Team Spirit is your back-to-back Riyadh Masters finalist! But who will challenge them this time around?
The 2023 Riyadh Masters officially welcomes its first finalist and to the surprise of many, it is not Gaimin Gladiators nor Team Liquid - the serial finalists. Following a convincing Upper Bracket run, Team Spirit takes down Team Liquid to become the first team at the Grand Final of the $15 million tournament.
Although Team Spirit has been pretty consistent, the Eastern European team hasn't been to a Tier 1 Grand Final since August 2022. The last time they did, they won the PGL Arlington Major. Interestingly, Team Spirit was also the finalist in the previous Riyadh Masters in 2022. However, that tournament saw them falling short in second place, losing to PSG.LGD.
Could we see a different ending this time around with Team Spirit lifting the trophy? Or will another team cut them off their path once again?
Team Spirit breaks the pattern at the Riyadh Masters
In the Upper Bracket Final, Team Spirit squared off against the Western European juggernaut, Team Liquid. At the start of the tournament, a lot of people would probably expect Liquid to go this far. The team has indeed gone to four tournament finals in this year alone. However, Team Spirit was more of a dark horse. Yes, they are one of the best in the world. But they have unstable moments throughout the year, even finishing 9th-12th at the Bali Major.
But all that will matter no more. Team Spirit came to Riyadh Masters, revamped and confident. The beginning of the tournament was solid, with them clinching a top-2 placement in the Group Stage. And since then, things have only went upwards. Spirit knocked down Team Aster, BetBoom Team, and now Team Liquid to step into the finals.
With Spirit advancing to the Finals, the glorious pattern is also broken. The Dota 2 community is finally witnessing a unique Grand Final that is not the repeated Liquid vs GG BO5 (aside from the GG vs BetBoom in DreamLeague S20). But there is still a chance that either of those teams make it to the Finals and even grab the championship victory.
Is Team Spirit in TI form?
Those who have tasted the highs of TI can grow intimidating when their season comes. And Team Spirit has been spectacular in this final tournament before TI12 in Seattle, USA.
The TI10 champions are looking more and more solid each day, pulling off miraculous comebacks and winning unwinnable games. Their midlaner, Larl, also looks incredibly improved in this tournament and has been highly praised by the talents.
Team Spirit has one more series to play before they can bag the massive $5 million USD prize money. Catch their tomorrow on the final day of Riyadh Masters.
Check out the Riyadh Masters schedule and results here.