Remember two weeks ago, when Team Secret showed they didn't need a lineup of marquee superstars like Artour "Arteezy" Babaev to be the best team in DOTA 2? Well, apparently they're over that now. Instead, they have decided they need marquee superstars exactly like Arteezy… and his fellow Evil Geniuses teammate Saahil "UNiVeRsE" Arora.
Who they don't need, apparently, are some of the players who just helped them win the Shanghai Major. Rasmus "MiSeRy" Filipsen announced that he was off the team late on Monday night, while Aliwi "w33" Omar went on Twitter to let the world know he needs work. Shortly thereafter, Team Secret director Kemal Sadikoglu announced the new hires.
— Kemal Sadikoglu (@ksadikoglu) March 23, 2016
While roster swaps are usually met with some dismay and dramatics, these really are huge moves at the top of professional DOTA 2. This appears to be a side-effect of the DOTA 2 Major rules, which force teams to "lock" their rosters far in advance of the next Valve event. Basically, DOTA 2 now has a trade deadline four times a year.
What's more is that these huge moves are becoming a pattern with Team Secret and Evil Geniuses. And Arteezy is often at the center of them.
Early in 2015, he abruptly departed Evil Geniuses after a terrific year with the American team, joining Secret alongside his Evil Geniuses teammate Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg. It instantly made Secret the Dota 2 team to beat. Eight months later, after a disappointing International, Arteezy jumped ship and went back to Evil Geniuses, who dumped Kurtis "Aui" Ling to make room for him. Now, he's once again headed back to Secret with an EG teammate in tow.
It must be acknowledged that both Secret and EG won their biggest championships with Arteezy playing somewhere else. On the other hand, they have had some of their most consistent and successful tournament runs while he's been a team-member. If DOTA 2 were pro football, Arteezy would be the kind of quarterback who has never won a Super Bowl, but always helps his team finish north of 12-4 at the top of their division. It will be interesting to watch how his return to Secret works out after the organisation already achieved so much without him.
Secret's recruitment of Arteezy and UNiVeRsE leaves some big gaps at Evil Geniuses, although it's expected that zai's return to competitive play with EG is fast-approaching. It also leaves w33 without a team shortly after he had a terrific Shanghai Major with some highlight-reel performances.
If you've noticed a trend of good players getting the boot right after helping their teams win their biggest victories, you're not alone. Aui and w33 had an exchange on Twitter that seemed to encapsulate the "no good deed goes unpunished" nature of their careers. After Aui offered his sympathies regarding the move, w33 theorised a way to promote greater roster security for players.
"The solution to this," he wrote, "is to not win Valve events."
Top image: Still-frame of Arteezy's entrance at The International last year. Source