There’s more solid news in this entry and less speculation. First of all, the big news was that Burning left iG and transferred to ViCi Gaming to replace Hao only a few days after stating that Burning would stay with the organisation. This, of course, also puts Chaun under pressure as he stated recently that, if he doesn’t get to play with the people he wants (Burning and Ferrari_430) he will seriously consider retiring from professional Dota 2. I speculate, however, that Chaun is just blowing off steam to try and keep Burning with iG. They’re obviously good friends and Burning is an exceptional carry player but Chaun won’t give up professional Dota 2. He might take a break, much like Burning did when he “retired” after TI4, but I don’t see him staying away from the scene for long considering that he is one of the most loved Chinese supports players in the scene, captaining his own All-Star team after all. I am more inclined to question ViCi’s decision to replace Hao, someone who got them a 4th place at TI5 while iG came only 9th-12th. There are many things to say about that and I don’t want to get bogged down, but it is worth saying that Hao and Burning played very well throughout TI5, Burning particularly well against Secret in their 2-1 defeat and, actually, Chaun not so much.
Vega Squadron, a team who got knocked out of the Wildcard matches and so never reached the Group Stages, has announced that they will keep their current roster, which I commend them for doing. Dota 2 is infamous for constant reshuffles of teams after bad results, particularly if you look to Na’Vi over the past few months, and it rarely gives players who are having a rough time or are just outmatched by the current patch. It’s also worth saying that Vega played very well in the open qualifiers and in the months leading up to it but, when they got to the Wildcard matches, all 4 Wildcard teams played woefully, nowhere near their usual standard. It might have been nerves and I hope that, with a bit more time, Vega can fix this.
And finally, of course, the big news of the weekend. Team Secret revealed their roster: They retain Puppey, as expected, get rid of S4, as expected, and also get rid of Kuroky which, after the comments Arteezy made about him and his mildly famous dispute with XBOCT in TI3, was not particularly surprising and I think, when it comes to kky finding a new team, he will have to form it himself and start from the bottom because there are no professional players who would want to play with someone who has been described as “the most cancerous player I’ve ever played with,” by someone as easygoing as Arteezy. He will need 4 people who worship him rather than 4 equals who just want to work together and play some Dota. But anyway, to the lineup. This is how I imagine their positions are going to be.
- Puppey (Captain)
They are yet to state whether Puppey will remain as captain of Secret, however, EternalEnvy has expressed that he wants to avoid the stresses of captaining a team. The most surprising thing here, for me, is W33ha’s addition to the professional Dota 2 scene. He was with a team called Balkan Bears Corleone for a while and has switched teams a few times this year without really finding his place. He has been very quiet recently. He became the first person in the world to get 8000 MMR a few weeks ago, and then lost about 500 MMR very quickly, probably because he kept coming up against Miracle who has become the second person to get 8000 MMR. Anyway, I think Puppey, with his years of experience and ability to quickly find working strategies for new patches, will work well with W33, and will be able to harness his natural talent and huge hero pool to create yet another world beating team. Misery is the 2nd ExC9 player on the team and GosuGamers seem to think that he will play in the offlane. While I think this is most likely, I do think there is an alternative: Misery mid, W33 carry and EternalEnvy offlane. He has already stated that he doesn’t want the stresses of captaining a team but it is also possible, I think, that he will switch roles and begin to play a different position, especially since, like W33, he has a very broad hero pool.
Then of course we come to the support duo of PieLieDie and Puppey. I don’t think there’s really much to say here. They will both be 4/5 position but I would imagine Puppey is still their jungler with his patented Chen and Enigma. PieLieDie is far more suited to a roaming support player, which works very well with both the current patch and EternalEnvy’s/W33’s playstyle. He also has some experience captaining a team, having captained Team Tinkey/Mousesport for a brief period, however, there is no doubt in my mind that Puppey will continue to be captain, especially since Secret is his brainchild most of all.