Retirement buff?? Azure Ray shockingly eliminates Team Spirit from BetBoom Dacha cover image

Retirement buff?? Azure Ray shockingly eliminates Team Spirit from BetBoom Dacha

Retired grandpas > two-time TI champs.

BetBoom Dacha Dubai just witnessed the current The International (TI) champions suffering a shocking elimination. In a heated Lower Bracket battle, Team Spirit went down in the hands of Azure Ray, a team comprising many former retirees - and Azure Ray has just proven that retired or not, they still have that incredible prowess.

(Screenshot via esports.gg)
(Screenshot via esports.gg)

During the Playoffs of BetBoom Dacha Dubai, Azure Ray flexed a freshly built roster of returning veterans. With names like Faith_bian (also called Bach), Ori, and fy - the team attracted a lot of attention, especially from the old school enthusiasts. Despite some questions marks regarding how well they will do and Faith_bian calling himself a noob, Azure Ray showed that they are far from being washed out.

In the first game of the series, Ori delivered an incredible performance on Storm Spirit. He consistently jumped in without hesitation, disrupting the backlines and finding great initiations. His Storm Spirit also made consecutive multi pulls with Electric Vortex, shutting down Team Spirit with ease.

The second game was no different. Azure Ray continuously dominated the game with a fearsome Troll Warlord on Lou. Although the Chinese team faced a little hiccup in the middle, they managed to take the lead back and completely outplay Spirit until the end.

A disastrous debut for the TI champions

We need to give credit where it's due, and that is to acknowledge the outstanding performance from Azure Ray. But it is also apparent that Team Spirit themselves have been struggling to find their footing.

BetBoom Dacha Dubai was Team Spirit's official tournament debut since they bagged their second TI title in Seattle, USA. The Eastern European team took a break and pulled out of ESL One Malaysia and only participated in qualifiers for the past two months. But Spirit's glorious end to 2023 met against a dampening start to 2024.

Team Spirit departs the tournament in sixth place alongside Gaimin Gladiators (another shocking upset). The team will bring home $45,000. Meanwhile, Azure Ray marches forward to complete their Lower Bracket campaign. The Chinese dark horse will have a rematch against Team Liquid, the team that knocked them down to the Lower Bracket.

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