Team Spirit have completed their Cinderella run and defeated PSG.LGD in the grand final of The International 10. This mind-blowing accomplishment has earned them a spot among the legends, but also made them rich overnight.
They’ll be heading home with $18,208,300 in their pockets, which is the largest prize payout in esports history.
The Perfect Underdog Story
The International 10 grand final was a spectacle that nobody expected. PSG.LGD and Team Spirit were complete opposites. PSG.LGD were the clear favourites in this event, while Team Spirit was a team that was hardly on anyone’s radar.
While PSG.LGD had a smooth run to the finish line, Team Spirit’s journey in TI10 was quite different. From a grueling regional qualifier to the rocky group stage start, Team Spirit faced setback after setback, but never gave up.
After finishing 4th in group B and stepping onto the main stage, they were immediately dropped down into the lower bracket and many wrote them off. At this point, their TI10 odds were looking slim and it seemed as if this was the end of the road for this young Russian squad.
However, this is where the real story began.
From the Bottom to the Top
If Team Spirit’s victory over Fnatic went unnoticed, then the elimination of OG certainly got everyone’s attention. This is when everyone realized Team Spirit was here to win.
After swiftly dismantling OG and cutting their TI journey short, the squad faced their fellow countrymen Virtus.pro. Up until this point, if anyone was talking about the CIS region, chances are they were talking about Virtus.pro. That made it all the more shocking when Team Spirit stomped Virtus.pro and finished the match with a 2-1 score.
Next, it was time for a rematch with Invictus Gaming, the team that initially sent Team Spirit down into the lower bracket. This time, the roles were reversed and Invictus Gaming were the ones struggling to keep up. A quick 2-0 win and Team Spirit suddenly found themselves in the lower bracket final facing Team Secret.
When Team Secret took game one, many assumed this was it for Team Spirit. But that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Team Spirit quickly turned things around, and this is where we saw the first glimpse of what Team Spirit was capable of when they had a Magnus pick.
The story ends with an epic grand final where Team Spirit, the underdogs, defeat the favourites PSG.LGD and steal all the glory.
Team Spirit played perfectly as a team, but some players truly stole the show. Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk was tasked with carrying his team – and oh did he deliver.
Not only has Yatoro successfully played several different carry heroes in a tournament where pros usually opt for one or two safe picks, but he has also scored multiple rampages, adding extra flavour to the already interesting Team Spirit playstyle.
We’ll all remember that Sven rampage versus Secret that will surely haunt Puppey’s dreams. Yatoro was simply brilliant, and certainly one of the best Dota 2 players, but wasn’t the real MVP of this team.
Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov is the real star of the show. His signature move, Blink Dagger into a Magnus Skewer is what completely destroyed PSG.LGD.
Team Spirit won the first two games versus PSG.LGD by maintaining perfect map vision and applying pressure. The second game was where Collapse really displayed the terror that is Magnus and PSG.LGD noticed it and countered him in the third and fourth game.
However, in the last game, PSG.LGD made a huge mistake and allowed Collapse to pick Magnus once again. Whether it was overconfidence or a miscalculated move on LGD’s part, it didn’t matter. Collapse punished them either way.
In the end, he has helped his team secure the Aegis of Champions and shaped them into one of the best Dota 2 teams in the world.
Lifting the Aegis
Team Spirit stole the show and picked up the Aegis of Champions for the first time ever. This young team succeeded where others would have failed. They have displayed great courage and discipline, as well as tremendous patience.
Their ability to thrive under pressure has enabled them to climb the lower bracket like it was nothing. The fact they were suddenly rich only dawned on them once they left their TI10 booth and approached the Aegis – until that point they were just going with the flow and playing to have fun.
In the end, they took a well-deserved victory over PSG.LGD and became the new TI Champions.