After the disappointment of The International 2023 in Dota 2 and a seventh-place finish at ESL One Kuala Lumpur, Team Secret, led by Puppey, had to make some changes before the start of the 2024 season. The team bid farewell to Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng and brought in a young Singaporean player, Teng “Kordan” Tjin Yao, to take his place as the midlaner. MidOne’s departure came as a surprise to everyone, as he had just returned to Team Secret at the end of 2023 after three years with OG and Team SMG. Now the veteran finds himself without a team as the new season approaches, but all the attention is focused on his 21-year-old replacement, albeit on a temporary basis.
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New Team Secret lineup
Let’s be frank, Kordan is still relatively unknown compared to his predecessor. The Singaporean led Bleed Esports throughout 2023, playing alongside seasoned SEA Dota veterans like Daryl “iceiceice” Koh and Kim “DuBu” Doo-young. The team found success in the Dota Pro Circuit, winning the Tour Three title in June by defeating Blacklist International and Execration, securing their spot in the “home” Major in Bali.
Despite victories over BetBoom and Azure Ray, Kordan and Bleed failed to make it to the playoffs after losing a tiebreaker and then, a month later, fell short in the battle for the sole SEA slot at TI 2023. Nevertheless, Kordan continued to build his reputation in the midlane and became a star in pub games. Now he has the opportunity to play for one of the biggest teams in Dota, Team Secret.
New coach of Team Secret
Joining him will be Marcel “Ekki” Holovienko, who held the position of assistant coach at Secret last September before moving to Wisla Krakow and TSM. However, his return to Secret this time is not related to a coaching role, as the Polish player will take on the support position. Ekki will replace Daniil “yamich” Lazebny, who will be benched after a year in the team’s main lineup.
In reality, it is now rare to find those who have great faith in Secret’s success. Yes, there are always chances for this lineup to shine, but to be frank, those chances remain relatively low. Considering the numerous other roster changes that have occurred in the past few weeks leading up to the start of the ESL Pro Tour 2024, Puppey will need to exert tremendous efforts to make a splash in all competitions.