Team Spirit are heading to The International 10
The International 10 Eastern Europe qualifiers are done and dusted with Team Spirit making a perfect upper bracket run to join the team line-up that will play for a share of the $40,018,195 prize pool and the chance of taking home the much coveted Aegis of Champions.
Team Spirit were about 300 Dota Pro Circuit short of securing a spot at TI10 after they missed the first Major of the year. However, through the entire DPC, they grew into a true tier one contender coming from Eastern Europe, and after the AniMajor it was already clear that they are the main favourites in the TI10 qualifiers.
At the same time, in the lower bracket, one competitor made a splash. Team Empire delivered the biggest upsets of the qualifiers. They knocked out of the contention Natus Vincere, they slayed HellRaisers in the lower bracket finals, and all in all they eliminated five out of eight upper bracket teams to reach the grand finals, where they pushed Spirit to a decisive game five.
Eastern Europe grand finals started with Team Spirit out-scaling and outlasting Empire’s Naga Siren carry in a back and forth battle. llya "yatoro" Mulyarchuk on Terrorblade didn’t have an easy laning phase, losing his life twice in the first 10 minutes, and by the 15-minute mark, Empire were already in the lead in both gold and experience. They kept increasing that advantage, but a disastrous fight around the 30-minute mark turned the tide and marked Team Spirit’s full comeback.
Down one game, Empire regrouped and fought back with vengeance, having the Terrorblade on their side in game two. They ran a mid lane Invoker in the hands of Gleb "depressed kid" Zyryanov, who’s been their MVP through the entire series, and pressured Team Spirit with an offlane Dragon Knight that was able to stay in front and absorb the strong right clicks coming from Spirit’s Luna and Templar Assassin.
They kept the same concept of mixing elusive heroes with tanky ones in game three as well and once again outmaneuvered Team Spirit, but with a Puck - Phantom Lancer - Axe trio that was too much for their adversaries to control.
Empire kept the PL in their game four draft as well and paired with Invoker and Timbersaw, looking to once again overwhelm Spirit, and for the first 20 minutes of the game, they did just that. They forced Spirit’s Ursa to flee in the jungle before the 10-minute mark, but they kind of lost track of Yatoro’s farm progression and that was one of the main factors in their loss. Past the 20 minute mark, when Yatoro had his Sange and Yasha ready, Empire couldn’t land any more kills on Spirit and the series was pushed to game five.
Unfortunately for Empire, the long day during which they had to play two best of three series, both going to game three and a fifth game in the grand finals, was most likely getting them weary. Small errors during the laning phase allowed Team Spirit to take an early lead and wipe Empire with a draft that was built around big burst damage.
Eastern Europe was the first region to decide it’s qualifier winning team heading to The International10. South America will be next, SG e-sports already waiting for their adversaries to be decided in the lower bracket finals.
Southeast Asia and North America will follow, scheduled to hold the final battle for a spot at TI10] starting on the 30th of the month. Western Europe and China will close the qualifier rounds, both fighting starting July 7.
headline image credits: WePlay Holding