Pos 4 for Team Spirit, Mira feels the TI magic coming back as they eliminate China’s top-seed, RNG from the Gamers8 Riyadh Masters.
The Gamers8 Riyadh Masters is approaching its end and Team Spirit are feeling themselves after eliminating Royal Never Give Up (RNG). The TI champions have been stable throughout the past seasons but they didn't look nearly as great as their TI10 form. However, Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov revealed that the TI-magic is coming back and they're feeling confident to win the Riyadh Masters.
If you missed the series, here's how it went down.
A strong opening by Team Spirit
In the first game, Team Spirit drafted a cheesy Mars and Phoenix combo. The Mars, which goes to TORONTOTOKYO in the midlane was able to participate in many fights and ganks, with a great Spear + Clockwerk Cogs combination. RNG went for their classic Chalice Nature's Prophet which led the net worth for RNG throughout the game. We even saw an interesting juke play in the early phase with Chalice making use of his Sprout to survive.
The game was a balanced affair until the 30-minute mark when Spirit started initiating fights and picking off more kills. They began pushing highground and took two mid racks from RNG but at the cost of a couple of heroes. With some time off pressure, RNG took the opportunity to invade Spirit's highground, but it was no easy feat. Kaka's Nyx Assassin initiated with a great two-man stun but they were overwhelmed by Spirit’s counter-fight. The game ended with an Ultra Kill by Yatoro’s Templar Assassin.
Spirit pulls out the better last-pick
Game 2 was an entirely different case from the first game. During the laning phase, a strong xNova Marci on position 5 complimented the carry Monkey King well. It also shuts down the escape ability from Dark Seer's Surge which made it worse for Team Spirit. The CIS team tried to keep up but RNG kept asserting aggression, with mid OD rotating around the map. According to Mira, the last pick Outworld Destroyer caught them off guard as it was the perfect pick. But Spirit had a better draft under their sleeves for the next game.
"They had secret strat, last pick OD. We didn't expect it, we didn't even think about it and it was perfect. It counters Disruptor, it counters Timbersaw, our carry.. it was the best pick ever. But we had another answer, last pick PL."
In the final game of the series, Team Spirit opted for a Phantom Lancer and it went incredibly well for the team. The offlane Slardar dominated RNG's safelane, securing kill after kill onto the carry Juggernaut. With RNG's core being punished, Yatoro's Phantom Lancer was having the time of his life.
It was plain sailing for Spirit and by the time they were hitting Tier 4s and diving in RNG's base, the Chinese team tapped out of the series. RNG will exit the Riyadh Masters in 5th-6th place, bringing home $200K in prize money.
Post-match interview with Mira
Following the win, the position 4 of Team Spirit hopped on stage to talk about the team's current form. During the Group Stage of Riyadh Masters, Team Spirit had a pretty good run only losing a full series to PSG.LGD. They managed to get a draw from a powerful Team Secret and a convincing win against the rest. With this important win against China's top-seed, Mira smiled on stage and talked about their current form.
"The TI magic vibe is coming back, I can feel it that we can pick whatever we think is good in particular games and we can play on it and I think we are getting confident over time. Especially in this tournament, it's a super good opportunity to try our drafts against the best teams. We're just trying to improve and it's getting better and better."
And when the host, Darren "KillerPigeon" Elmy asked Mira if that means they are confident to win this tournament he didn't hesitate to agree. "I think yes, we have a big chance to win it."