In a shocking turn of events, Team Spirit, the reigning DOTA 2 TI champions, has been knocked out of this year's tournament on the very first day of the playoffs. The Russian outfit faced off against BOOM Esports in round one of the lower bracket and were unable to overcome the Southeast Asian roster. This guarantees that a new champion will be crowned at The International 11.
The first day of the playoffs at DOTA 2 The International 11 has already seen a number of surprises in the upper bracket, with EG being handed a clean defeat after a stellar Group Stage run and the Chinese powerhouse PSG.LGD also being 2-0'd by Team Secret. But the shocking exit of the reigning champions so early on in the tournament is surely not something that many expected.
BOOM Esports knocks Team Spirit out of DOTA 2 The International 11
After an eventful 2022 where the team won the Arlington Major, Team Spirit struggled in the Group Stage of TI 11, finishing sixth with a score of 1-7-1. On the other hand, BOOM Esports beat all the odds by escaping elimination by beating Soniqs and BetBoom in the tiebreakers.
The two teams locked horns in the lower bracket over a best-of-one in the lower bracket round 1 match. Team Spirit opted for a Nyx, Leshrac, Lich, Lifestealer, and Outworld Destroyer line-up while the the Southeast Asian team picked Marci, Shadow Fiend, Mars, Disruptor, and Beastmaster, which eventually resulted in an upset.
Team Spirit began the match on a good note by securing first blood, but BOOM struck back with a couple of kills. Overall control of the match was see-sawed for some time, with both teams vying to come up on top. Team Spirit showed an uncharacteristic lack of team chemistry as BOOM constantly pressured Outworld Destroyer.
Irrespective of Leshrac and Lifestealer trying their best on Team Spirit, Yopaj had an excellent showing on Mars and the SEA team secured a victory that many did not see coming. As explained in the post-match interview, BOOM played to their strengths without being too worried, which seems to have paid dividends.
BOOM Esports will meet PSG.LGD in another David vs Goliath match tomorrow in the lower bracket round 2. This time around, it will be a best-of-3 series. Back after the Group Stage ended, DOTA 2 fans quickly mentioned on Twitter that BOOM Esports had a 1.42% chance of qualifying for the playoffs and they prevailed.
Now that they have taken down the reigning champions, they will be setting their eyes on their next opponent. It remains to be seen how far their fairytale continues at DOTA 2 TI 11. There is still a long road ahead of them if they want to make history and lift the Aegis of Champions.