Puppey Explains Why He Reunited With MidOne
One of the most talked about roster moves in the aftermath of The International 12 (TI12) season involved the return of Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng and Miroslav "BOOM" Bičan to Team Secret. As part of a podcast shared by ESL during ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023, Secret's captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov talked about why he joined forces with MidOne again and roped in Tue "ah fu" Soon Chuan as the new coach. As Puppey explained, his brief period playing scrims with Team SMG before TI12 let him understand the ideas that MidOne and ah fu brought to the table which he found enjoyable, and he learned a different kind of playstyle during this time.
Puppey explains how scrims with Team SMG before TI12 led to his reunion with MidOne
Before TI12, it was reported that Puppey would fill in for Team SMG's position five player Jaunuel "Jaunuel" Arcilla, who was having visa issues. However, the player was able to secure the visa at the last minute, resulting in Puppey not traveling with the team for TI12 despite having played scrims for the last two weeks.
Despite that, Puppey appreciated the learnings he gained from ah fu and MidOne because they showcased a different playstyle that differed from his experiences over the previous year.
“You know, I enjoyed some of the perspectives ah fu and MidOne had during the time we played in SMG. And even though they did really badly at TI themselves but the conversations that were there were very different than for the whole year I have had. I felt like I learned a lot from just playing with them and having some conversations about some stuff. So, for me, this is already an upgrade for my current position, at least how much I am learning.”
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Puppey added that playing with SMG had aspects that appealed to him on both a mental and strategic level. He specifically highlighted ah fu's perspective and the synergy he shared with MidOne.
“Everything, really. Just bits and pieces everywhere. It’s mostly how a person sees the game, and how it should be played, how the movements should be done. A lot of it comes from ah fu and overall ah fu and MidOne share a a very similar look on the game but I do feel like ah fu himself has a very good perspective. I really liked it therefore I felt there’s a really good chance here to play together and make something good happen.”
Also present during the discussion, BOOM, Secret's offlaner, commented that MidOne has brought a lot of confidence to the team as well as trust in others' opinions and ideas.
Puppey highlights the difference in MidOne between 2019 and 2023
MidOne rose to prominence during his three year stint with Team Secret from 2016 to 2019, during which he won Majors and other significant tournaments. Now that Puppey was back with him after four years, he remarked about how MidOne's career had matured him through many challenging situations.
“I mean he’s matured a little bit because he had to live through the lifestyle of not going to tournaments and also having to captain his team and also making his team and also a little bit of drama stuff so it kind of humbles a person but also - I don’t know.
Obviously, he’s gotten older so time has passed but I do feel like he gets frustrated straight up from the things that happened during that time because it’s frustrating to make a team. It is frustrating to continuously captain it. It is frustrating to deal with drama and shit like that if everything is your fault when it crumbles down. So, not everybody can deal with it in a sense.”
Puppey and MidOne will try to rekindle their lost mojo as they lead a younger Team Secret roster back to the top. The squad's play has been lacking recently, but it would aim for an improvement with tier one tournaments like the DreamLeague Season 22 and BetBoom Dacha scheduled in the next two months.