The Dota 2 World Championship, The International(TI), has just ended, with an underdog finishing on top. Team Spirit is the first CIS-team winning the tournament since Natus Vincere won the first edition in 2011. Team Spirit went up against heavy-hitters like the reigning champions OG, Team Secret and finally won against PSG.LGD in the end. They took home $18,2 million from the record-breaking prize pool of $ 40 million.
Team Spirit is a Russian team founded in 2015, acquiring an older team called “CIS-rejects”. The roster for The International was composed of Miposhka, Collapse, Mira, TORONTOTOKYO and Yatoro. All of which were quite inexperienced, but shared a love for the game. Four of them hadn’t even been to TI yet. However, according to Team Spirit themselves, they got insane win rates in their practice rounds and hoped to get the ball rolling in the big tournament as well. At first, no one seemed to notice their supporting players’ great job. However, that was set to change once they started climbing the ladder.
The journey to victory
Indeed, Team Spirit wasn’t the pick of the litter at first. Their way into TI was through regional qualifiers. Winning the Eastern European Qualifiers enabled them a spot in TI. Even though they played well, they were off to a rough start on the Main Stage with a score of 0-4. During the first round, they got knocked right down to the Lower Bracket by Invictus Gaming, making their climb steeper. They also stood to meet renowned teams such as Team Secret, PSG:LGD, Fnatic, OG and Virtus.pro.
The surprises started when Team Spirit took down the prestigious rival and reigning champion OG 2-0, after which they pursued to knock down fellow Russian team Virtus.Pro. Later, they ran against Invictus Gaming again in the semifinals, which was seen as one of the strongest teams in the tournament with 6-2-0 scores in the Group Stage. Right after, they went against Team Secret to knock down the door to the finals. The rest, as they say, is history. The team went from total earnings of under $ 600.000 since 2015, to taking home $ 18,3 million from TI10.
We decided to take a look at their stats to see what the performance of the winning team looks like in numbers.
Team Spirit had an initial setback when they got kicked down to the Lower Bracket by Invictus Gaming. Later, they came back, showcasing an incredible display of gameplay. Their strategy can be summarised in one single word: Courageous. They went into teamfights where others might have backed off, catching the larger, more established teams off-guard.
Even though it’s a team effort, there were some notable player performances. For instance, Yatoro had the largest hero pool in the league, keeping the enemies on their toes and making the picking-phase easier as he could play around the opposing teams bans.
While the mid laner TORONTOTOKYO also played brilliantly, their biggest star might be Collapse, who was incredible on Magnus – a hero who opened up their entire strategy with great initiations of teamfights. He also did an excellent job with other heroes such as Tidehunter and Mars.
Dota is considered the title popularising Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games, paving the way for the likes of League of Legends, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Heroes of the Storm.
The game was originally published as a community-based mod for Warcraft III, later developed by Valve Corporation as the game known today as Dota 2.
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The International 10 was held at the end of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit and is the official world tournament in Dota 2, boasting the highest prize pools year over year in esports. It was played in Bucharest, Romania and is the 10th anniversary of the legendary event.
Read more about how the International ended up in Romania
The International is composed of 18 teams, 12 coming from the best-performing teams in Dota Pro Circuit which is played during the upcoming year to the event and six from regional qualifying playoff brackets. One team from each region can qualify, and the regions include North America, South America, Southeast Asia, China, Eastern Europe and Western Europe.
The Group Stage
The first stage of the tournament is Round Robin, which means that every team faces each other and the two teams who lose the largest number of games get eliminated.
The Main Event
The main event is composed of Upper and Lower Brackets, where the teams play in a double elimination, best-of-three-style until two teams face each other in the Grand Final with a best-of-five match.
The prize pool in Dota 2 The International is rather unique. It uses a battle pass-based crowdfunding system, where players of Dota 2 get to buy a battle pass called Compendium. One fourth of the proceeds goes to the prize pool of TI, allowing it to grow to an enormous size. The prize pools of TI are the largest in the world, and typically increase each year. For the last tournament in 2019, the prize pool was $34,3 million. It increased significantly to a staggering $ 40 million in 2021.
The finale of Dota 2 was exciting – who doesn’t love an underdog-story? Make sure to contact us if you’d like to discuss any and all things Dota 2 and esports.