Team Spirit is the Winner of The International 10
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October 19, 2021

Team Spirit is the Winner of The International 10

Eastern European Team Spirit pulled an immense upset to win TI10 (The International 10), the biggest Dota 2 tournament, taking home $18 million in prizing out of the event’s $40 million prize pool, the largest payout in esports history. With their victory, the Russian team becomes the second team from Eastern Europe to claim the Aegis of Champions, since Ukrainian Natus Vincere won in 2011. The team capped off their debut in the tournament by crushing PSG.LGD 3-2 after throwing away an early 2-0 lead.

TI10 Main Event

PSG.LGD, the Chinese juggernauts, entered the upper bracket after an outstanding 15-1 performance in the group stage. They comfortably ran through Virtus.Pro (VP) and Team Secret to secure their place in the grand finals.

Meanwhile, Team Spirit barely made the cut to the upper bracket with a 10-6 scoreline. In their first match, Invictus Gaming (IG) knocked them to the lower bracket. With their title hopes hanging on the line, the underdogs pulled massive wins on the lower bracket, eliminating Fnatic and ending the back-to-back wins of the defending Dota 2 esports champions, OG. They then exerted revenge over IG, securing themselves a spot in the semifinals. They triumphed over Team Secret in the semis to earn themselves a place in the TI10 Grand Finals.

The International 10 Grand Finals

Team Spirit entered TI10 grand finals in high spirits but knew they faced a formidable opponent with the best record in the tournament. With a focus on farming, Team Spirit took the advantage of the net worth on the go, earning crucial items. They drafted Naga Siren on Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk, who freely farmed accumulating 30,000 gold for his team. With Yatoro’s power, Team Spirit marched to the barracks to win the first game.

Switching strategy in game two of The International 10 Grand Finals, Team Spirit opted for pickoffs and avoided team fights, which allowed off-laner Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov to infiltrate the opponents’ defenses and break down their formation. Using Skewer and Horn Toss, Collapse devastated PSG.LGD to where Morphling’s Aghanim Scepter combo and Earthshaker couldn’t neutralize the attacks. The off-laner led his team to victory in game two with zero deaths, two kills, and 20 assists.

With a 2-0 lead, Team Spirit needed to put up another tactical performance to become The International 10 winners. But PSG.LGD wouldn’t give them a free pass, with Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang’s Tinker successfully holding off power spikes from Empower on Phantom Assassin. Tinker acquired Blink Dagger at 10 minutes and Aghanim’s Scepter at 17 minutes, making it difficult for Yatoro’s Phantom Assassin to escape deathballs. As they scrambled defensively, Team Spirit stunted Ame’s Spectre but held off PSG.LGD from the barracks, allowing them to bring the tie to 2-1.

Team Spirit, Dota 2 Esports Champion

With some luck, PSG.LGD took early command of game four with a double damage rune that gave them Aegis on Ame’s Luna. Several pickoffs from “TORONTOTOKYO” and devastating Moon Glaives from Luna saw PSG.LGD even the game to 2-2. In the final game, PSG.LGD won the drafts with excellent picks. But Collapse led Team Spirit with a spectacular Horn Toss and Skewer combo that took NothingToSay out of the game. Team Spirit kept their momentum launching skirmishes to Ame and NothingToSay before Collapse threw a massive Skewer to bring the game to 3-2, winning The International 10 and the biggest tournament in 2021 Dota 2 esports.

PSG.LGD bowed out of the tournament as the runner-up with $5.2 million in prize money. The International is Dota 2’s most lucrative championship with the biggest prize pool in all of esports history.

Written by Daniella Johnson

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