New Bloods Team Spirit Knock Out Alliance in 2-1 Series
Team Spirit defeated Alliance in the lower bracket match of the WePlay Animajor. Even though Alliance is yet to win a series in International LAN, the team has already qualified to TI10.
Team Spirit were up against Alliance in the lower bracket of the WePlay Animajor. The Dota 2 Major has some of the best teams in attendance and is the final opportunity for many to secure an invite to TI10.
The draft for this game had some signature heroes all around, a first phase Faceless Void for Nikolay "Nikobaby" Nikolov, Mirana for Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov, and Wraith King for Illya "yatoro" Mulyarchuk. There were also some strange picks from both sides, with a last pick Windranger on Team Spirit for Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek, and position 4 Leshrac on Alliance for Simon "Handsken" Haag.
A bloody early game to start
The laning phase started pretty evenly on top and bottom. In the midlane however, TORONTOTOKYO got bodied by the Viper of Linus "Limmp" Blomdin. With Yatoro dying a lot, things looked dire (no pun intended). A nice Double Damage rune from TORONTOTOKYO however was able to get himself back in the game with a triple kill. The game then proceeded into a game of cat and mouse where Spirit continued to look for pickoffs on the Alliance heroes.
Team Spirit doing their best Zerg cosplay
The game slowed down after that point, with both teams looking to pick up some key kills. Not as much happened as in the early game. As the minutes ticked by, a couple more pickoffs were found, and Spirit killed Roshan. This led to Spirit slowly starting to take over the map.
Windranger and Mars continued to find kills across the map and then one big fight seemed to propel Team Spirit into an even more commanding lead. Alliance picked up a kill with a Chrono on TORONTOTOKYO and looked posed to get out with the Dark Rift from Underlord. In an instant however, Gustav "s4" Magnusson, decided to cancel the ult, and the Alliance proceeded to get rolled over.
After one fight where they were able to kill TORONTOTOKYO. Alliance were looking ok, but still got demolished by Team Spirit's counterplay. It was at this point that the game was pretty much over.
The game 2 draft saw Spirit trying and both new and old things, and Alliance looking like they were trying to adapt to the meta. Alliance picked up a Winter Wyvern, Magnus and stole the Wraith King for themselves this time. Spirit in the meantime picked up the classic TORONTOKYO and Terroblade, as well as stealing Underlord.
A Slower Start to This Game
The laning stage was a similar story to last game. Both top and bottom relatively even with a slight edge for the Terrorblade, with TORONTOTOKYO getting pretty far behind in lane. Differing from game 1 however, the early game was much less active, with both teams seemingly content to farm.
Fng has ben playing a lot of Sub-Zero Lately
Moving into the mid game, the teams made moves to try to take the mid towers. Sprit made nice move onto Limmp but he was saved by a clutch Winter’s Curse from Artsiom "fng" Barshak. This propelled alliance into a better position, but Spirit still had the late game advantage with the Terrorblade. Alliance used this space to take a Rosh, getting a much-needed boon to try to gain some momentum.
Using the Aegis, Alliance was able to push out much of the map and take some big kills, blowing up the Yatoro Terrorblade. Nikobaby was able to smash through the squishy supports of Spirit and practically run away with the game with the massive farm he had. Spirit tried to mount a comeback, but another sick Winter’s Curse stopped the Puck from getting a coil off. After that, Alliance proceeded to take Rosh and then win the game.
Game 3: Spirit close it out
The final game draft had some more fan favorites. Spirit decided that the Wyvern was too good to pass up and we got the third game Dragon Knight that has become a staple for Alliance. With a last pick Batrider, Alliance was looking like they had a strong draft advantage.
Spirit make adjustments
In the laning phase, this was the first time that Limmp didn’t have a massive lead, going even in that lane. Spirit also managed to do a good job in the other lanes, getting first blood on the s4 DK. Despite going even, The level 6 for Batrider was a turning point, being able to kill Tiny pretty handedly, and helping Alliance stay in a good position.
Moving into the midgame however, Nikobaby took an early Rosh. But in the wake of a great counterplay from Spirit, Alliance started to lose a series of fights. Limmp dies twice in succession on Bat, and then Alliance lose a successive fight afterward.
How can you kill the Unkillable?
All throughout, Spirit continued to get the better trade out of fights, getting pickoffs and forcing big ultimates out of Alliance. Yatoro was practically unkillable and had massive amounts of networth of the Nikobaby Ursa. Along with some great RPs and Skewers from Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov, Team Spirit looked unstoppable. With one final push, Spirit knocked out the 1st place team from Western Europe.
Win this win, Spirit get closer to getting a direct invite to TI. They will be playing either Virtus Pro or Vici Gaming next as they continue their journey through the major.
Christian is a student from Schenectady, New York, studying at Albany Law School. He is an avid gamer, writer, podcaster, and content creator who is passionate about Dota 2 and music!