Ahead of this series, Spirit decided to substitute in their previous position four player Vitaly "so bad" Oshmankevich
, who originally had been benched on February 7. The team had been playing with Miroslaw “Miroslaw” Kolpakov
and found recent success with this switch, so it was intriguing to see this substitution be made.
Game one was a back-and-forth bloodbath. Team Spirit made immense space for Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk’s
Morphling, which has carried Spirit to victory time and time again. It all came down to one final high ground defence for Spirit. Unfortunately for Yatoro, Vladimir "Noone" Minenko
hexed him before he was able to shift his strength, and ASM Gambit nuked him down immediately. With no buyback on Yatoro, ASM Gambit took game one.
With the intensity that game one brought, the series was expected to be competitive and exciting. However, games two and three were complete stomps. Spirit crushed the lanes in game two, forcing ASM Gambit to gg out before a tier three tower dropped. Yatoro and Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek
finished the game deathless. Game three was quite the opposite with ASM Gambit in the driver’s seat. Utilizing the Weaver and Io combo that has been seen recently along with Storm Spirit, Team Spirit was rolled over with ease.
Following this series, the CIS season has come to a close. Virtus.pro
has secured first place and a direct invite to the Major playoffs. Natus Vincere
follows second, with a spot in the Major group stage. ASM Gambit clenched the wild card spot and is the third and final team from the region who will travel to Singapore later this month for the Major.
Team Spirit, EXTREMUM
, and Team Unique
will remain in the Upper Division and will have a shot at the second Major next season. Team Spirit was extremely competitive this season and had they not dropped two series to the bottom teams in the group, they would’ve made it to the Major. The format of this year’s DPC is incredibly unforgiving, where teams really cannot afford to drop a single series. Team Unique is certainly the weakest of these three. Having to play a tiebreaker in order to remain in the Upper Division, they need some drastic improvements if they want to hold their spot in this division.
The two teams who have been relegated to the Lower Division are Team Empire
. Team Empire finished 2-5 alongside Team Unique, but were not able to come out on top in the tiebreak. They had their moments this season, taking down Team Spirit and even a game off of ASM Gambit, but lacked the skill and consistency needed to compete with the best of the best. NoTechies had an abysmal season, finishing dead last with a series score of 1-6 and games score of 3-13. They miraculously took a series off of Spirit, but that was seemingly uncharacteristic of the squad. Though they formed just before the season began, the team did not seem to be improving as the season progressed like most teams. With a very competitive Lower Division facing them in the future, it looks like they will struggle there too.
The CIS season may be over, but there are still more Major spots to be claimed in China. Follow along using our event hub