Clement,Puppey” Ivanov drops an imposing figure. On stage, he stands 6 toes, 5 inches, comfortably the tallest participant on any correct-tier Dota 2 crew. He has shed the Fabio-style locks he sported early in his profession for a particular, cerebral mien, his brown hair simply a touch of curls now shut-cropped and huge face dominated by using professorial glasses.
but it surely is in game where his visage is most distinctive, and where his list of accomplishments really towers over competitors. He has gained 299 career video games maps in seasoned Dota 2 LAN hobbies, fourth most all-time and more than 60 more than the next closest Western participant. Of the 28 players on that list with more than 200 wins, only three, Ivanov and companionate super-captains Zhang.”Xiao8″ Ning and Gustav,s4″ Magnusson, boast catch fees of stronger than sixty five %. Of the seven Valve-subsidized Dota 2 tournaments due to the fact that the online game’s delivery four Internationals held in Seattle, one in Germany and, new this year, two Majors in Frankfurt and Shanghai, Puppey has seemed in an amazing five grand finals, two greater than any other player his former Natus Vincere teammates Danil.”Dendi” Ishutin and Alexander,XBOCT” Dashkevich have three each.
Early on Sunday, March 6, Ivanov stood on stage in Shanghai and held aloft a trophy fashioned in the likeness of a crystal Mystic workforce to the pride of a roaring chinese language crowd. it’s his thirty fourth pro Dota 2 event lift, greater than another lively player Gustav.”s4″ Magnusson has 32. it is quite perhaps his impossible. And it is this seize that makes him, essentially definitely by means of a large margin, the surest captain in expert Dota 2 background.
The all-stars that weren’t
It wasn’t imagined to ensue this way. Eight months ago, crew Secret stormed into Seattle as close-prohibitive favorites on the international 2015, which at greater than $18 million boasted via a long https://sedayubet.org way the richest prize pool in esports heritage. Their roster become a professional Dota 2 all-megastar team, that includes, at the time, the 4 highest capture percentage gamers ever with a hundred-plus Dota 2 LAN video games played Ivanov, Magnusson, Artour,Arteezy” Babaev and Ludwig,Zai” Wåhlberg. Secret’s fifth player, Kuro Salehi.”KuroKy” Takhasomi, had been Puppey’s assist companion for 2 years with Na’Vi, and headquartered group Secret with Puppey after the pair’s departure following TI4.
Kuroky is himself considered one of the vital versatile gamers and most fulfilling leaders on the professional scene, and his career is linked inextricably with Puppey’s. Coming into TI5, Secret had gained an extraordinary 4 straight LAN routine in three months in opposition t overseas competition.
Their run started in San Francisco with a dramatic three-2 victory on the RedBull battle Grounds towards Invictus Gaming. Their roster on the time featured arguably the most adorned lift Xu.”BurNIng” Zhilei, mid Luo.”Ferrari 430″ Feichi and assist duo Wong Hock.”ChuaN” and Zeng.”religion” Hongda in chinese Dota 2 background. The streak culminated in Germany with a dominating three-1 engage at ESL One Frankfurt over an irascible Geniuses squad that simply months before won the Dota 2 Asia Championships, at greater than $three million the largest prize pool ever backyard of The overseas. with the aid of late July, Dota 2 lovers and analysts alike pretty much vibrated with expectations of a Secret vs. EG rematch within the TI5 final.
The rematch in no way materialized. suffering from drafting and private concerns, Secret suffered a lopsided 2-0 defeat to rising chinese vigor EHOME in the winner’s bracket of the leading adventure. After clawing out a 2-1 select over the same iG squad they’d overwhelmed in may, they had been upset 2-1 with the aid of CIS team Virtus professional, which put up little resistance in a 2-0 sequence loss to LGD. Arteezy, considered via many as the most talented player within the video game, looked as if it would interact in a shouting match with KuroKy on stage internal the team’s booth. Secret, the presumptive favorites, left the main adventure as barely a footnote, with only three wins in eight matches, finishing in a tie for seventh region in a 16-crew container.
