Struggling Western European Dota 2 squad Team Secret announced on Saturday (10 June) that they have acquired Indonesian offlaner Saieful "Fbz" Ilham on loan from Southeast Asia's BOOM Esports.
Fbz will be replacing Czech midlaner-turned-offlaner Miroslav "BOOM" Bičan, whose departure from Secret was announced on Friday (9 June) in a move described as "hard times [calling] for drastic measures".
This latest roster move marks the second time this season that Secret has looked to Southeast Asia for reinforcements after they signed Filipino midlaner Armel "Armel" Tabios back in March.
Fbz will be making his debut with Secret in DreamLeague Season 20, which features 16 of the best teams in the world fighting for a cut of the US$1 million prize pool from 11 to 25 June.
BOOM Esports have yet to announce Fbz's replacement.
Secret overhaul roster once again amid abysmal season
It has only been a bit over seven months since Secret's incredible run to a second place finish at The International 2022 (TI 2022) after coming all the way from the Last Chance Qualifier.
Since then, Secret has gone through four roster changes before and during the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season and got relegated to Division II twice in an ever competitive Western European regional league.
Following their second place finish at TI 2022, Secret lost superstar midlaner Michał "Nisha" Jankowski to Team Liquid, which lies at the heart of all the team's woes this season.
Secret signed former Gaimin Gladiators midlaner BOOM to replace Nisha but the former player struggled to fill the massive shoes left behind by his predecessor.
A mere three months after TI 2022, Secret were relegated to Division II for the first time this season after they finished dead last in the Winter Tour regional league with an abysmal 1-6 record.
Secret's decision to replace Nisha with BOOM stings more when considering how Gaimin Gladiators and Team Liquid have emerged as the two most dominant teams in the DPC.
After BOOM's departure, Gaimin Gladiators replaced him with Quinn "Quinn" Callahan then went on to win both the Lima Major and the ESL One Berlin Major 2023. Nisha and Team Liquid finished second in both tournaments.
Following Secret's horrid start to the season, Secret parted ways with Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok and Bakyt "Zayac" Emilzhanov in early March.
The team then announced that Armel and Daniyal "yamich" Lazebnyy, who took over as the midlaner and position 4 support, respectively. With Armel in the fold, BOOM was shifted to the offlane role.
Following that roster overhaul, Secret regained its spot in Division I after finishing the Division II Spring Tour regional league in first place with a 6-1 record.
But while Secret looked great against Division II competition, Division I proved to be too much for them.
The team finished the Division I Summer Tour regional league dead last once again with a pitiful 1-6 record. Secret's only win came against D1 Hustlers, who earned promotion to Division I alongside them during the Spring Tour and rejoined them in relegation back to Division II.
With zero DPC points to their name, Secret won't even be sniffing a direct invite to TI 2023, this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament that will be held in Seattle this October.
Secret can still earn their spot in TI 2023 through the Western European regional qualifiers, which is sure to be a bloodbath that will include heavyweights like OG and Entity, among others.
While Secret did earn their spot in last year's TI through the Last Chance Qualifier, it doesn't seem like that same cushion will be there this year.
With team captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov's legendary streak of playing in every single iteration of TI so far on the line, Secret has now acquired Fbz in an apparent last ditch attempt to right the ship before TI 2023.
Secret's newly-updated roster with Fbz will be looking to test their mettle against some of the best teams in the world in DreamLeague Season 20. Some of the teams they will be up against include two-time Major champions Gaimin Gladiators, Team Liquid with Nisha, and TI 2022 champions Tundra Esports.
Team Secret Dota 2 roster:
Remco "Crystallis" Arets
Armel "Armel" Tabios
Saieful "Fbz" Ilham
Daniyal "yamich" Lazebnyy
Clement "Puppey" Ivanov
Lee "Heen" Seung Gon