Just a few months ago, the idea of Team Secret competing in two separate events just days apart would have been inconceivable. The team almost exclusively competed in Dota 2 majors and ESL One events, and wouldn’t bother with anything that didn’t have either Dota Pro Circuit points or a significant prize pool on the line.
But these days, Team Secret is staying quite active, and their run in the WePlay! Pushka League kicks off with a showdown against Alliance.
When ESL One Los Angeles was still an official Dota 2 major, Team Secret was the clear-cut favorite to win. The team won four prominent live events in 2019 including two majors, and looked no less strong in the current season thanks to their win at the DreamLeague Season 13 major.
That made them the clear favorite to win ESL One Los Angeles’ European and CIS league, and they looked poised to do so when they ran through the group stage with a perfect record. But once they reached the playoffs, the team was handed an upper bracket loss from OG before being shocked by a defeat at the hands of an unheralded Vikin.gg. All of this came despite the fact that Team Secret was with its complete roster, while numerous other teams were forced into using substitutions:
The loss to a shorthanded OG and unknown Vikin.gg might be alarming in some situations, but the team will have to lose more than just two online matches before faith in them erodes to the point that they’re a team to bet against.
Though Team Secret’s loss was likely just a minor stumble, anything can happen in esports. Teams suddenly go into slumps, interpersonal issues can undermine success, and any number of other issues can arise. Regardless of why Secret hit the skids in ESL One Los Angeles, Alliance isn’t looking properly equipped to take advantage of any weaknesses at this time.
The team is still trying to find its footing after its abrupt releases of Neta “33” Shapira and Adrian “Fata-” Trinks. Though it added a proven off laner in Gustav “s4” Magnusson, the team is rotating in substitutes for different events and matches. Its roster for the WePlay! Pushka League will be:
Sneyking joins as a stand-in on loan from Cloud9. It is unclear whether he will be traveling to Europe for the competition, but odds are he will be playing from North America. Not only that, but Sneyking traditionally plays as an off laner, making this switch to a hard support role something of a surprise.
This iteration of Alliance is packed with talent, but the combination of off-role play and a lack of proven chemistry makes it hard to buy into the idea of this team stepping in and beating one of the best in the world on day one. The pair faced off in the group stage of ESL One Los Angeles, with Secret taking a decisive 2-0 win that took just 46 minutes of actual play time.
The betting odds for Team Secret vs. Alliance in the WePlay! Pushka League are extremely one-sided, with our partners at Winners.bet setting the line at 1.15 vs. 4.75 in Secret’s favor. One could make an argument that this is skewed a bit too far, but it’s still justifiable.
Secret is a prohibitive favorite and that means that any betting considerations should be focused on side markets, unless there’s some intrigue in a Hail Mary play.