Clement ‘Puppey’ Ivanov is the current support player and captain for Team Secret. He formed Team Secret after leaving Natus Vincere in 2014, with whom he had been playing with for many years. Since forming the group, ‘Puppey’ has captained the team. He has been the center of several controversies over the years such as the “fountain hooking” scandal at The International 2013 and the Team Secret and ‘EternaLEnVy’ controversies. Despite this, ‘Puppey’ has established himself as one of the most skilled players and captains in the pro scene. He is particularly famous for his micro skills on heroes such as Chen and Enchantress.
‘Puppey’s career began through DotA. He first appeared on the scene around 2007 when he played on the team XsK. Following this, he played with various teams including Nirvana.int and GosuGamers. At DreamHack Summer 2009, ‘Puppey’ met ‘KuroKy’, which was the beginning of their friendship which would last well past the formation of Team Secret. ‘Puppey’s early career was somewhat unstable, as he frequently played as a stand-in for other teams and was the subject of several roster changes.
‘Puppey’ joined Natus Vincere prior to The International 2011. At the event, Na’Vi never lost a series and took 1st place. This established Na’Vi as one of the best teams to lead the early Dota 2 scene. Shortly after The International, ‘Artstyle’ left the team, and ‘Puppey’ took over as team captain. Between 2011 and 2012, Na’vi placed 1st at almost every event they attended, a total of 7. They also placed 3rd 3 times and 7th/8th once, at The Defense Season 2. At The International 2012, Na’vi made it to the grand finals, but lost the best of 5 series 3-1 vs iG.
The 2012-2013 period was a lot harder for Na’vi than the previous seasons. They placed joint last at StarLadder StarSeries twice, and also struggled at several other events. However, the team did manage to win a number of events including Alienware Cup Season 1, RaidCall EMS One Spring and The Defense Season 4.
At The International 2013, Na’Vi once again made it to the grand finals. During the playoffs, Na’Vi faced TongFu in a best of 3 series in the upper bracket. It was the final game of the series, and Na’Vi were on the verge of calling GG. ‘Dendi’ and ‘Puppey’ decided to try using their Pudge and Chen picks to utilize a mechanic known as “fountain hooking”. This involved Pudge using Meat Hook right before he is sent back to base by Chen’s Test of Faith ability. This would cause hooked enemies to be sent back to base along with Pudge, where they would be killed by the immense damage from the fountain.
Through repeating this mechanic, they were able to turn the game around, ultimately winning the match, advancing through the tournament and knocking TongFu out of the upper bracket. At the time, this was highly controversial, because it was against the rules to abuse known bugs in the game, but it was unclear whether this was a bug or an intended feature. In the end, the result of the match was not changed, but the mechanic was removed from the game after the event.
Many people consider Na’Vi’s fountain hooks to be poor taste, and ‘Loda’ from Alliance was particularly vocal with his disapproval. However, ‘Puppey’ and ‘Dendi’, along with several other players such as ‘N0tail’ defend their actions and suggest that a high level of skill is required to properly execute the mechanic and that it can be played around by being careful. In addition to this, the mechanic remained in the game for all players to potentially utilize for the remainder of the event.
In the grand final series against Alliance, Na’Vi lost game 5 in one of the most exciting matches in Dota 2 history.
Na’Vi’s run from 2013-2014 began quite successfully but the team’s performance began to decrease leading up to The International 2014, where they would place 7th/8th. Following this, ‘Puppey’ left Na’vi and formed Team Secret along with ‘KuroKy’, ‘N0tail’, ‘F’ly’ and ‘S4’. ‘Puppey’ had prepared a team full of highly skilled and famous players and would act as team captain. The team were almost instantly successful, placing in the top 3 at almost every event they participated at and winning several events such as The Summit 3 and XMG Captain’s Draft. However, after a 7th/8th place finish at The International 2015, ‘Puppey’ reformed his team completely.
After The International 2015, Team Secret placed 2nd at The Frankfurt Major and won The Shanghai Major. However, their performance dropped at The Manila Major, where they placed 13th/16th. Their results didn’t much improve by the time The International 2016 came around a few months later, as they placed joint last at the event. While Team Secret performed well at certain events throughout the next year, but they performed poorly at some major events, such as joint last at The Kiev Major and failed to qualify for The Boston Major and at The International 2017, Team Secret placed 9th/12th. Following this, ‘Puppey’ once again made roster changes and the team began to achieve marginally better results. Since these changes, Team Secret placed 2nd at ESL One Hamburg 2017 and won DreamLeague Season 8.
Team Secret Controversies
Between 2015 and 2016, ‘Puppey’ invited several players including ‘MiSeRy’, ‘w33’ and ‘EternaLEnVy’. In 2016, ‘EternaLEnVy’ released a very long blog post detailing how the Team Director and ‘Puppey’ had frequently failed to pay teammates on time and taking a cut from their prize winnings without letting the players know. ‘MiSeRy’ later backed this blog post up and confirmed what ‘EternaLEnVy’ had written, in addition to stating that ‘Puppey’ was aware of the organisation taking a cut. ‘EternaLEnVy’ had also accused ‘Puppey’ of being aggressive, unmotivated and frequently blamed his teammates for making mistakes or losing. It was also revealed that he had physically threatened his teammate ‘w33’ and a recording has been released showing ‘Puppey’ destroying his monitor in anger, in front of his teammates.
‘Puppey’ has attended several Valve events, including most of the Valve Majors, and every one of The Internationals. His most notable achievements include 1st place at The International 2011 and 2nd at The International 2012 and 2013 with Na’Vi. More recently, he has won DreamLeague Season 8 and The Shanghai Major with Team Secret.