With every spot locked up for The International 2023 in October, teams are gearing up for other events that will run throughout September and serve as training or a trial for next season for players who will miss the event.
Team Secret is among the latter and has today enlisted SumaiL as both sides begin to feel out what their Dota 2 futures will look like.
Secret missed out on qualifying for TI12 in Europe with a fourth-place exit, leading to Puppey’s streak of attending every iteration of The International snapping. SumaiL’s tenure with Team Aster in China ended with an upset loss to Team Bright, leaving the top seed in that region’s qualifiers to finish in a tie for fifth.
Secret looked much better in the WEU TI12 qualifiers than they had during the regular season but it still wasn’t enough to break through some of the younger, more talented rosters.
SumaiL, likewise, looked solid with Aster but the star-studded Dota 2 team never really meshed and ended up falling well short of expectations at four consecutive events, including the Bali Major and TI12 qualifiers.
With both teams now sidelined for the remainder of the Dota Pro Circuit, Secret is attending BetBoom Dacha on Sept. 10 and will compete against a field of rosters that are TI-bound—and Nigma Galaxy. The org has opted not to break up its roster at the moment but is allowing its Southeast Asian transplant Armel to take some time off and visit family now that the season is over.
In his place, SumaiL will stand in for Secret at the event, with both Aster and Nigma agreeing to the arrangement.
This does look like Secret might be using the chaos as an opportunity to see how a top-tier talent like SumaiL could fit into its current lineup, meaning there is a non-zero chance Emporer SumaiL returns to Europe and joins Puppey on Secret next season, depending on how the rest of the landscape shakes up during and immediately after TI12.
That last bit is important since most teams, even those who won’t attend TI, wait until the dust has settled before trying to sign free agents or poach talent from other rosters.
Typically every major Dota 2 signing or big roster move is formally complete within two or three weeks post-TI, which in this case means roster shuffle season starts in full on Wednesday, Nov. 1—or at the TI afterparty.