Clement.”Puppey” Ivanov decrements an imposing determine. On stage, he stands 6 toes, 5 inches, with ease the tallest player on any precise-tier Dota 2 team. He has shed the Fabio-vogue locks he sported early in his profession for a particular, cerebral mien, his brown hair simply a touch of curls now shut-cropped and vast face dominated by way of professorial glasses.
but it surely is in video game the place his visage is most dissimilar, and where his listing of accomplishments truly towers over competitors. He has won 299 career video games maps in professional Dota 2 LAN hobbies, fourth most all-time and greater than 60 greater than the subsequent closest Western player. Of the 28 players on that record with more than 200 wins, only three, Ivanov and chummy super-captains Zhang.”Xiao8″ Ning and Gustav.”s4″ Magnusson, boast remove costs of more suitable than 65 %. Of the seven Valve-sponsored Dota 2 tournaments in view that the video game’s birth 4 Internationals held in Seattle, one in Germany and, new this 12 months, two Majors in Frankfurt and Shanghai, Puppey has looked in a fantastic 5 grand finals, two more than every other participant his former Natus Vincere teammates Danil,Dendi” Ishutin and Alexander.”XBOCT” Dashkevich have three every.
Early on Sunday, March 6, Ivanov stood on stage in https://sedayubet.org Shanghai and held aloft a trophy original in the likeness of a crystal Mystic personnel to the pride of a roaring chinese crowd. it’s his thirty fourth seasoned Dota 2 event engage, more than every other active player Gustav,s4″ Magnusson has 32. it is reasonably might be his most unlikely. And it is that this select that makes him, essentially certainly through a large margin, the optimal captain in knowledgeable Dota 2 history.
The all-stars that weren’t
It wasn’t supposed to ensue this manner. Eight months ago, group Secret stormed into Seattle as near-prohibitive favorites on the foreign 2015, which at greater than $18 million boasted by a ways the richest prize pool in esports heritage. Their roster was knowledgeable Dota 2 all-big name group, featuring, on the time, the four optimum purchase percent avid gamers ever with one 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 support associate for 2 years with Na’Vi, and situated group Secret with Puppey after the pair’s departure following TI4.
Kuroky is himself regarded one of the most versatile gamers and most advantageous leaders on the professional scene, and his profession is linked inextricably with Puppey’s. Coming into TI5, Secret had gained an exceptional four straight LAN hobbies in three months towards international competition.
Their run begun in San Francisco with a dramatic three-2 victory on the RedBull fight Grounds towards Invictus Gaming. Their roster at the time featured arguably the most embellished elevate Xu.”BurNIng” Zhilei, mid Luo,Ferrari 430″ Feichi and support duo Wong Hock,ChuaN” and Zeng,religion” Hongda in chinese language Dota 2 historical past. The streak culminated in Germany with a dominating 3-1 take at ESL One Frankfurt over an tainted Geniuses squad that simply months earlier than gained the Dota 2 Asia Championships, at greater than $three million the greatest prize pool ever backyard of The overseas. through late July, Dota 2 lovers and analysts alike well-nigh vibrated with expectations of a Secret vs. EG rematch in the TI5 last.
The rematch in no way materialized. affected by drafting and private issues, Secret suffered a lopsided 2-0 defeat to rising chinese language vigour EHOME within the winner’s bracket of the leading adventure. After clawing out a 2-1 capture over the identical iG squad they’d beaten in might also, they have been upset 2-1 with the aid of CIS crew Virtus pro, which put up little resistance in a 2-0 collection loss to LGD. Arteezy, considered by means of many as the most proficient player within the online game, perceived to engage in a shouting healthy with KuroKy on stage inner the crew’s sales space. Secret, the presumptive favorites, left the main adventure as barely a footnote, with most effective three wins in eight matches, completing in a tie for seventh vicinity in a 16-group field.
The aftermath of TI5 turned into, if the rest, much more devastating for Secret and its lovers than their failed event run. publish-mortems concentrated around questions about the group’s management. S4 had taken over drafting obligations from Puppey earlier in the summer, which on the time looked as if it would key the group’s fabulous LAN run. After TI5, arguably his poorest profession efficiency on a big stage, s4 turned into launched from the team. He finally resumed leadership of the Alliance squad he captained to victory over Puppey’s Na’Vi crew on the foreign 2013. In a stunning announcement, Zai, considered with the aid of some as a skill equal to or most likely even stronger than Arteezy, declared he would bewitch day without work from competitive Dota 2 to conclude college. Arteezy and KuroKy endured their conflict after the tournament, escalating on streams and cozy media. Artour quickly announced his return to contemptible Geniuses, whereas Kuro left the team to assemble a promising young roster that might at last become the latest crew Liquid. Of the 5 all-stars, handiest Puppey remained.
