Summary of Team Spirit’s journey to becoming TI10 champions
The International 10 (TI10) ended in October 2021 with Team Spirit reigning as its champion. Their journey wasn’t easy as the competition was filled with the best Dota 2 teams around the world. If you are curious about what they had to go through then here’s their story starting from the bottom until they reach the top in 2021.
Starting from the bottom
TI10 is filled with plenty of amazing teams around the world. The most formidable of which are team OG, Invictus Gaming, Evil Geniuses, and Fnatic. Team Spirit is an underdog compared to them. Before they became champions, this Russian team didn’t have an impressive run in the Dota 2 esports scene.
Although they seem small when compared to esports giants like the teams above, Team Spirit is actually a powerhouse in local Dota 2 tournaments. Prior to TI10, Team Spirit had a lacklustre run in the major leagues since they were founded in 2016. Nobody foresaw how much of a powerhouse they’d become until they scaled the tournament ladder all the way to the top.
Group Stage: A bad first step but with a good momentum
What made Team Spirit have such a bad impression at the start of TI10 is their tense Grand Final at the Eastern Europe Qualifier with Team Empire. The 3-2 win was not a convincing note to start the Group Stage in TI10 where they also started on the wrong foot.
Team Spirit had the worst Group Stage start of the season. They faced both PSG.LGD and Team Secret where they lost 0-2 in both matches. Fortunately, it wasn’t the elimination round as Team Spirit was simply relegated to the bottom of Group B.
Team Spirit’s third match was with Elephant Gaming where they won 2-0 but they lost another 0-2 against Vici Gaming afterwards. Another loss would forfeit their chances in the season so they mustered all of their energy into defeating all three of their next opponents with a 2-0 lead. This raised their placement to 4th in Group B, putting them in the Upper Bracket.
Upper Bracket: High start but immediate loss
Team Spirit had a good run during the grouping stage but their momentum was cut at the first match in the main event. They matched against Invictus Gaming, one of the favourites in TI10. They managed to score 1 win but they lost in a 1-2 upset. This relegated them to the lower bracket where they had to continue the rest of the match starting at round 2. This was the last time that Team Spirit lost in the entire event.
Lower Bracket: Fought giants to stay in the competition
Team Spirit found themselves in another do or die situation in the lower bracket. They also had tough competition such as Fnatic and two-time Ti champions, OG. On top of that, they also had to fight the three teams that dropped them to the lower bracket.
In a surprising turn of events, Team Spirit made off with 2-0 wins against Fnatic and OG. They also won 2-1 against Virtus.pro whom they are facing for the first time in TI10. Team Spirit faced Invictus Gaming in round 5 and secured a satisfying revenge victory at 2-0 lead.
The two teams that gave Team Spirit in the Group Stage fought in the Upper Bracket finals. PSG.LGD won 2-0, making Team Secret fight in the Lower Bracket finals. This is where Team Spirit got the rematch they wanted and won another decisive victory with 2-1. Team Spirit is on a winning streak on their way to their biggest challenge, the PSG.LGD.
Grand Finals: From the worst position to top place
PSG.LSD is a Chinese Dota 2 team that hasn’t won the TI10 but became a runner-up against OG in 2018. They are once again runner ups in 2021 but with a new set of members. Their roster includes Wang ‘Ame’ Chunyu in Position 1, Zhang ‘Faith_bian’ Ruida in Position 3, and Zhang ‘y`’ Yiping in Position 5 and acting captain. There is also Cheng ‘NothingToSay’ Jin Xiang in Position 2 and Zhao ‘XinQ’ Zixing in Position 4 who are loaned from Team EHOME. All of them joined the team in 2020 to represent PSG.LSD in TI10.
Team Spirit’s bearers of the champion’s title are also new members who joined the team in 2020. The team captain of the group is Yaroslav ‘Miposhka’ Naidenov in position 5 who joined the team in 2020 at the same time as three other members. Those are Illya ‘Yatoro’ Mulyarchuk in Position 1, Alexander ‘TORONTOTOKYO’ Khertek in Position 2, and Magomed ‘Collapse’ Khalilov in Position 3. The newest member is Miroslaw ‘Mira’ Kolpakov in Position 4 who joined in 2021.
Team Spirit won the Grand Finals against PSG.LSD with 3-2 lead in a best of five matches. This turn of events gave the champions a poetic victory against their toughest rivals. It is also similar to how they won the Eastern Europe Qualifiers against Team Empire which made the event all the more exciting. Team Spirit beat the odds as they kept getting pushed down to the bottom of the team standings but they still pushed through all the way to the top. This year’s Dota 2 champion is the dark horse of the competition and they gave everyone an amazing show.With the TI10 over, it is time for esports teams to take a break once again. Some players have plans to celebrate the end of the season while others have plotted their course to winning the next TI. The next Dota 2 Pro Circuit will begin in the summer of 2022 which is a long time away from the end of TI10. Eastern Europe is likely to gain an extra seed thanks to Team Spirit but it’s too early for that decision. Stay tuned for more updates for the next season.