EternalEnvy writes ‘A Secret Story’; spills Team Secret financial misconducts, says Puppey was egotistical, aggressive
POSTED BY Caisam Yvez Nopueto ON October 19, 2016
Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao wrote a lengthy blog post on his organization Team NP‘s website, accusing his former squad Team Secret of taking 10% pay cuts out of initial agreements, delayed issuing of payments, and even using sponsorship revenue for the leisure of certain players/organization owners.
In the first part of his 7400-plus-long blog post entitled A Secret Story, EternalEnvy opened up and claimed that Team Secret would often pay their promised tournament winnings too late. He also showed screenshots of his conversations with Kemal Sadikoglu (Team Secret‘s director since April 2015) that supports his claims, and that whenever he asks for an update regarding his salaries and payments — including the details of prize breakdown, etc. — they would often make many excuses. “Excuse, after excuse, without ever taking any blame,” he wrote. “Worse off, when I confronted Kemal about the Epicenter payment delays, he claims that he “doesn’t know” why and that Epicenter said they will pay on Oct 7. The lies just won’t stop.”
Envy also footnoted one of Team Secret‘s past scandals that OG‘s manager Evany Chang revealed last February 2016. The said post that former Team Secret player (Secret 1.0, to be exact) Johan “N0tail” Sundstein has not yet been paid of his tournament winnings right when Chang’s post was published.
The big problem was that players weren’t secured intricate contracts. According to EternalEnVy, they were promised a regular salary in addition to prize money but the team did not have contracts. While confirming that he was paid in random amounts intermittently, it was never clear whether the money came from either tournament winnings or their promised salaries.
When EternaLEnVy received an invoice last Sept. 8, he finally discovered that Team Secret had been taking a 10 percent cut of their winnings. This is despite of the fact that the players never knew of that there will be a 10% cut allocated for the organization.
“Not once on Secret have we ever talked about having a prize winnings cut to the organization,” EnVy said. “We have however discussed the complete opposite where we would talk about how it’s stupid to have a % prize winnings cut in DotA because of its abnormal prize pools.”
“Puppey and Kemal have always treated us to dinners at every LAN and always said “its ok I’ll pay for the food”,” EternaLEnVy recounted while he was talking about not having any idea at first where the 10% of the prize winnings go. “When Kemal came to Manila Major, he got himself an executive suite and told us we could buy whatever food we want and charge it to his room no problem. Well we did just that, and I’m sure that money came from the prize cuts in the end ;D.”
This is where he built up his frustrations about the founder of Team Secret, Clement “Puppey” Ivanov: “It was understood by everyone on the team that there would not be any prize winnings cut to the organization. Well, every player but Puppey.”
The Panda Predicament
EternaLEnVy recalled that though they were promised monthly salaries, it only came during the three-month stretched after the team was able to comply with their partnership with PandaTV. Take note, the initial idea by its founder Puppey revolved on Team Secret not having to depend on sponsorship. Nevertheless, it was through EternaLEnVy that Team Secret found a short-time marriage with PandaTV, one of the biggest streaming platforms available in China.
“At this point in the deal the deal was 1 million + 250k in donations for the year and if we get RTZ/Universe it would be 1.25 million + 250k in Donations. The money would be paid quarterly at the beginning of the quarter. We also talked about the number of hours to be streamed,” EternaLEnVy revealed as he was talking about what Team Secret and PandaTV agreed upon. “The final deal consisted of minimum stream hours of 30 for both RTZ/Puppey and 60 for myself. However the team all together had to stream 250 hours a month.”
EternaLEnVy was adamant that he kept his end of the bargain, especially when he already talked with his team on how they can work as five to comply with PandaTV’s requirements. “I actually kept streaming even after all these months but we failed our end of the deal so I never received another team hour report.”
After a while, he “Noticed that not only did Puppey not uphold his end of the deal, but he didn’t even try. Streaming not 30 hours a month as promised but 12 hours in 3 months.”
