This year’s Dota championship, The International 10, has witnessed one of the most intense Grand Finals as we see the underdogs wipe out many of the top teams to claim the Aegis and take home a whopping $18.2 million. This tournament has the highest prize pool in Dota history with a total of $40 million up for grabs! Held in Bucharest, it was a challenging period especially when Romania had escalating cases during the tournament and many others have tested positive throughout the competition, including Team Aster. During the tournament, team Aster and Invictus Gaming were tested positive and had to be quarantined. They had to continue to compete despite the situation and had to play in separate isolated rooms.
Although Team Spirit initially qualified for the Upper Bracket, they were relegated by Invictus Gaming in the first round. The Russian team battled it out in the Lower Bracket and bulldozed their way, eliminating many tops teams such as Fnatic, Team Spirit and even Virtus.pro. On the other hand, hot favourites PSG.LGD, cruised to the finals with smooth victories, defeating T1, Virtus.pro and Team Secret. Many fans were shocked when Team Spirit put up their outstanding performance when Team Spirit defeated Invictus Gaming when they met for the second time after Team Secret sent Invictus Gaming down to Round 5 of the Lower Brackets. Team Secret was one of the top favourites to win, having not won any TI tournaments, had another major upset after Team Spirit once again overturned the odds with a 2-1 victory at the Lower Bracket Finals.
Team Spirit was formed back in 2015 where they made their first foray into Dota acquiring CIS former team. Their current roster was made up of EU players from Ukraine and Russia:
- Yatoro, Ukraine, Position 1
- Torontotokyo, Russia, Position 2
- Collapse, Russia, Positon 3
- Mira, Ukraine, Position 4
- Miposhka, Russia, Position 5
Most of them joined the team in late 2020 and has been competing together since, snapping up 1st in Season 2 of Dota 2 Champions League. They didn’t had any major trophies for the past 5 years. Led by Miposhka who was the only player with TI experience, they were the second EU team which won the TI after Na’Vi 10 years ago.
In the Grand Finals, many analysts were predicting PSG.LGD to win and the odds were against Team Spirit. In the first game, Yatoro, their main carry, had a very good start by taking the lead early and the team controlled the game well. It ended quickly within 38 minutes. Team Spirit gained momentum in the second game and totally dominated the match with an oustanding 24-8 against hot favourites PSG.LGD. Team Spirit was out to prove that EU is also a formidable opponent.
PSG.LGD started to wake up in game three with PSG.LGD good pick with Tinker. It worked well in their draw for Spectre and Bloodseeker to farm safely and did not make it easy for Team Spirit to secure the champion. Team Spirit was nervous throughout the match and lost it to PSG.LGD 42-17.
In Game 4, PSG.LGD showed the world who’s boss by making very good picks with Ame and NothingToSay taking Magnus and Bane. Team Spirit barely had any chance due to their weak drafts and they were totally outplayed within 24 Minutes and crashed 23-2 to PSG.LGD. It brought the Grand Finals to the sudden death.
In the final game, PSG.LGD threw in their trump card and fielded their strongest picks with their signature Tiny-Lycan pair. It seemed Team Spirit were quite prepared to counter with Magnus, Bane, Wyvern, Ember Spirit and Terrorblade. PSG.LGD knew they had to win and had many experience fielding in their top picks. However, Team Spirit somehow managed to counter the Tiny, who earlier had the lead. PSG.LGD subsequently crumbled as Ame was not able to turn over the deficit. Team Spirit, Mira and Miposhka gave the team an advantage by providing ample vision and good wand placement. Collapse, notorious for his Magnus, had created so many opportunities catching PSG.LGD off guard many times until PSG.LGD had to scramble with their buybacks. In the dying minutes where PSG.LGD lost their lead and their base were half obliterated, Ame desperately attempted to quickly get Roshan in their last ditch attempt. Team Spirit was lucky to catch Tiny and Ame was no longer able to buyback which enabled Team Spirit to swiftly clean up the base.
This was an amazing comeback by Team Spirit in a best of five Grand Finals and also made history by taking home the largest winnings in the World.