Team Secret's unrealised potential: Try again, fail again, fail better

Assembling a roster, a star studded one at that, and failing miserably, not once but twice, is the perfect way to describe Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s Team Secret.

The European giants now find themselves in the lower echelons in the DPC 2021-22 WEU Division I Tour 2; a position that almost comfortably curated their path towards relegation to Division II.

The famed roster of Team Secret has failed to live upto expectations after it announced the star studded roster in the new Dota Pro Circuit year. What seemed like the strongest roster, on paper, is being torn apart seamlessly by a thousand cuts.

The roster is star studded, no doubt. The individuals are extremely talented. No doubt. The skill ceiling is far beyond one’s given imagination. No doubt.

Yet the roster has failed to perform. Period.

Unable to capitalise the strength of the individuals, Team Secret has proved that a star studded roster is not always the recipe to success akin to many previous stacked rosters that have gone kaput.

Undefined playstyle

Team Secret’s playstyle has been largely undefined this year. There’s no clarity or the vision that augments a team to be on the path of becoming the best one.

As compared to last year, where Team Secret performed beyond expectations in the DPC 2020-21 and finished third at The International 10, this year has been a different story altogether.

Chaos, riddled with confusion, unable to synergize and having the inability to rule over their own emotions (read: gameplay) is proving to be a detriment to Puppey and company.

Unable to adapt to the meta

Having a creative genius such as Puppey, who has been at the forefront of grasping the meta changes, is not working well for Team Secret. Or maybe, he is just unable to adapt to the meta this year.

That might reflect on Team Secret’s poor performance over the course of two seasons in the current DPC year.

Image: Valve

They almost survived the onslaught in season one, and managed to stay alive in Division I.

The same story has repeated in Tour 2 as well with a paltry fifth place finish. A debacle to say the least.

Sumail has been drafting for Team Secret while Puppey has taken a backseat. It worked out fantastically well against two of the strongest teams in the DPC; Team Liquid and OG Esports, but suddenly the fad faded into oblivion as the misfortune had just started to seep in.

They also have a TI winning coach, Heen, amongst their ranks to guide them in the drafting phase. That also doesn’t seem to help much.

Who’s to be blamed here? We really don’t know.

Time to infuse fresh blood

Team Secret’s woes reveal a harsh truth about the ever evolving meta within the game. Having a stacked roster with veterans might not necessarily yield the desired results anymore.

The veterans might be tried and tested, and moulded into great players but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

Plucking a leaf out of OG’s page, who secured first place in DPC WEU 2021/22 Division I Tour 2, Team Secret should learn a thing or two, and grasp the idea of developing new talent on the grassroot level.

It is bound to pay off in the long run, if monitored carefully, and might just be the solution to the problem.

The floundering Team Secret needs to wake up or it’ll be too late, just like Team Nigma, who have been relegated to Division II.

Maybe third time’s the charm?

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