For all his accomplishments to that aspect, Puppey confronted serious questions on his checklist as captain. notwithstanding a champion of the primary overseas in 2011, Puppey had joined Natus Vincere simplest months before, leaving a GG.internet group he’d shared with KuroKy who would later rejoin Puppey on Na’Vi’s roster earlier than TI3.
Na’Vi were given their Dota 2 beta keys most effective three weeks before the event, and Ivan,Artstyle” Antonov, now not Puppey, captained the team in their spectacular undefeated TI1 run. despite main Na’Vi to 2 more again-to-returned Internationals Grand Finals in 2012 and 2013, Puppey’s squad would lose each sequence, 3-1 to iG and 3-2 to Alliance. Puppey’s signature drafting trend, commonly intentionally enabling opposing groups to select their signature heroes or options, was criticized following both movements.
The year before, in 2014, Puppey had captained a fractured Na’Vi squad to a seventheighth-location conclude in a sixteen-team container, losing to a Cloud9 squad captained through Jacky.”EternaLEnVy” Mao and stabilized through Johan.”pieliedie” Åström’s constant support play. it would be Puppey’s final sequence with Na’Vi; he and KuroKy introduced their departures immediately after the adventure, founding team Secret presently thereafter. in the virtually two years due to the fact, Na’Vi has never once again found the degree of success they enjoyed with Puppey on their roster. TI5 marked Puppey’s 2d straight seventheighth-vicinity conclude on the overseas. And, for a 2nd straight 12 months, his crew fell aside later on.
Rebuilding turned reloading
Following TI5, group Secret embarked on what many assumed could be a lengthy rebuilding section. Puppey recruited former C9 teammates pieliedie, EternaLEnVy, and Rasmus,misery” Filipsen, and, after allegedly being grew to become down by means of at least one possibly several greater in demand gamers, settled on Aliwi.”w33″ Omar to play the crucial mid-lane position. whereas the old group Secret changed into an all-big name team, this roster turned into far from decorated. EnVy and misery had disenchanted themselves at TI5, completing in the bottom half of the container on a C9 squad that, despite being highly rated by many coming into the match, failed to engage a single fit at the leading experience.
EternalEnVy, “EE-sama” to his fanatics, is himself one of the vital smart and controversial figures in professional Dota 2. If he, in many ways, epitomizes the gamer stereotype he is a self-described Otaku, excessive introvert, and often socially awkward. He also typifies the other, always untold a part of that stereotype: he is a enormously gleaming former engineering pupil with a novel focal point and an miraculous analytical mind. EnVy’s career started in 2012 with the founding of No Tidehunter, a proficient but exceedingly unseasoned squad.
presently after their first public appearances, their roster featured 4 Swedish stars, together with s4, and the Canadian EnVy. regardless of outstanding success, with first-region finishes in five of the eight Dota 2 tournaments wherein they competed, EnVy become launched from the roster in February 2013. Six weeks later, the then all-Swedish roster renamed itself Alliance and dominated The overseas 2013, going 20-1 in the event earlier than prevailing three-2 in opposition t Puppey’s Na’Vi within the Grand Finals.
widely perceived as a wonderful ability, EternalEnVy remained a polarizing determine. at the time he joined Secret, he had just one career victory in an immense LAN, which came in late 2013 at MLG Columbus, and became a popping out celebration for budding young celebrity Arteezy, who performed as a latest-minute stand-in for the team and confirmed dominant particular person kind. The crew, backed formally a number of months later by means of Cloud9, grew to become infamous for a string of second-place finishes in excessive-profile tournaments. although because of this praised by means of teammates for his leadership role on Cloud9, EnVy’s particular person numbers were mediocre at choicest for a appropriate lift-place player, and his individual in-online game selections have been labeled inconsistent through many critics.
