CIS Dota was on full display as Team Spirit dominated Fnatic to stay alive in the lower bracket.
Team Spirit live up to the name by dominating Fnatic and booking top 8 at TI.
Team Spirit vs Fnatic was a crucial game for both teams, as this as an elimination game and the end of the TI road.
For Fnatic, they had already achieved their best organization result since TI6, so were playing only with internal pressure of team expectations.
Team Spirit erstwhile, was a team that was debuting on the biggest stage of them all. Having already proven themselves in the run to TI10, the group stage solidified that this is not a team to be trifled with.
With the stakes being higher than ever, the series would be the most tense of the young players’ lives.
The beginning of the end.
Game 1 would find a draft that was seemingly comfortable for both squads. Fnatic played heroes which they had played several times before, especially the Deth Tidehunter, ChYuan Storm Spirit and Raven Morphling.
On the other hand, Team Spirit would decide to play a very high tempo lineup, utilizing a Wisp-Luna strategy to push the speed of the game; whilst Ember Spirit would control the tempo from the midlane. For good measure, they would also secure the signature Collapse Mars to have teamfight presence.
From the get go however, Team Spirit was applying pressure on all portions of the map. Although their mid and safelane were going okay, they were dominant in the Mars lane, applying a lot of pressure onto Raven.
Fnatic, needing to play more passively to catch up, gave space toward Team Spirit to accrue net worth and map control. Given the nature of their draft, Fnatic would be unable to make many plays until their Storm Spirit and Morphling recovered.
Team Spirit would use this time to secure practically every objective on the map, barely needing to even fight as Fnatic was too weak to challenge them. Luna, often used to being targeted by opponent’s, was able to run headlong into Fnatic with no fear, winning every skirmish she was in.
Eventually, they felt strong enough to group up and attempt to end the game.
Fnatic would do their best to defend the push, but would ultimately fail and be forced to call GG soon thereafter.
Team Spirit secured a 25 minute victory, the fastest so far on the Main Stage of TI10!
Curtain call being heard
Game 2 would see Fnatic scrambling to pick heroes which would allow them to play more aggressively and fight more often. Moving away from the big AOE teamfight, they would draft heavy skirmishers like Void Spirit and Night Stalker with the hope it would be enough. They would also surprise everyone by dragging out the Grimstroke pick to combo with the Deth Nightstalker.
Team Spirit would instead take up the banner of simple teamfight, securing Kunkka and Tidehunter whilst putting Yatoro on his Sven. As insurance for these heroes, Team Spirit would pick Shadow Demon and Weaver to ensure that they had methods of saving their precious core heroes.
Although the draft seemed comfortable, the coach of Team Spirit would strike a humble tone when asked about his team’s prospects.
With one step away from a top 8 TI finish for Team Spirit, and one step away from elimination for Fnatic; one game would define the destinies for both teams.
Team Spirit Dominates.
The game unfortunately was not close at all.
Yet again, from the get go Team Spirit was ahead. They not only won every single lane, they also were able to kill the Fnatic heroes several times over in the lanes.
Playing a game from behind is always difficult, however doing so with a draft that needs to be ahead is even moreso.
Once the laning phase ended, Team Spirit began a vicegrip on the entire map.
Placing Collapse’s Tidehunter at the forefront, they were able to walk straight into Fnatic and force them into bad fights. Even in circumstances where it should have gone badly, their lead guaranteed that they would barely suffer any consequences.
From this point onwards, it was all one way traffic from Team Spirit. Yet again completely unimpeded in their adventures on the map, this time Fnatic had even fewer ways of coming back into the game.
Ultimately, Yatoro’s Sven would become too big to fight directly, and his presence in a fight would signal the demise of several Fnatic heroes.
Eventually, Fnatic would recognize the futility of continuing to fight, and would throw in the towel at the 37 minute mark. Team Spirit would take the series 2 – 0, and secure the fastest series win on the main stage!
CIS Standing Strong!
With this win, Team Spirit would find themselves in a top 8 position. And with the earlier win from VP, on track to deepen the CIS run at the Main Event.
Despite this, the team would not be arrogant about victory, and would show respect to their opponents. When asked about their victory, a humble tone would be struck.
Team Spirit’s journey would not be over yet. To see what dizzying heights they could potentially reach, the bracket would continue. Still awaiting an opponent, they would have the luxury of time and information before their next elimination match.
Disappointed, but still exceeding expectations.
For Fnatic, the TI10 journey would end here. Playing at a level that showed their talents more than their weaknesses; Fnatic were able to make good progress at the event despite having an extremely young team.
Showing several signs of shining light, they would leave the tournament with a lot to build off of. The potential of the roster was evident; and should the young team be given a chance to mature, who knows what next season may bring.
Striking a sombre and reflective tone, captain Jabz would take stock of how the team fell short of their best; whilst acknowledging how far they have come.
With Fnatic eliminated, the SEA representation at TI10 has been halved. Now T1 will be carrying the hopes of the entire region!
The tournament still continues, and every moment still had potential to take your breath away.