Team Spirit wins Arlington Major, now a favorite for TI11

Kenneth Williams • August 14, 2022 7:05 pm

After 4 hard-fought games against PSG.LGD, Team Spirit has claimed the Arlington Major championship and cemented itself as possibly the favorite to win TI11.

Team Spirit has won the Arlington Major, claiming the lion’s share of the $500,000 prize pool. The event also marks a rematch of the grand finals of The International 2021. While all players contributed with excellent play, Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov stood out with stellar performances on Beastmaster and Axe. This further solidifies Team Spirit’s direct invite status for The International 2022 in Singapore, but makes a strong case that this squad will join OG as the only two-time The International champions. 

Game one pitted Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk’s Phantom Lancer against Wang “Ame” Chunyu’s carry Pudge. After a relatively even game, PSG.LGD used Ame’s Aghanim’s Scepter to survive Black Hole and rush the Dire ancient. Game two started at a similar pace, with Ame’s Naga Siren earning 20,000 net worth at 29 minutes. Despite the draft appearing to favor PSG.LGD late game, Team Spirit held out for a 75-minute victory to even the score 1-1.

PSG.LGD picked Naga again for game three, but Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov’s Beastmaster quickly set the pace with a 16-minute Helm of the Dominator. Three minutes, two fights, and one Roshan later, Team Spirit began knocking on mid barracks. One disastrous team fight later, and Spirit went up 2-1 in the biggest stomp of the Arlington Major grand final.

Now on its last legs, PSG.LGD drafted an early Earth Spirit with Io and Razor. Spirit answered with Axe and carry Bristleback. PSG.LGD quickly took the lead after ransacking Team Spirit’s ancient stack, but the Russian squad stole it back after a clutch Relocate Spell Steal from Miroslaw “Mira” Kolpakov. Despite losing the first Roshan, Team Spirit smoothly won two team fights and rushed down mid lane.

Now with just one lane of barracks, PSG.LGD baited Spirit into overextending, cashing in Ame’s buyback to turn the tide. Spirit turned its attention to Roshan, but the ensuing team fight retired PSG.LGD’s Chaos Knight for two minutes. After an avalanche of LGD buybacks, Yatoro’s Bristleback finally started on the enemy ancient, knocking it down and securing Team Spirit the Arlington Major championship.

Team Spirit Arlington Major championship, TI11 roster

Team Spirit sported the following Dota 2 roster for its championship run at the Arlington Major:

  • Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk
  • Alexander “TORONTOTOKYO” Khertek
  • Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov
  • Miroslaw “Mira” Kolpakov
  • Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov
  • Airat “Silent” Gaziev (Coach)

With this victory, the team also establishes itself as the favorite to win The International 2022. If they do so, Team Spirit will become the second team to win consecutive TIs. If previous TIs are any indication, TI11 could break the record for the largest esports prize pool. That record currently belongs to TI10. That said the record may not be broken this year due to Valve’s new approach to The International Battle Pass. Other likely contenders for TI11 include fellow Major champion OG and Arlington runner-up PSG.LGD.

However, the favorites aren’t always the most successful teams at The International. The tournament hasn’t been won by a frontrunner since 2017, something that Team Spirit knows very well. Still, the squad will bring plenty of experience on the TI stage.

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