Because the team wasn’t able to hold their end of the bargain, EternaLEnVy revealed that Panda eventually cut the deal short and only paid for the first three months. This would amount to USD 312,500. In a series of chat logs between EnVy and Sadikoglu, the director said that each player would only receive USD 8,000 per month for the three months the deal was in place. EnVy insisted that they were promised $12,000 a month, but Sadikoglu said that was only including the $250,000 year-end bonus the team would no longer receive.
“Basically the bottom line is that the first sponsor that provided money to Secret wasn’t even sought out by them. Then Puppey himself failed to uphold the streaming hours and failed the contract. Afterwards they lied about the salary and withheld 46% of the Sponsorship money for non DotA related things,” EternaLEnVy stressed. “A lot of the people they supposedly paid salary too weren’t paid anyway.”
Problems with Puppey
“It’s true that he is a charismatic person with high confidence, but now I believe that he builds his confidence by looking down on everyone else,” EternaLEnVy quoted, as he was describing Puppey as egotistical and aggresive. “Throughout the year he has always been lazy. At first I thought that he was just burnt out after losing TI5 and I accepted all that but eventually I realized it’s just how he is.”
EnVy went into really specific details to describe his downhill relationship with Puppey. At first, they both had a good friendship, even revealing that Puppey once said that he would like to play with EnVy “forever.” However, as the team spiraled downward from their climax during the Shanghai Major into the slump that they were during TI6, so did their friendship.
EnVy also attributed Puppey‘s bad work ethic to most of Team Secret‘s bad performances during LANs. “Now if he doesn’t need to play any pubs then that’s all fine, the problem is that our captain would generally not show up to the practice room at all. This happened at every major except Shanghai Major,” he said.
“Against Vici Gaming, our match was scheduled to start at 6 PM only for him to show up at 5 PM. Everyone was like “Where’s Puppey?” There was a break day between the VG Series and the EG Series, so Puppey decided to get drunk and sleep at 6 AM. The following day, he didn’t show up to the venue at all,” EternaLEnVy added, talking about Puppey‘s unprofessional attitude during the Frankfurt Major.
There were also accounts that Puppey was verbally abusive with his teammates to go with reports that he was also exhibiting violence.
“We lost a scrim and Puppey and RTZ were arguing over some bad plays. I entered the argument because I believed that the picks were more important to talk about. Puppey disagrees and we get a bit heated,” EternaLEnVy recalled. “Before long Puppey slams the table and his keyboard’s keys fly everywhere. Once again everyone just stayed silent. Though unlike last time he followed up by pointing fingers at everyone and said ‘If you guys want to talk about who’s right or who’s wrong, why don’t we fight.'”
At the end of the day, EnVy stressed that Team Secret still owes him $29333 for the 10% Prize cuts and reminded the organization, “though I don’t expect that money back. Nor the 21K from the salary they promised. Hopefully they will pay me for the rest of the tournaments when they pay out (Epicenter already paid though, even though Secret claims they haven’t). I know a lot of players/coaches haven’t gotten paid yet. Please make sure you get paid!”
“I’m sure people are going to talk about verbal agreements a lot and that I’m stupid for not signing a contract. Well maybe so. Regardless I’m going to run my own org this year and ask my team to be stupid and believe in me. The Secret that was meant to be, hopefully I will be able to bring it to reality,” EternaLEnVy concluded.
Star Series Season 3 Tier List
POSTED BY Caisam Yvez Nopueto ON February 23, 2017
StarLadder i-League Star Series Season 3 (Star Series Season 3) will kick off in a few hours, with a notable headline as TNC and OG will draw first blood in the tournament. Can TNC, the team that eliminated OG, keep true to their promise or will the revitalized OG bounce back? This tournament will be the last premier LAN tournament before the Kiev Major invites are released, and the stakes are indeed high. Here is GG Network’s tier list for the upcoming tournament.
