Rumor: Puppey to Attend TI12 as 9Pandas’ Dota 2 Coach

Rakshak Kathuria
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Puppey from Team Secret</p></div>
Puppey from Team Secret


Despite not qualifying for TI in 2023, Team Secret's captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov may still attend TI12, albeit in a different position.
According to a rumor, Puppey is expected to be coaching 9Pandas at TI12.
The recent departure of coach nofear from 9Pandas and a post by the team's manager, Aldar "Jamba" Dzhambinov, featuring the Estonian flag on Telegram, have also suggested a potential partnership between the two.

In spite of the fact that Team Secret's captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov's streak of attending all The Internationals (TIs) may have ended, the player might still appear at TI12 in a different capacity. According to, Puppey is rumored to be coaching 9Pandas at TI12. The speculation has spread since 9Pandas announced on 22nd Sept 2023 that its coach Aleksandr "Nofear" Churochkin has departed and the organization will announce its new coach shortly. This comes after Puppey and Team Secret finished fourth in the Western Europe qualifier a month ago, barring the team from qualifying for TI12.

Puppey may join 9Pandas as the new Dota 2 coach for TI12

When Puppey's fans were finally coming to terms with Puppey's absence at TI for the first time, a slim sliver of hope has risen with the rumor of him being a potential coach for 9Pandas.

The fact that 9Pandas just announced the departure of nofear, as well as the team's manager Aldar "Jamba" Dzhambinov posting a single image of the Estonian flag on Telegram, have both pointed to a possible partnership between the two parties.

If the rumor turns out to be accurate, Puppey will be coaching a Dota 2 team for the first time. Team Secret's linchpin for the last nine years, the player has not even played for another team during this time.

Meanwhile, this rumor with 9Pandas is unlikely to be a long-term arrangement since Puppey indicated in a recent interview that he will be back playing next season as his time as an active player was not yet over.

Despite the rumor that 9Pandas has been cited as the team Puppey will likely join, there is a slight possibility that he may end up joining Quest Esports, whose carry player Aybek "TA2000" Tokayev revealed recently on Telegram that its coach for TI12, Nikita "Daxak" Kuzmin, has not yet received a visa for the USA.

Neither Team Secret, Puppey, nor 9Pandas has published anything indicating a prospective partnership yet, however, the latter has stated that its new coach would be unveiled soon. 9Pandas is a team that has been impressive in patches with the potential to produce massive upsets, so Puppey might just provide the extra oomph needed to have a great run at TI12.

TI12 is scheduled to begin on 12th Oct 2023.

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As a passionate Dota 2 fan for eight years, Rakshak has indulged himself completely in its esports circuit for the past two years as a professional. In addition to covering major news developments, he takes a keen interest in understanding team strengths and player personalities.