The aftermath of TI5 changed into, if anything, even more devastating for Secret and its lovers than their failed tournament run. submit-mortems concentrated round questions about the crew’s management. S4 had taken over drafting tasks from Puppey prior in the summer, which at the time perceived to key the group’s awesome LAN run. After TI5, arguably his poorest career performance on a major stage, s4 changed into released from the group. He eventually resumed management of the Alliance squad he captained to victory over Puppey’s Na’Vi crew at the international 2013. In a surprising announcement, Zai, viewed by means of some as a talent equal to or possibly even better than Arteezy, declared he would select time off from competitive Dota 2 to conclude college. Arteezy and KuroKy endured their battle after the match, escalating on streams and neighbourly media. Artour soon announced his return to injurious Geniuses, while Kuro left the crew to collect a promising younger roster that could eventually turn into the present team Liquid. Of the 5 all-stars, only Puppey remained.
For all his accomplishments to that element, Puppey confronted serious questions about his listing as captain. although a champion of the primary international in 2011, Puppey had joined Natus Vincere simplest months earlier than, leaving a GG.internet crew he’d shared with KuroKy who would later rejoin Puppey on Na’Vi’s roster just before TI3.
Na’Vi were given their Dota 2 beta keys only three weeks earlier than the experience, and Ivan,Artstyle” Antonov, no longer Puppey, captained the crew in their brilliant undefeated TI1 run. despite main Na’Vi to 2 more back-to-back Internationals Grand Finals in 2012 and 2013, Puppey’s squad would lose each sequence, three-1 to iG and 3-2 to Alliance. Puppey’s signature drafting trend, frequently intentionally enabling opposing teams to decide upon their signature heroes or techniques, become criticized following each activities.
The yr before, in 2014, Puppey had captained a fractured Na’Vi squad to a seventheighth-place finish in a sixteen-crew container, dropping to a Cloud9 squad captained by means of Jacky.”EternaLEnVy” Mao and stabilized through Johan,pieliedie” Åström’s constant assist play. it would be Puppey’s final series with Na’Vi; he and KuroKy announced their departures automatically after the experience, founding group Secret presently thereafter. within the practically two years considering that, Na’Vi has not ever once more found the level of success they loved with Puppey on their roster. TI5 marked Puppey’s second straight seventheighth-location finish on the overseas. And, for a second straight year, his team fell apart in a while.
Rebuilding grew to become reloading
Following TI5, team Secret launched into what many assumed could be a prolonged rebuilding phase. Puppey recruited former C9 teammates pieliedie, EternaLEnVy, and Rasmus.”distress” Filipsen, and, after allegedly being grew to become down by way of at least one probably a few greater admired avid gamers, settled on Aliwi,w33″ Omar to play the critical mid-lane role. whereas the outdated crew Secret became an all-superstar crew, this roster changed into far from adorned. EnVy and distress had disappointed themselves at TI5, finishing within the bottom half of the container on a C9 squad that, despite being highly rated by using many coming into the event, did not select a single suit at the main event.
EternalEnVy, “EE-sama” to his lovers, is himself one of the most quick-witted and controversial figures in professional Dota 2. If he, in many ways, epitomizes the gamer stereotype he’s a self-described Otaku, excessive introvert, and sometimes socially awkward. He also typifies the different, constantly untold a part of that stereotype: he is a tremendously quick-witted former engineering student with a singular focal point and an stunning analytical mind. EnVy’s profession all started in 2012 with the founding of No Tidehunter, a gifted however distinctly unseasoned squad.
presently after their first public appearances, their roster featured 4 Swedish stars, including s4, and the Canadian EnVy. regardless of fantastic success, with first-location finishes in 5 of the eight Dota 2 tournaments through which they competed, EnVy was released from the roster in February 2013. Six weeks later, the then all-Swedish roster renamed itself Alliance and dominated The foreign 2013, going 20-1 in the tournament before triumphing three-2 in opposition t Puppey’s Na’Vi within the Grand Finals.
largely perceived as a wonderful ability, EternalEnVy remained a polarizing determine. on the time he joined Secret, he had only one career victory in an enormous LAN, which got here in late 2013 at MLG Columbus, and became a coming out birthday celebration for budding younger celebrity Arteezy, who played as a latest-minute stand-in for the group and showed dominant individual kind. The team, subsidized officially several months later via Cloud9, became innoted for a string of 2nd-region finishes in excessive-profile tournaments. although due to this fact praised by means of teammates for his leadership function on Cloud9, EnVy’s individual numbers were mediocre at optimal for a true raise-position player, and his individual in-online game selections were labeled inconsistent by using many critics.
Secret’s different three acquisitions additionally stirred debate among seasoned Dota 2 insiders. distress, a veteran player who entered the professional Dota scene in 2008 and served a short stint with Secret in late 2014 and early 2015, was himself the field of controversy after the announcement that he could be switching to the complicated off-lane function after a number of years taking part in normally assist.