Tier 1: Happy to be Here
Vici Gaming. J (VG.J)
Sun “Agressif” Zheng
Liu “Freeze” Chang
Bai “rOtk” Fan
Xu “fy” Linsen
Lu “Fenrir” Chao
VG.J definitely didn’t gain enough success during its first conception last Fall season, but there could be high hopes in the eventual reunion of China’s finest support duo, the fy-Fenrir power combo. It’s also notable to still see the veteran rOtk still playing the offlane for this Chinese franchise. Then again, the team chemistry is what’s most questionable with this team, as they have only finalized this new roster late last December.
Invictus Gaming Vitality (iG.Vitality)
Zhang “Paparazi灬” Chengjun
Xu “Sakata” Zichen
Yang “InJuly” Xiaodong
Su “super” Peng
Gao “dogf1ghts” Tianpeng
IG.Vitaliy suffered a huge blow last Boston Major, qualifying but ending up not participating with their intact roster, as most of their members didn’t get their US VISAs approved. Then again, with the return of pub star Paparazi灬 (getting up to 9000 Matchmaking Rating points last year), IG.V had a notable January: they topped their Chinese opponents to boost up to a 73% win rate (according to Gosu Gamers) in their past matches. Then again, the team hasn’t participated in many international events, and could potentially be worrisome for the team.
Tier 2: Long Shot
Pyo “MP” No-a
Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng
Maurice “KheZu” Gutmann
Clement “Puppey” Ivanov
Johan “pieliedie” Astrom
MidOne, originally from the realm of SEA Dota 2 and gained international respect through Fnatic, joined Team Secret last Fall Season and just this month reached 9000 MMR in Europe. Team Secret may not have qualified for the Boston Major, but they sure still pack up a punch in most of the tournaments that they participate in, particularly after the addition of KheZu. Still, they can be edged out of the European qualifiers by teams such as the newly formed B)ears and the revamped Natus Vincere.
TNC Pro Team
Marc Polo “Raven” Luis Fausto
Carlo “Kuku” Palad
Samson Solomon “Sam_H” Enojosa Hidalgo
Timothy “Tims” Randrup
Ryo “ryOyr” Hasegawa
The Pinoy pride TNC really showed a lot of promise during the start of January, notching the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) championship and took home the biggest grand prize for a Filipino team (USD 800,000) and secured the throne of Southeast Asia’s best. However, in their recent outings against their SEA rivals — particularly Faceless, and even against Warriors Gaming Unity and Clutch Gamers — they fall short of victories. They still can put up a fight, for sure, but they would need to go back to their roots of being the Philippines’ most disciplined team if they want to get to the top of Star Series Season 3.
Tier 3: Dark Horses
Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen
Amer “Miracle-“ Al-Barkawi
Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Borislavov
Maroun “GH” Merhej
Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi
The Spring Season might just be the time that the heavily-talented team Team Liquid find their stride: along with MATUMBAMAN and Miracle-, another 9000 MMR player joins their lineup as GH just recently joined the team. With so much talent even from the support role, Team Liquid slowly found success with their lineup and eventually qualified for big Chinese tournaments such as the Dota 2 Asia Championship and the Star Series Season 3. While the chemistry is still questionable, it is easy to hedge bets on Team Liquid as the face value coming out of their talent pool is really immense.
Roman “Resolu1tion” Fominok
Aliwi “w33” Omar
David “MoonMeander” Tan
Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen
Martin “Saksa” Sazdov
Digital Chaos opened up 2017 by being the first world champions through ESL One Genting, but faltered heavily during the volatile BO1 elimination bracket of Dota Pit Season 5. Still, there’s no question that Digital Chaos can easily beat the likes of OG and even Wings Gaming, and they even more easily take down any other team in the tournament. Their talent and good chemistry among members make their arsenal really scary for anyone in Star Series Season 3.
Tier 4: Championship Contenders
Chu “shadow” Zeyu
Zhou “bLink” Yang
Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida
Zhang “y`” Yiping
Lee “iceice” Peng
Their calculated, high-risk-high-reward type of playstyle have taken them to top for sure; however, it could easily be a source of their misfortune in Star Series Season 3 — just like what happened during the Boston Major and ESL One Genting. The reigning champions of The International 2016 can take Star Series easily, but most of the international talents have said that their unpredictability has become more and more predictable. Still, there’s no doubting that Wings Gaming are top-cut heading into this tournament, and Patch 7.02 might just bring the surprise that the team can work around with.
