For the first time in 5 years, a Dota 2 team from the CIS region has found their way to the top three placements in an International.
At the end of the penultimate evening, the two Chinese heavyweights, Invictus Gaming and Vici Gaming were eliminated. This is contrary to what most would have predicted before TI 10. With five strong Chinese teams entering the main event, most surmised that the Chinese wall would be impenetrable this year.
With their energetic Dota 2, the young band of East European talents, Team Spirit, has risen beyond all expectations. If they beat Team Secret tomorrow, it will be a phenomenal lower bracket run for the ages.
Team Spirit's Yatoro is the only Dota 2 player to ever make two rampages in TI
Team Spirit's carry, Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk, has some interesting statistics to show in this TI. Unlike most teams that prefer a limited number of comfort heroes to cover all bases, Team Spirit has drafted a different carry for Yatoro in every main stage game thus far - a testament to his sheer versatility.
At 19, Yatoro is the youngest player in TI 10, and the first tier-1 Dota 2 event he played was ESL One Germany 2020. Yet, in only a year of tier-1 play, he has earned the unique achievement of having two rampages. Only five other players have rampages in the history of Dota 2. Moreover, Yatoro's rampages come from the same tournament and against the same team: Invictus Gaming.
Their 2-0 victory against Invictus Gaming also comes with the sweet test of revenge. In the opening series of TI main stage, Invictus Gaming sent Team Spirit to the lower bracket to begin with.
IG and VG eliminated
Invictus Gaming looked stronger than Vici Gaming, their very familiar rival in the Chinese Dota 2 scene, when they emerged out of the lower bracket best-of-three with a clean sweep. However, Team Spirit surprised them with their steady improvement since their last confrontation. After an emphatic domination round from Team Spirit in game one, IG had almost started to steer things around with an equalizer. But their early lead in the second game was ruined by a few misplays from Jin "flyfly" Zhiyi's Faceless Void.
With Invictus Gaming gone, TI is an even possibility between three regions for the first time in four years: Team Spirit from CIS, PSG.LGD from China, and Team Secret from EU.