After its 2-0 victory Tuesday in the StarLadder qualifiers against OG, Team Secret is now qualified for the first three events of the 2017-18 competitive season. This win came after two other impressive runs through the qualifiers of the ESL Hamburg Major and the PGL Bucharest Minor, where Secret defeated SFT esports and mousesports, respectively.
In the qualifiers for the first Major, ESL One Hamburg, Team Secret didn’t drop a single game on their way to victory. With Team Liquid receiving a direct invite to the event, the only other established teams participating besides Secret were OG, Hellraisers and mousesports. Thanks to SFT esports upsetting OG, Secret never had to play them on their road to qualifying. Secret’s record remained untarnished as they plowed through the PGL Bucharest qualifiers. Here Secret was matched up against both Hellraisers and mousesports, and thoroughly beat them both into submission.
Secret’s only losses so far came in the qualifiers for StarLadder. Here they lost two games in the bracket, one to OG and another to mousesports. In both of those series, Secret managed to battle back after losing Game 1. Although winning 2-0 certainly sends a statement, coming back from a deficit is much more intimidating. Secret faced OG in again in the grand final, but this would prove to be another of Secret’s blowout 2-0 wins.
After finishing in 9th-12th place at The International 7, Team Secret decided to release both Pyo “MP” No-a and Maurice “KheZu” Gutmann. Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard and Adrian “Fata” Trinks stepped in to fill their spots for the upcoming season, with Fata moving into the role of offlane. So far, these two players have proven themselves to be more than worthy additions to the team. Fata is an experienced competitive player, so it didn’t come as much of a surprise that he has adapted well to a new team. Ace on the other hand is relatively unknown despite the fact that he has been playing for a long time, and for an equally long list of teams. Ace has consistently stood out on his teams as a very reliable carry player, and Puppey has been exploiting that extremely well.
With Team Liquid either attending events as a direct invite or choosing to not participate, Secret have carved out a spot for themselves as a clear contender in Europe, and the number two team behind Liquid in the region. This feat is made even more impressive by the results from other regions. North America and China had a different team from each region qualify. In the CIS and SEA regions, Na’Vi and Mineski secured both Minor qualifiers but failed to make it to the Major. For Secret to dominate in the way that it did at such a volatile point in competitive Dota 2 is an extremely impressive feat.