Western European Dota 2 stalwarts Team Secret revealed their new roster for the upcoming season on Thursday (9 November) featuring two returning players and a new coach.
Malaysian midlaner Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng and Czech offlaner Miroslav "BOOM" Bičan have returned to Secret while Malaysian coach Tue "ah fu" Soon Chuan joins the team as their new coach.
MidOne had been Secret's midlaner from 2016 to 2019 before a short stint with OG from 2020 to 2021, after which he returned to Southeast Asia and played with Team SMG from April 2021 until his return to Secret. On the other hand, BOOM first joined Secret last December then left in June this year before rejoining the squad.
Meanwhile, Secret's longtime South Korean coach Lee "Heen" Seung Gon has taken a break and ceded his post to ah fu. Filipino midlaner Armel "Armel" Tabios has also been moved to Secret's inactive roster to facilitate his transfer to a new team.
Dutch carry player Remco "Crystallis" Arets, Russian position 4 support player Daniyal "yamich" Lazebnyy, and legendary captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov retain their places in the roster.
The Road to Kuala Lumpur starts here.
🇲🇾 ah fu pic.twitter.com/NlTTzwEGwU
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) November 9, 2023
Secret's decision to forego an expected rebuild and instead head into the next season with two returning players comes after what is arguably the worst year in terms of results for the organisation.
Following their second place finish at TI 2022, Secret lost superstar midlaner Michał "Nisha" Jankowski to Team Liquid, which many saw as the core reason behind the team's struggles this past season.
The team signed BOOM to replace Nisha, but he struggled to fill the massive shoes left behind by his predecessor.
A mere three months after TI 2022, Secret were relegated to Division II for the first time this season as they finished dead last in the Winter Tour regional league with an abysmal 1-6 record.
Following that horrid start, Secret parted ways with Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok and Bakyt "Zayac" Emilzhanov in early March. They were replaced by Armel and yamich, who took over as the midlaner and position 4 support, respectively. With Armel in the fold, BOOM was also shifted to the offlane role.
Secret then regained its spot in Division I after finishing the Division II Spring Tour regional league in first place with a 6-1 record. However, they were quickly relegated back to Division II after finishing the Division I Summer Tour regional league dead last once again with a pitiful 1-6 record.
In one last bid to improve the roster ahead of the The International (TI) 2023 regional qualifiers, Secret parted ways with BOOM and acquired Saieful "Fbz" Ilham on loan from Southeast Asia's BOOM Esports.
However, Secret were knocked out of the regional qualifiers by Quest Esports, a disappointing end to an already abysmal season that stung all the more when considering it ended Puppey's legendary streak of competing in every TI since Dota 2 esports began.
Secret's new look roster is set to make their debut later this month in the Western European qualifier for ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023, which will be the last big Dota 2 tournament of the year in December and features a US$1 million prize pool.
Team Secret Dota 2 roster:
Remco "Crystallis" Arets
Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng
Miroslav "BOOM" Bičan
Daniyal "yamich" Lazebnyy
Clement "Puppey" Ivanov
Tue "ah fu" Soon Chuan (coach)