would bounce back and win the next Major; a feat they have accomplished for every second place finish in a Major.



Kuala Lumpur Major 2019



Now, most recently of course Team Secret finished runner up at the Kuala Lumpur Major. Once again with a revamped roster, Nisha and Zai replace Ace and Fata from the previous Major winning line-up. Of course, this new roster continued the trend of winning the next Major; Chongqing.

At this point, topping their group seems to almost represent a bad omen of sorts for Secret, as for all second place finishes overall, they have been first in their group. For each victory bar one, they came second in their group. The Kuala Lumpur Major would be no different.

Another successful run through the upper bracket saw Secret virtually undefeated all tournament. They were certainly, once more, one of the key favourites to take the competition from the beginning until the end. Once again bested by Virtus.pro in the final, it was an all too familiar story, as, despite beating VP in the upper bracket finals, they dropped the grand final 3 games to 2.

All in all, Secret have placed themselves second as many times as they have first, with every victory succeeding a near-win. With a frequency of almost 1 major every other year, many hopeful fans would look forward to seeing a break in the pattern, with one of the most promising and seemingly consistent Secret rosters we’ve seen to date.



Header image courtesy of: Team Secret

  • EskayDota

    EskayDota

    Sam Kennard
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