| 18. October 2021

Dota 2 – Team Spirit Does the Impossible, Claims the Aegis of Champions

What a day for CIS Dota! The region that won the first edition of The International has done it again. Only this time it wasn’t Na’Vi or that claimed the title. It was Team Spirit, a participant nobody would have given a chance. If you think that TI8 had the greatest Cinderella story imaginable, just watch the vods of TI10. At least OG had had a track record full of Major wins and great results. But Team Spirit had absolutely nothing going into this competition. And it faced all the giants along the way, ending the race with 6 consecutive wins! What an unbelievable performance!

Team Spirit’s Story at TI10

Team Spirit qualified for The International 10 by winning the CIS qualifiers. So it wasn’t one of the top 12 competitors that had proved themselves during the regular season. Instead, it was a mere underdog and every analyst would have given you the same prediction ahead of the tournament: 13th – 16th or, at best, 9th – 12th.

Who would have thought that PSG.LGD would lose another Grand Final at The International after such an amazing run? The Chinese squad had a single draw prior to its match against Spirit and 10 wins, 7 of which came in Bo2 matches! This was by far the favorite in everyone’s book and once again, just as it happened in 2018, PSG.LGD stumbled right at the end.

To be fair, Spirit was absolutely incredible. In fact, for a while we thought that the Grand Final would end with a score of 3 – 0. The CIS crew took control of the match and won the first two games without too many issues. But then, in games 3 and 4, PSG.LGD struck back. After game 4, it felt as though the Chinese crew would win, just as it had done at ESL One Fall 2021 and OGA Dota PIT Invitational. But Spirit fought hard and won game 5 thanks to an exceptional Terrorblade performance.

As a result of this win, CIS Dota will no doubt be prioritized next season and receive 3 spots for the Majors instead of 2. Let’s hope though that Valve will not forget about Western Europe. The region definitely deserves to have more teams at every big event. The fact that Nigma, Tundra, and Liquid were not present at The International 10 clearly proves that the qualification system used in 2021 was deeply flawed and that a complete rehaul is needed for 2022.


Photo credit: Valve