The team out of nowhere to win TI10 has made a strong statement ahead of their title defense.
At the beginning of October last year, you were hard pressed to find anyone other than a few friends and relatives of Team Spirit’s players and staff who genuinely believed that the team had a real chance of winning The International 10. was. , The little-known CIS squad had barely any fans in their region, and only had a single podium finish in the Tier 1 tournament.
Fast forward to the present day, and you don’t have to be a fan of Team Spirit to appreciate what the CIS team has accomplished over the past 10 months. However, the ride for Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naydenov and the boys has not been easy at all. The path to his current status as one of TI11’s favorites was paved with poor form, lack of coordination and several patches of frustration.
“lucky!” “One-Patch Surprise!” “Fluk Ti!” There were few words and phrases thrown in after Team Spirit’s performance plummeted for most of 2022. He took it in his stride, and against quite the odds, finished third in the DPC rankings for TI. In the words of Alexander “Torontotokyo” Khartek, “Where are you the haters now?” Impressed by his tenacity and courage in the face of adversity, we thought we would give him a shout out and discuss what the team should be looking for.
It’s not easy to find a team that does their best when no one expects them, the only one that comes to OG’s mind. In OG’s case, however, the team had four players who won as many Majors as players or coaches. The spirit literally came out of nowhere to take home the biggest prize in eSports history, and when people were convinced that the team was just lucky, they proved their mettle once again.
Team Spirit players, once a little-known Tier 2 talent, are now recognized and loved (or hated) around the world. His growth as a superstar may have happened overnight, but it was his own personal qualities and traits that took him there. An analysis of replays can show you what these are, but we did it so you don’t have to. Here are our thoughts:
Ilya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuki
Team Spirit’s intrepid Status 1 began his career in Yellow Submarine with everyone except one of his teammates. His use of playing 14 different heroes in just 20 games at TI10 was exceptional, and his immense hero pool remains a thorn in the side of rival drafters. In addition, he is one of the few players to reach 12,000 MMR, so his mechanical prowess is virtually unparalleled.In addition to excelling at basic carry duties such as farming and team fights, Yatoro also has an excellent idea of when to engage and what to do. Called far above his years in terms of maturity, he shows the kind of control and reservations usually seen in players with more experience. If given a place, he can easily take charge of the match.
Alexander “Torontotokyo” Khartek
One of the most aggressive mid players, Toronto is the embodiment of Tokyo high-intensity Dota. Charming as Topias “Topson” Tavitsanen, Cheng “Nothingtose” Jin Jiang as dangerous, and Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi as consistent, the Russian star is known to outshine opponents with ease.
Despite his aggression, Khertec is no echo-ho Rambo. His map sense is a thing of beauty, and his position in battle is exemplary. Using twirls to great effect, he prefers to take an active role that can enable his team (Yatoro in particular) rather than sitting around farming on a late game hero.
Magomed “Compressed” Khalilov
The hero of the Spirits TI victory, the Collapse Magnus plays from that tournament immediately became the stuff of legend. After the tournament, the internet was divided on his skills, with some pointing to his relatively limited hero pool as a mark of the fact that if Magnus was laid off he would no longer be a top-tier offlane player.
Nerf came, but didn’t change much for the fall, remaining an integral part of Soul’s lineup. Now, with Spirit back on top, Khalilov regularly shows how good he can be at any hero his role requires him to take on.
Miroslav “Mira” Kolpakov
The often-overlooked power behind Spirit’s success, Meera is someone who works tirelessly behind the scenes to allow her core to flourish. The only player who had not been in the Yellow Submarine prior to the Spirit, he began his career in a lesser-known team called the Cascades. Needless to say, his skills have increased significantly since moving to Spirit.
Meera is a player who knows where to be and when to be. Too small for a position 4 player, the Ukrainian is always setting up gank and making room so that Yatoro can get as many free games as possible. Capable of playing a variety of supports, Mira is another player who confuses enemy drafters with nukers, healers, and utility heroes in her large repertoire.
Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naydenov
The mind behind the operation is the soul, Miposhka has the calmest, coolest nature you will ever see on a gamer. Where players like Peter “PPD” Dagger or Clement “Puppy” Ivanov have shown negativity when faced with defeat, Miposhka is in a standing position of Zen that balances the aggressive nature of her two main cores.
With the shot-calling abilities of players with significantly more experience, Miposhka is a cunning strategist who can impress any of his more famous teammates. As a supportive, sacrificial stern support, he serves as both the leader and mentor for his young crew while making ice-cold, laser-sharp decisions.
What’s next for Team Spirit?
As they have already qualified for TI11, Spirit can now spend the next two months planning and trying out the strategy. Given their crazy hero pool and the synergy within the team, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some wacky ideas from the defending champions.
What makes this team tick, isn’t just the combination of five young players with lightning-fast reflexes, incredible sportsmanship and rivalries by the greatest esports teams of all time. There is a flow in the way they strike again and again, no matter how many times they are counted. An almost mysterious energy seems to bind them together. One could even say that it is a kind of magical team spirit.
Image credit: PGL Esports