TI10 Grand Finals Recap: Team Spirit Take down Tournament Favorites PSG.LGD cover image

TI10 Grand Finals Recap: Team Spirit Take down Tournament Favorites PSG.LGD

A phenomenal performance by Team Spirit saw them topple the tournament favorites to win TI10. They take home a prize money of $18,208,300

The two teams in the TI10 Grand Finals could not have been completely different. PSG.LGD is the team that came into the tournament as the overwhelming favorites, an organization with a storied history in Dota 2 and TIs. Team Spirit is a debutante organization at TI10. Even the players on the roster are very new and very young. It was a David vs Goliath match if there was ever one. The favorites versus the Massive underdogs. And it was a thing of beauty to watch. 

Notail on Game 1: “I think the draft favored Team Spirit. I think LGD was not very comfortable with the way the fights went”

Game 1 Draft.
Game 1 Draft.

Both teams had a draft that preferred to go late. But there was a key difference in the two drafts. Team Spirit’s draft preferred to get pickoffs, while PSG.LGD was all about team fights. 

With a Naga on the roster, Team Spirit’s early game was always about farming. They knew PSG.LGD would hit a peak timing with Roshan and Ursa, and the itemization was just for that. 

With a focus on farming, Team Spirit had the networth advantage right from the get-go. After reaching some crucial items, PSG.LGD wanted to fight, badly. But they were simply not given the opportunity to take fights on their own terms. At 18 minutes, PSG.LGD are chasing the Radiant heroes but are unable to complete the kill.

A few minutes later, Team Spirit gank PSG.LGD and the outcome is quite different as Team Spirit is wildly successful. The difference in XP and networth just kept increasing throught the course of the game. 

The team used its abilities to position itself properly in teamfights. They used Ravage when BKBs were down, to further disable the enemy cores. 

Any Ursa team requires the Aegis to press on with its advantage. But Team Spirit was not ready to give up the Aegis without a fight. PSG.LGD got the first Roshan teamfight but it was not without an effort. 

Even when their Tidehunter was daed, Team Spirit continued to play aggressive and take on the enemy position 1 player. Playing in such an aggressive manner in the TI10 Grand Finals requires courage and Team Spirit had nothing to lose.

Team Spirit’s movement across the map and understanding of the way PSG.LGD play was a big factor in Team Spirit’s ultimate victory. The itemization was another factor that contributed to the team's success. With a Bloodthorn on Naga, it was relatively easy for Team Spirit to put immense pressure on the PSG.LGD players.

Team Spirit Get the Magnus, GG!

Game 2 Draft.
Game 2 Draft.

The draft battle continued into Game 2. As Silent and Xiao8 battled it out on stream, the big question was "Which Collapse hero was going to get through the first phase?"

In a pre-game interview, Xiao8 said they were prepared for Collapse’s Magnus. And it was no surprise to see PSG.LGD let Magnus through the draft. 

The draft also saw PSG.LGD pick up the Morphling-Earthshaker combo as an answer to Team Spirit’s Dark Willow pick. Not only was it a deny pick but the ES-Morph is a potent combo that rarely has an answer. 

An early group up at the 7-minute mark allowed PSG.LGD (with their Lesrac and Nature’s Prophet) to take down Team Spirit’s Tier 1 safe lane tower. The focus of this game was to take down important objectives and PSG.LGD use their draft to secure a huge advantage. 

But once Magnus got some crucial items (read Aghanim’s Shard and the Blink Dagger), Team Spirit took the initiative to pick off PSG.LGD players. While PSG.LGD was waiting to get their Morph-ES combo online, Collapse’s Magnus was already wreaking havoc. 

PSG.LGD changed strats to try to rat. Nature’s Prophet did his thing in trying to get the top barracks, but it was not enough. Team Spirit pulled ahead in farm, objectives and Aegis as well. Ultimately, Team Spirit won the game, their second game of the series. 

PSG.LGD get their First Win of the Grand Finals

PSG.LGD allowed Magnus to go through the draft once again. They were ready for Magnus and they wanted Team Spirit to pick it. Dared even. Team Spirit, naturally, picked Magnus. After all, there was no reason not to pick it. They won two games with Magnus and they would love to close out the series with Magnus. 

But PSG.LGD picked up Undying, the surprise pick of the draft. Undying was the answer to Magnus’ initiation, or so it seemed. But there was also the Bloodseeker and the Rubick. The gameplan was clear if Magnus blinks in, XinQ’s Rubick would lift him with Telekinesis. 

Rubick himself turned to Magnus, skewering Team Spirit into the rest of PSG.LGD.

PSG.LGD continued to farm, getting important items on its cores. Once Bloodseeker reached level 6 and combined with Tinker, they pushed towers, gaining crucial objectives and map. 

PSG.LGD won their first game of the series and maybe, just maybe it was the start of the reverse comeback. 

Game 4: PSG.LGD Bring the Series to 2-2; Winner of Game 5 Are your TI Champions

PSG.LGD had the momentum coming into Game 4. They won Game 3 despite Team Spirit picking the Magnus. This time, PSG.LGD had the first pick, and they picked Magnus. The hero has been one of the most contested ones at TI10 due to his Aghanim’s Shard Upgrade. The Shard allows Magnus to Horn Toss and then Skewer an opponent (or more) back to your teammates. 

But more importantly, it was the Undying + Bane Elemental pick that proved to be too overpowered for Team Spirit. Undying with Spectre was causing the issues for Team Spirit. It was very difficult for Team Spirit to try to win the lane. Undying and Spectre did not allow Axe to farm anything in the offlane. The late timing on the Blink Dagger meant Axe was pretty much non-existent in the entire game.

“LGD learn from their losses”


PSG.LGD finished the game with a 22-2 score, a score that just highlights their dominance throughout the match. PSG.LGD picked up the Aegis and then pushed their way to victory. The Chinese squad seemed to have found the perfect answer to Team Spirit's playstyle.

Team Spirit Seal the Deal in Game 5!! First CIS TI victory after 2011

Game 5 Draft.
Game 5 Draft.

It was down to the last game. Team Spirit and PSG.LGD were basically down to a best-of-one. It was all down to the draft again, what would teams change in their draft to win TI10?

Team Spirit banned Undying. The hero was a part of PSG.LGD’s draft through the 3rd and 4th games and was crucial to their victories. But this time, by banning Undying, Team Spirit gave PSG.LGD the Tiny-Lycan combo. It’s one of the highest damage combos as Lycan with his Aghanim can basically turn Tiny into a big bad wolf. 

Yatoro played 15 different heroes in 17 different games. He also had 3 rampages, the most for any hero at The International events. The performance by the player, his versatility and quick reflexes were a big reason for Team Spirit’s performance throughout the tournament.

The gameplan for Game 5 was clear. PSG.LGD would hit a peak timing around the 20 minute mark. They would have the Aghanim’s Scepter on Tiny and Silver Edge. But one problem for the team was the lack of catch. Even though Tiny (in wolf form) was chasing heroes, he simply did not have ernough to actually catch heroes beore they received help.

The repeated letdowns in trying to catch Team Spirit’s players was also partly due to the excellent warding by Miposhka’s Bane elemental. A performance similar to that during their game against OG, Miposhka was able to understand the game requirements and warded off crucial entry points to their part of the jungle. 

Towards the end of the game, Terrorblade and Ember Spirit were just too big for PSG.LGD’s heroes. 

With this victory, Team Spirit, the debutante TI organization won their first ever TI. This is the first time a CIS team won The International after NaVi won it in 2011.

Check out the TI10 Schedule and brackets here.

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