Team Secret retool Dota 2 squad for 2024, farewell MidOne just 2 months after his return

After missing Dota 2’s The International 2023 and a seventh-place finish at ESL One Kuala Lumpur, Puppey’s Team Secret has been forced into multiple changes for the 2024 season, farewelling Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng and welcoming Singaporean junior Teng “Kordan” Tjin Yao into the mid lane.

MidOne’s departure comes as a bit of a shock as he had only just returned to Team Secret in late 2023 after three years at OG and Team SMG. The veteran core player now finds himself without a team as the new season approaches—but all eyes will be on his 21-year-old replacement in the interim.

Kordan is quite an unknown quantity compared to his predecessor. The Singaporean has headed up Bleed Esports throughout 2023, playing with true veterans of SEA Dota such as Daryl “iceiceice” Koh and Kim “DuBu” Doo-young. The team worked its way through the Dota Pro Circuit to clinch the Tour Three title in June over the likes of Blacklist International and Execration and secure an appearance at their “home” Major in Bali.

Despite wins against BetBoom and Azure Ray, Kordan and Bleed would fall short of a playoff appearance after a lost tiebreaker, then fell a month later in the quest for SEA’s sole spot at TI 2023. Despite this, Kordan continued to make a name for himself in the mid lane and became quite the pub star. Now he’s getting an opportunity with one of the biggest names in Dota in Secret.

Joining him is Marcel “Ekki” Hołowienko, who held the assistant coach role at Secret last September before departing to Wisla Krakow and TSM. His return to Secret this week won’t be in a coaching position, however, with the Polish player handed the support role. Ekki will be replacing Daniyal “yamich” Lazebnyy who moves to the bench after nearly a year with the squad.

Expectations remain low for Secret, but with a myriad of other roster changes occurring over the past few weeks in the leadup to 2024’s commencement of the ESL Pro Tour, now might be the time for a Puppey-led underdog side to strike.

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