Team Secret has been one of the most prestigious esports organisations since its establishment. While the Secret Dota 2 squad might be the organisation's biggest global ambassador, its PUBG Mobile team also rocks a huge fan base in Southeast Asia.
In this new decade, Secret’s PUBG Mobile team underwent a roster shuffle as they sought to reach higher goals in the competitive scene. Currently, the team is preparing for the PUBG Mobile Professional League (PMPL) MY/SG 2020, which features a US$150,000 prize pool.
The latest line-up consists of Jiunn "BiuBiu" Jie Kow (captain), Aekachai "MADTOI" Areesanan, Raymond Tan "iSH0TZ" Boon Sheng and uHigh, the “Miracle Boy”. When asked about how the new members were recruited, it was team manager, Onthego, who did most of the leg work.
“I know who are they but wasn’t close with them (the new teammates),” BiuBiu explained. “It’s exciting to have them on board, I feel the team is much stronger now.”
“The team has been formed for roughly three weeks (at the time of this interview). The training schedule has been intense,” iSH0TZ revealed about the team’s training regimen ahead of PMPL. They trained almost 10 hours per day during their boot camp to quickly adapt to each other’s playstyle. “We start a day playing as a team, and end it by watching replays of our opponents,” the former Yoodo Gank player elaborated.
“Surprisingly, we didn't feel burned out after our long training sessions. This team is eager to win our next tournament,” BiuBiu, the captain said. A parallel goal was also to maintain a competitive form and routine for upcoming major tournaments.
“I’d play Angry Birds to train my throwable skills for PUBG Mobile when we’re not training together,” MADTOI shared his own secret training method. The Thai is arguably the most experienced player in Team Secret with at least two years in the competitive scene. Despite being the only foreign player, the support player can quickly blend into the team.
“I feel good about the team, Onthego and the team have been very friendly towards me,” MADTOI said, stating the team spirit is high.
Raymond Tan "iSH0TZ" Boon Sheng is another valuable asset to complete Team Secret’s new roster. Previously playing for Yoodo Gank, he is now the sniper for Team Secret. On paper, the current iteration is the most experienced line-up in Secret’s PUBG Mobile history.
The team also shared the biggest difference between playing casually and competitively. “Playing casually is all about the rank while playing professionally is all about the glory (and the prize money, of course),” MADTOI emphasised. “The auto-matching mechanic in public matches will combine players who don’t know each other, so team coordination isn’t good,” he continued.
“In tournaments, all teams are trained well and their strategy execution is precise, making it a lot harder to defeat them,” both the captain and support shared. Besides, casual gamers don’t have sharp aiming skills and a strong mentality, giving more room for the pros to dominate public games.
So how do you win chicken dinner?
“To be honest, it’s all about the practice,” BiuBiu shared that there are no shortcuts to success. “Playing Team Deathmatch mode is a superb way to increase your close-range combat ability as it allows you to learn different offensive and defensive patterns with an awareness of body cover.” The captain revealed that a common mistake casual gamers tend to repeat is ignoring the importance of body cover in a gunfight.
“Wearing headphones is the most straightforward method to improve your gameplay since audio plays a huge role in this game,” the captain highlighted the crucial role sound-tracking played in PUBG Mobile. He jokingly shared about Onthego's forgetfulness in wearing a pair of headphones, which resulted in his inability to detect nearby enemies.
“PUBG Mobile is a game that requires a lot of sound-tracking, the difference between wearing headphones and being without a pair is night and day,” suggesting a good pair of headphones will greatly enhance your overall enemy awareness while playing.
“Throwables including the grenade, smoke and Molotov cocktail are extremely important when you want to make a team play,” MADTOI said as he showed his Angry Bird throwing technique in PUBG Mobile. “One of the biggest difference between a pro and a newbie is the usage of utilities - a pro may use smoke to confuse enemies while most casual players only use smoke to cover teammates, which is very predictable,” sharing his experience.
“To maximise the effectiveness of throwables can be very challenging at first, especially when you play the game with only two fingers,” MADTOI reflected, who is a "three-finger" player. The sniper, iSH0TZ and captain, BiuBiu are the "four-finger" players - or what is popularly called the "claw grip."
MADTOI additionally emphasised the importance of practising. “It’s common to mess up in the game even if you know many top tips. Practising is key to improving."
“Watching professional players' gameplay is another great way to improve,” iSH0TZ said. “You can always copy their skills and strategies, then apply those in your actual gameplay,” MADTOI chorused. “Making mistakes isn’t a bad thing too if you can learn from it.”
Much like many professional teams, Team Secret believes that information is a key component of being the last squad standing. “Communication is a must if you want to get that chicken dinner. Without proper communication, you’re essentially just blindly playing,” the captain added.
Speaking of their vision for 2020, the team is adamant that they will prove themselves in major tournaments, especially in the upcoming PMPL. “To be honest, I don't think much about the far future. I would much prefer to spend my energy preparing for the next tournament, then the one after,” iSH0TZ revealed.
Although the team still doesn't have a solid plan for the next two years, they assure fans that they will play their A-game and put out optimum performances to add more trophies into the Team Secret showroom.