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The International 10 (TI10) champions Team Spirit were one of the three teams that will represent Eastern Europe in the upcoming ESL One Stockholm Major, finishing in second place in the regional qualifier.
It's not surprising to see the TI10 champions continue to do well in the Major qualifier.
But what was shocking was the absolute dominance Spirit displayed against fellow Major-bound team Mind Games to punch their ticket to Stockholm.
In game two of that series, the TI10 champions secured the fastest victory in the Spring Tour among all regions in a 15-minute stomp.
Here's a breakdown of how Team Spirit accomplished that impressive feat.
Spirit took two supports that provided sustain
Spirit's draft in game two versus Mind Games ignored supports that provided stuns and instead focused on picking heroes who could sustain their cores.
It was clear that the TI10 champions' game plan was to keep the pressure on their opponents and prevent their carry, Timur "Dinozavrik" Mavrin, from freely farming the map on Medusa.
To that end, Spirit's support duo of Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov and Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov picked Enchantress and Keeper of the Light, respectively.
These two heroes would ensure that the cores never had to run back to the fountain in order to regenerate health.
This powerful sustainability for the team also made it difficult for Mind Games to bring down the supports themselves, as Miposhka proved 11 minutes into the game.
Mind Games committed two ultimates and four heroes and barely managed to kill the Enchantress while losing two heroes in the process.
Storm Spirit and Night Stalker were perfect cores to hunt down Mind Games
Since the TI10 champions picked two supports that focused on providing sustain for the team, they needed active cores with low cooldowns to make up for their supports' lack of damage.
To that end, the team picked Storm Spirit for Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek and Night Stalker for Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov.
These two heroes are highly mobile, hard to control, and bring a good mix of physical and magical damage.
When Mind Games tried to bring down Collapse and TORONTOTOKYO 11 minutes into the game, they ended up expending all their spells on the two cores without killing either one and got teamwiped instead.
Besides the high mobility both cores provided, Night Stalker was perfect for keeping tabs on the enemy heroes thanks to his flying vision, another problem that Mind Games had no solution for.
Spirit ensured that they always had control over Roshan
One of the ways a team could come back from a deficit is by bringing down the opposing carry a few times. This is particularly important in games where one carry has a big late game advantage over the other.
Since Spirit wanted to play an early game draft, they needed a carry who could snowball.
Ideally, this hero would also be able to take down Roshan, as the rest of the team's draft was unable to do so. Ursa ended up being the perfect choice for Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk.
Ursa was a good pick to dominate Mind Games' offlane Dragon Knight in the laning stage.
Dragon Knight is known for being a solid laning hero but even he couldn't withstand the harassment from Yatoro, leading to Uladzislau "Petushara" Kazlouski having the lowest net worth at the 10-minute mark.
Aside from his laning prowess, Ursa also gave Spirit control over Roshan during the early game.
This put the Aegis of the Immortal squarely in the hands of Yatoro, while providing the rest of the team with a significant gold boost 10 minutes into the game.
Spirit built early game items to continue snowballing
Item builds can make or break a game of Dota 2 and nobody knows that better than the professionals.
In their match against Mind Games, Spirit went for early game items on all their heroes to ensure they didn't lose anyone while they kept killing their opponents and stifling their farm.
This meant everyone on Spirit bought a Magic Wand and Infused Raindrops for some burst healing and magic resistance.
Mira purchased an Urn of Shadows to provide the team with more heals, while Miposhka got Power Treads and a Cloak to survive in team fights as long as possible.
Collapse also bought a couple of Bracers on Night Stalker, the perfect item build for an offlaner trying to tank for his team.
In Dota 2, when a team pulls ahead, it's often better to get survivability items to ensure heroes don't get burst down early in a fight.
A team that snowballs can lose all their momentum with just a few deaths, which is why Team Spirit focused on keeping all their players alive and ended up having only three deaths in 15 minutes.
And it is a 2-0 already! @Team__Spirit are the winner and are headed to the Stockholm Major!! 🏆🎉
Last day of the #EEUDPCPlayoffs tomorrow, see you then for the 3rd place decider 👋
🗣️@MLPDotA & @johnxfire pic.twitter.com/BDlR3i1i3x
— BTS Dota (@BTSdota) May 1, 2022
Thanks to their fast-paced draft, high mobility, and perfect itemization, The TI10 champions took the fastest* game of the DPC's Spring Tour and reminded the world that they are still the team to beat heading into the Stockholm Major.
*In South America, game two of Lava against Infinity technically ended in seven minutes, but this was due to a reconnection bug for one of the players on Infinity and therefore doesn't qualify as a full DPC game.
Team Spirit Dota 2 roster:
1. Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk
2. Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek
3. Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov
4. Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov
5. Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.