The German esports organization, Team GamerLegion, have announced their expansion into Age of Empires 2 (AoE II) esports scene this Thursday by acquiring the former Team Secret team. The roster now fields some of the best players in history, including Ørjan “TheViper” Larsen and Darko “DauT” Dautovic.

The Most Successful AoE II Roster Under A New Banner

Every once and a while, a team is formed that gains credibility as the undisputed best in the history of esports. While there are not many that stick together for long, Team Secret’s AoE II roster is an exception. Comprised of some of the best players that ever touched the game, including Roberto “TaToH” Jiménez, Marco “JorDanTV” Bloch, Chris “slam” Gregson, Sven “Nili_AoE” Reichardt, TheViper, and DauT, Team Secret’s squad (formed in July 2018) assembled something akin to the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls dream team, albeit in the world of esports.

Fielding the best AoE II players in the world at the time, Team Secret went on a rampage early into their existence and would end up winning just about every single event they entered. Be it a one versus one or team games, Team Secret established themselves as the team to beat.

Team Secret’s dominance throughout 2018 saw them win five gold and two silver medals in team tournaments, but it did not stop there. They extended their momentum into 2019 when TheVIper and co. added five more titles and five runner-up finishes out of 13 events attended. However, they soon met their match in team Aftermath, who emerged as the only team that is not only capable of going toe-to-toe with Secret but also defeat them.

Throughout its history, Team Secret attended 28 AoE II esports events and finished either first or second in 24 of them, including 12 titles. What’s more, out of 28 team events, Team Secret finished outside of the top three only four times and have not finished outside top-two for the past 16 months.

A Chance for a Fresh Start

Despite their supremacy throughout the last three years, Team Secret have found themselves sitting in the Aftermath’s shadow for the majority of 2020. As a team, Team Secret’s roster attended six events this year and managed to win only one (TeTe Invitational), but had to settle for a runner-up finish in the remaining five, each time behind Aftermath.

After two years with Team Secret, TheViper and his crew decided to leave the prominent esports organization. They teamed up with Team GamerLegion, who announced the signing of ex-Team Secret AoE roster on their official Twitter account this Thursday, September 10.

With this move, Team GamerLegion are set to make their first appearance in the AoE esports scene and further expand their brand into the esports world, after already fielding successful teams in both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends.

GamerLegion already made their debut in the AoE II esports scene at Empire Wars Duo tournament, which is already in the running and is slowly approaching the grand finals, slated for Sunday, September 13.

Attending the event are all six players, who are divided into two groups. TheViper, TaToH, and JorDan formed a three-man team named Jordan is Back, while DauT, slam, and Nili_AoE joined forces under Noone replied banner. At the time of writing, both teams are still in the race for the title.

The RTS Esports Title that Refuses to Die

Released in September 1999, Age of Empires II established itself as one of the longest-running esports titles. Despite its age, it remains one of the biggest and most competitive Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games to date. Popular in the late ’90s and into the early 2000s, AoE II has come back to the spotlight in recent years and has even broken franchise numbers in its player base, esports tournaments, and prize pools.

Much of AoE’s success in the competitive esports scene comes down to Satya Narayana Nadella, who became the CEO of Microsoft in 2014 and decided to appoint the ex-Senior Director at Westwood Studios Adam Isgreen as a Creative Director of AoE. This decision returned the franchise to its former glory with the release of AoE II Definitive Edition in 2017, which introduced a breath of fresh air into the old but still very much alive competitive scene.

It’s still unclear what the future holds in store for the AoE esports scene, with many fans eagerly waiting for the long-overdue release of Age of Empires IV, which has been first revealed in November 2019 and is said to revolutionize competitive AoE. While there is still no official release date for the fourth iteration of one of the most successful RTS games, we can be sure Age of Empires and its esports scene is not going anywhere anytime soon.