Pieliedie, who had been replaced through misery on Cloud9’s roster in January 2015, had also performed knowledgeable Dota in view that the late 2000s, but like EnVy, the MLG Columbus catch with EnVy and Artour changed into with the aid of a long way the biggest on his résumé. W33, a 20-12 months historic Syrian-born Romanian citizen, was favourite to many in all probability even most lovers with the aid of the derisive nickname.”w33fresh,” won after an unfortunate dishonest incident in a excessive-stage European in-residence league fit prior within the year the online game turned into a.”vouching match,” considered via some avid gamers as a formality, and didn’t impact standings in the league.
against the percentages, Secret became probably the most normally a success group in closing year’s submit-TI length. After their new roster’s controversial direct invite to ESL: manhattan in October, the squad defeated FNATIC and TI5 runners-up CDEC, falling 2-1 within the finals to the dazzling younger CIS team, Vega Squadron. W33 showed flashes of actual brilliance on Windrunner as well as his signature Meepo. misery’s originally shaky off-lane play right away solidified, with his stellar Slardar play cementing the hero all through the scene as one of the most top picks within the off-lane position.
EnVy, seemingly beginning to know the skills many had seen in him, almost single-handedly introduced Ember Spirit lower back into the metagame as a achievable protected lane elevate, compiling a gaudy 17-4 record on the hero. Secret followed their second-vicinity displaying in ny with back-to-lower back wins at elite international LANs: over accurate chinese language team Vici Gaming on the Nanyang Championships and over TI5 Champion ghastly Geniuses on the MLG World Finals in New Orleans. Pieliedie’s aid play is as constant as ever, and the notoriously stoic Swede finally shows joy on stage, wrapping Puppey in a endure hug after the group’s occupy in Nanyang. regardless of the latter’s outdated captaincy, Puppey, now not EnVy, is the undisputed chief of the crew, which showed consistent excellence in each drafting and in-online game resolution-making, the dual calling playing cards of the game’s first-rate captains.
with the aid of November, Secret, unbelievably, as soon as once more sat atop the Dota 2 world. they are again the favorites perhaps co-favorites with EG, this time on the Frankfurt major, the primary-ever Dota 2 Valve-backed event, anyway the first foreign, held outdoor of Seattle apartfootnote: The Dota 2 Asia Championships, held early in 2015, were hosted by means of Valve’s chinese language distribution accomplice ideal World. And this time, they don’t disappoint. They entire at the properly of their neighborhood, and roll during the winner’s bracket, reprising their victories over VG and EG in dramatic 2-1 sequence.
They performed desirable Dota, dominating on the same heroes who received them two straight movements, with a couple of surprises, together with EnVy’s Huskar and pieliedie help Tiny, thrown in to wow the German crowd. by the event’s ultimate day, they sat anticipating the winner of EG vs. OG in the lower-bracket remaining. OG, like Secret a talented roster shaped in the wake of TI5, featured Johan,BigDaddyN0tail” Sundstein and Tal.”Fly” Aizik, two of the founding contributors of group Secret with Puppey and KuroKy, as well as budding younger celeb Amer,Miracle” al-Barqawi, an 8k MMR pub phenom rumored to had been among the many most eye-catching players in the publish-TI5 roster scramble.
as soon as once more, it is not to be for Puppey and his squad. OG stun EG within the loser’s bracket ultimate, 2-1, denying a a lot expected rematch. The Grand Finals rapidly turned bitter for Secret, with their assist Tiny approach failing disastrously within the opening fit in a 32-minute loss. video game 2 is challenging-fought, and at more than sixty five minutes the third longest of the event, but OG be successful behind Miracle on Alchemist.
Secret managed to beat Miracle’s already close-legendary Shadow Fiend in online game 3, however OG go again to it in game four, and this time, Secret run out of solutions. just like the opening fit, online game 4 ends before 35 minutes, and OG develop into the Frankfurt most important Champions. The three ex-Cloud9 avid gamers on Secret’s roster once once more entire in 2d area. it’s the third time in exactly five tries that Puppey has captained a team to the Grand Finals of a multimillion-dollar Valve subsidized adventure. It became also his third straight loss.
reside tuned for part two of There and returned again – Clement,Puppey” Ivanov and group Secret the next day, the place Nahaz explores team Secret put up-Frankfurt and chronicles the first section of their dramatic run in Shanghai.