11 years is more than a good run for the Dota 2 legend.
The last rounds of The International regional qualifiers have closed with a shocking outcome. For the first time in his Dota 2 career, Team Secret’s Clement “Puppey” Ivanov will not be attending The International.
Team Secret fell to Quest Esports in the lower bracket semifinals of the Western Europe qualifiers. Quest Esports would eventually take the final regional qualifier spot over Luna Galaxy. It was a tough loss for the team but the 33-year-old veteran is taking it in stride.
That wasn’t the only upset on the final day of the qualifiers. The Philippine’s Blacklist International was bested by Team SMG in the grand finals of the Southeast Asia qualifiers.
Blacklist were doing exceptionally well, beating every team 2-0, until they were swept by SMG in the upper bracket finals. After establishing dominance again against Geek Fam, Blacklist would suffer another sweep by the hands of SMG, dashing the hopes of an all-Pinoy team making it back to The International.
The TI 20 is locked in
Through the tragedy of Puppey’s 11-year run coming to a close, we finally have The International’s 20 teams.
Tundra Esports returns to defend their title and are looking stronger than they’ve ever been. They’ll have to contend with Team Liquid and Gaimin Gladiators however as West Europe continues to look like the strongest region.
South America is staking its claim in The International with Peru and Brazil having the second and fourth-highest number of representing players this year. The Philippines has dwindled to three but these are long-time veterans Abed Yusop, Kim “Gabbi” Santos, and Januel Arcilla.
It will be strange to watch The International without Team Secret or Puppey to root for. It’s been a year of great change to Dota 2 and there may even be a new champion getting crowned later this October.
Banner photo by Team Secret.