With the final week of the Dota Pro Circuit just around the corner, a single series determines for many whether or not they are able to qualify for the ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021
beginning on March 27. Team Spirit
is one of these teams. With what seemed like an impossible series against the undefeated Natus Vincere
, Team Spirit was able to keep their Major dreams alive with a monumental upset, defeating Na’Vi 2-1.
An incredible series
Games one and two of the series were very back-and-forth. In game one, Team Spirit showed up with an incredibly off-meta draft including Anti-Mage, played by Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk
, and Sand King, played by Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov
. Yatoro was left to his own devices as Na’Vi was confident they could deal with him later, which was ultimately part of their demise. With complete early game free farm, Yatoro acquired a Battlefury at ten minutes and his networth quickly skyrocketed. With the help of Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek
’s Death Prophet and the save from Miposhka’s Oracle, Team Spirit played to their timings and took the first game. Game two was full of constant brawling, lasting a long 64 minutes. Despite many back and forth exchanges and base defenses, there are very little things in Dota that can survive a Black Hole and a Divine Rapier wielding Phantom Assassin. Na’Vi was able to defend their base from Spirit’s push, and with no buybacks Spirit bowed out in game two.
In the deciding game three, Spirit opted to ban Viktor "GeneRaL" Nigrini
’s Enigma, which Na’Vi had played well in games one and two. This allowed Vladimir "RodjER" Nikogosian
’s Chen to be picked in the first round, a hero that Na’Vi utilizes well and is banned against them nearly every game. In turn, however, Na’Vi decided to ban TORONTOTOKYO’s Death Prophet, which allowed Spirit to pick Puck. After a relatively even early game, Spirit was able to win team fight after team fight and snowball their lead. Yatoro’s Phantom Assassin was unkillable, ending with an impressive score of 11/0/10. After one final wipe, Na’Vi was forced to accept defeat and take their first series loss of the season.
Following this victory, Team Spirit has one series left against Team Unique
. Winning this series will force them into a tiebreaker, as they will have the same record as the winner of ASM Gambit
. The winner of that series would secure the wild card spot.
If Unique loses, they must play a tiebreaker with Team Empire
. The loser of this series is relegated to the Lower Division, while the winner maintains their place in the Upper Division. After Spirit’s performance today, it looks to be a very uphill battle for Unique.