Secret’s other three acquisitions additionally stirred debate amongst seasoned Dota 2 insiders. misery, a veteran player who entered the seasoned Dota scene in 2008 and served a short stint with Secret in late 2014 and early 2015, became himself the subject of controversy after the announcement that he can be switching to the tricky off-lane position after a few years taking part in typically support.
Pieliedie, who had been replaced by misery on Cloud9’s roster in January 2015, had additionally performed expert Dota because the late 2000s, but like EnVy, the MLG Columbus buy with EnVy and Artour become via a long way the biggest on his résumé. W33, a 20-12 months historical Syrian-born Romanian citizen, changed into familiar to many perhaps even most lovers with the aid of the derisive nickname,w33fresh,” gained after an unlucky dishonest incident in a excessive-stage European in-condominium league match past within the 12 months the video game become a.”vouching in shape,” viewed by means of some avid gamers as a formality, and didn’t have an impact on standings within the league.
in opposition t the odds, Secret became the most normally a hit team in last year’s publish-TI period. After their new roster’s controversial direct invite to ESL: ny in October, the squad defeated FNATIC and TI5 runners-up CDEC, falling 2-1 in the finals to the striking younger CIS group, Vega Squadron. W33 confirmed flashes of true brilliance on Windrunner in addition to his signature Meepo. misery’s firstly shaky off-lane play directly solidified, along with his stellar Slardar play cementing the hero all through the scene as some of the good picks within the off-lane role.
EnVy, seemingly beginning to recognize the competencies many had seen in him, basically single-handedly brought Ember Spirit back into the metagame as a viable protected lane lift, compiling a gaudy 17-four record on the hero. Secret adopted their second-region displaying in ny with lower back-to-returned wins at elite international LANs: over desirable chinese team Vici Gaming at the Nanyang Championships and over TI5 Champion defective Geniuses at the MLG World Finals in New Orleans. Pieliedie’s support play is as constant as ever, and the notoriously stoic Swede eventually indicates pleasure on stage, wrapping Puppey in a undergo hug after the crew’s assume in Nanyang. despite the latter’s outdated captaincy, Puppey, now not EnVy, is the undisputed leader of the team, which confirmed consistent excellence in both drafting and in-game choice-making, the dual calling playing cards of the video game’s excellent captains.
by using November, Secret, unbelievably, once once more sat atop the Dota 2 world. they are again the favorites perhaps co-favorites with EG, this time at the Frankfurt foremost, the first-ever Dota 2 Valve-sponsored tournament, besides the primary international, held backyard of Seattle apartfootnote: The Dota 2 Asia Championships, held early in 2015, have been hosted through Valve’s chinese distribution partner excellent World. And this time, they don’t disappoint. They comprehensive on the proper of their community, and roll through the winner’s bracket, reprising their victories over VG and EG in dramatic 2-1 series.
They performed captivating Dota, dominating on the equal heroes who gained them two straight routine, with just a few surprises, including EnVy’s Huskar and pieliedie guide Tiny, thrown in to wow the German crowd. by using the adventure’s remaining day, they sat expecting the winner of EG vs. OG in the reduce-bracket remaining. OG, like Secret a gifted roster formed in the wake of TI5, featured Johan.”BigDaddyN0tail” Sundstein and Tal,Fly” Aizik, two of the founding members of crew 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 appealing avid gamers within the publish-TI5 roster scramble.
as soon as again, it is not to be for Puppey and his squad. OG stun EG within the loser’s bracket remaining, 2-1, denying a a great deal anticipated rematch. The Grand Finals right now turned sour for Secret, with their help Tiny approach failing disastrously within the opening fit in a 32-minute loss. video game 2 is hard-fought, and at greater than 65 minutes the third longest of the adventure, but OG be triumphant behind Miracle on Alchemist.
Secret managed to beat Miracle’s already close-legendary Shadow Fiend in game 3, but OG go lower back to it in game four, and this time, Secret run out of solutions. like the opening in shape, video game four ends earlier than 35 minutes, and OG become the Frankfurt main Champions. The three ex-Cloud9 players on Secret’s roster as soon as once again accomplished in second location. it’s the third time in barely 5 tries that Puppey has captained a group to the Grand Finals of a multimillion-dollar Valve backed adventure. It became also his third straight loss.
dwell tuned for half two of There and lower back again – Clement.”Puppey” Ivanov and group Secret the following day, the place Nahaz explores crew Secret publish-Frankfurt and chronicles the primary section of their dramatic run in Shanghai.