Johan “N0tail” Sundstein
Anathan “ana” Pham
Gustav “s4” Magnusson
Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka
Tal “Fly” Aizik
The reigning Major Champions will be returning to center stage with so much potential still on them. They have reached Dota Pit Season 5 Grand Finals, but faltered from Evil Geniuses 3-2. Then again, they powered through many teams and beat them many times. The playmaking prowess of s4 from the offlane position and JerAx from the support role, backed up by the ingenuity of both Fly and N0tail, to go with the flashy plays of ana is surely a treat to watch. If you’re a betting man, you can be safe with OG taking this tournament home as champions.
Mushi departs from Fnatic
POSTED BY Caisam Yvez Nopueto ON February 12, 2017
After almost two years with the franchise, Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung decided to leave one of the world’s largest esports organizations, Fnatic. Mushi officially joined the said organization last June 2015 — where Fnatic acquired his former team Team Malaysia — and has since been the core player of the squad.
“I would like to start off by saying thank you to Fnatic for supporting me all the way from when we had just started off, and all my teammates along the way for your support. I would also like to thank my fans for supporting me through thick and thin,” said Mushi through a Press Release by Fnatic.
Fnatic described the situation as an “End of an Era”, as Mushi was very iconic in the organizations successes from 2015. Under his leadership, Fnatic was able to join every Valve-sponsored event from the Frankfurt Major of 2015 up until their fourth place finish during The International 2016. They were constantly at the top of many LAN tournaments.
However, the team have suffered heavily after The International 2016, eventually not being able to qualify for the Boston Major — a time where the team had to revamp around Mushi after losing three of their players in the Post-TI6 shuffle. “It’s hard to shy away from the fact that the team has been suffering recently. In the months following The International 2016 the roster was never really able to settle and unfortunately this reflected in our results. It is with regret that now we come to this impasse where one of our founding players and most iconic figures has found the best solution is to relinquish his position in order for Fnatic find a new way forward,” Fnatic mentioned.
“We are so incredibly grateful to Mushi for all that he’s given us: for each fan that he has drawn to Fnatic, for all he has done to grow the organisation in South East Asia, for the professional example that he sets every day for aspiring gamers around the world. For all of this, a simple ‘thank-you’ does not do justice,” Fnatic added. “We of course hope to stay close, and who knows, maybe our journeys will come together once more. It goes without saying that we wish Mushi all the best going forward.”
Mushi leaving Fnatic will also be a hard breakup of two of the most iconic power duos of Southeast Asia, as Mushi will have to leave his long-time teammate Chong Xin “Ohaiyo” Khoo. They have been teammates since the conception of the Malaysia-based Fnatic Dota squad, and where long-time teammates even before.
Fnatic will be looking to rebuild around Ohaiyo and South Korean star player Yong-min “Febby” Kim. So far, there are only two listed players for Fnatic. “Now we must press on. We’re thrilled that Ohaiyo will be continuing the team’s endeavour, joined at his side by our newest player, Febby. Together with Reinnnn, they will now look to a brighter future as they contemplate a new roster,” the organization concluded their press release.
Finally, Mushi ended his public statement, expressing his gratitude towards his fans. “At the moment I’m leaving Fnatic as a player. I’m not sure about my future plans ahead yet, but I’m looking forward to explore into a new environment.”
Follow this writer through @caisamyvez
Valve releases Patch 7.02 for Dota 2; nerf hammer brought on Helm of Dominator
POSTED BY Caisam Yvez Nopueto ON February 9, 2017
In the middle of the Dota 2 Asia Championshp Cup Qualifiers, Valve announced a relatively huge update to the game play. Patch 7.02 deals with hard nerfs on the item Helm of Dominator, medium nerfs on meta heroes Lone Druid and Ember Spirit, and a lot of buffs on non-meta famous heroes such as Bristleback, Windranger and Bounty Hunter.
