Despite coming into Dota 2 TI10 as one of the absolute underdogs and even dropping down into the tournament's lower bracket, Team Spirit won the grand final against PSG.LGD and lifted the prestigious Aegis of the Champion.
Riding the momentum of a 2-0 victory against Team Secret, Team Spirit clinched the first two matches of the grand final. On the other hand, PSG.LGD, the Chinese maestros deemed unstoppable by almost everyone, seemed trepidatious for the first time in the 11-day long tournament.
However, they came back strong in game three and four, as if they had regained their composure against the CIS youth. Game five saw PSG.LGD draft their signature Tiny-Lycan combo. However, Team Spirit cracked the code of the seemingly indomitable tactic with Winter Wyvern-Magnus-Terrorblade.
Winner of Dota 2 TI10, Team Spirit take home 18 million USD
Team Spirit came into TI10 from the CIS regional qualifier. Consisting of four promising Eastern European Dota 2 pub stars with Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov as captain and Airat "Silent" Gaziev as coach, nobody envisioned Team Spirit to be a top contender at The International, let alone win it all.
Team Spirit’s only notable performance in the top tier of Dota 2 so far was their second-place finish at the OGA Dota PIT Invitational, having lost to PSG.LGD in the grand final.
However, their Cinderella story started in the lower bracket of the main stage. They eliminated top teams such as Fnatic, OG, Virtus.pro, Invictus Gaming, and Team Secret one after the other. It finally culminated in their 3-2 victory over the seemingly invincible PSG-LGD side in the grand final.
It was a surreal experience for fans worldwide to see Team Spirit as the victors of the biggest Dota 2 tournament. After the first TI, this is the second time that an Eastern European team has claimed the Aegis of the Champion.
On the other hand, it has been a tough few years for Chinese Dota 2 fans. Since the Wings Gaming victory at TI6, there have been three times where a Chinese side has faltered at the very last hurdle. Notably, it’s PSG.LGD’s second time at this position.
Wang "Ame" Chunyu was part of the LGD squad that lost to OG in the grand final of TI8. Hopefully, they'll make a strong return next season and offer Dota 2 fans some great international rivalry against Western teams.