Team Spirit’s journey to win The International 10

By William Davis


Nov 10, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Esports is quickie becoming a popular sport around the world. 

Requiring teamwork, creativity, sportsmanship, strategic and critical thinking, fans have latched onto professional gaming en masse. 

Some of the biggest esports organization in the world competed against each other in The International 2021. The event was long and arduous, but Team Spirit out-lasted the competition and completed one of the best underdog runs in esports history by becoming world champions.

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The International is one of the most prestigious esports competitions in the world and 2021 was no different. Although the event didn’t have spectators in attendance, millions of fans streamed the event live to see Team Spirit’s miracle run. Other players even placed their bets on sites such as These casino players placed their wagers with the top online casinos in the world.

That said, the tournament had the 18 best teams worldwide competing for a top prize worth over $18 million. 12 teams qualified through the Dota Pro Circuit while six more, including Team Spirit, made it in through regional qualifiers.

In its first match, Team Spirit lost to Team Secret, which suggested the team’s run may be a short one. They rebounded from there with strong performances against Elephant and Fnatic. After winning their two previous games, Team Spirit faced SG Esports in another Group B clash to firmly establish itself as a team that could exceed expectations.

Team Spirit’s journey to winning TI10

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Team Spirit earned a spot in the upper bracket, but ate a loss in its first playoffs match against Invictus Gaming. However, the team made a comeback in its next lower bracket game against Fnatic. It wasn’t until Team Spirit eliminated OG that the team really started to look like actual contenders for the championship. That was cemented when Team Spirit won against Team Secret in a lower bracket finals 2-1 to advance to the grand finals.

Team Spirit, already having established an all-time great underdog run, was set to face tournament favorites PSG.LGD in the finals. The battle for the grand prize was fierce between these two teams. PSG.LGD brought its best to the clash, but it wasn’t enough to dislodge the Russian-Ukrainian team. Team Spirit made history to win the competition by narrowly avoiding a reverse sweep.

Team Spirit had a shaky start in the group stage but managed to recover in emphatic fashion. That was the case in the playoffs as well, as Spirit rebounded from a loss to Invictus Gaming.

The International has a long legacy of teams making surprise grand finals runs, with the likes of Digital Chaos and CDEC Gaming coming out of almost nowhere to reach the end. Team Spirit did them one better by actually completing the underdog dream.