“Today’s patch unveils the 7.02 Gameplay Update, focusing on numerous small balance adjustments. Including adjustments to hero talents, shrines, terrain, and the addition of Lycan to Captains Mode, this update features multiple balance changes in the wake of launching The New Journey,” Valve’s Dota team mentioned.
Helm of Dominator has been really famous of an item pickup, with almost all heroes on all positions getting access to the item. With the recent changes, its viability in the metagame might be shaken:
* Helm of the Dominator All Stats from 6 to 4
* Helm of the Dominator creeps now give a constant 125 gold bounty
* Towers no longer attack neutral team units
Also, the highly picked Lone Druid, Ember Spirit, and Underlord heroes were also affected:
* Root now disables Activate Fire Remnant
* Level 10 Talent from 15% Spell Amplification to 12%
* Level 10 Talent from +200 Attack Range to +175
* Level 15 Talent from +65 Damage to +55
* Level 20 Talent from +7 Spirit Bear Armor to +12
* Level 20 Talent from -50s Respawn Time to -40s
* Movement speed reduced from 305 to 290
* Atrophy Aura Damage Reduction from 10/20/30/40% to 4/16/28/40%
* Level 15 Talent from +200 Health to +35 Movement Speed
* Level 20 Talent from +100 Cast Range to +125
* Level 20 Talent from +50 Attack Speed to +60
Some general gameplay changes were also added, including the strategic updates on Shrines, and the improvement for the quality of life for supports:
* Shrines are now vulnerable after a T3 tower dies (same as the Shrines inside the base), rather than after all T2 towers die
* Sentry Wards now come in packs of 1 for 100 gold (instead of 2 for 200)
More so, Lycan has been added to Captain’s Mode with some changes to go his way:
* Added to CM
* Agility gain from 1.5 to 1.0
* Howl manacost from 30 to 40
* Level 15 Talent from -20s Respawn Time to -25s
Here are also some of the Medium-grade to Major-grade buffs to certain heroes, particularly with their new talent changes:
* Scepter now also increases Shuriken Toss ministun duration from 0.1 to 0.75
* Level 10 Talent from +15% XP Gain to +20%
* Level 20 Talent from +100 Damage to +120 Damage
* Level 20 Talent from 8% Spell Amplification to +75 Shuriken Toss Damage
* Level 25 Talent from +20% Evasion to +25%
* Fire Spirit now has phasing movement
* Level 10 Talent from +25 Attack Speed to +30
* Level 15 Talent from +20 Movement Speed to +75 Thunder Clap Damage
* Level 20 Talent from -25s Respawn Time to -35s
* Level 25 Talent from 14 Primal Split Unit Armor to +20
* Quill Spray Max damage from 450 to 550
* Viscous Nasal Goo Scepter range from 700 to 750
* Level 15 Talent from +20 Movement Speed to +4 Max Goo Stacks
* Level 20 Talent from -30s Respawn Time to -35s
* Level 25 Talent from +4 Max Goo Stacks to +20 Quill Stack Damage
* Movement speed reduced from 300 to 295
* Ion Shell manacost from 70/90/110/130 to 100/110/120/130
* Level 15 Talent from +90 Damage to +120
* Level 20 Talent from +25 Intelligence to +75 Vacuum AoE
* Level 20 Talent from +12 Strength to +10% Cooldown Reduction
* Level 25 Talent from +12% Cooldown Reduction to +25 Strength
* Level 25 Talent from +70 Ion Shell Damage to +80
* Powershot damage from 120/220/320/420 to 180/260/340/420
* Powershot cooldown from 9 to 12/11/10/9
* Windrun slow AoE from 300 to 325
* Windrun manacost from 100 to 75
* Level 10 Talent from +15 Damage to +25% Windrun Slow
* Level 15 Talent from +16 Intelligence to +20 Intelligence
* Level 15 Talent from +200 Health to +40 Movement Speed
* Level 20 Talent from +12% Magic Resistance to +20%
* Level 20 Talent from +12% Spell Amplification to +15%
* Level 25 Talent from -5s Powershot Cooldown to -6s