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Dota 2

PGL Wallachia: Team Spirit Reassert Themselves as Winners

Patrick Bonifacio

The two-time International champions in Team Spirit have proven once again that you should never, ever doubt them — this time by taking the top spot at PGL Wallachia. Overcoming an early setback in the playoffs after securing an upper bracket spot in the Swiss stage, team captain Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov and the rest of his crew fought their way through the lower bracket to put themselves on top of the Dota world yet again.

PGL Wallachia Team Spirit

via PGL

This result is a huge relief to them after getting knocked out early at Elite League back in mid-April. They simply did not look like themselves at that event, despite enjoying an automatic seed in the round robin stage. They ended up placing just 13th-14th and winning only $20,000.

Just over a month later, they seem to have regrouped in a big way. Of course, they did have to work for this Grand Final win — having to go through all five games in the series against the red hot Xtreme Gaming.

Game 1: An Xtremely Good Start

The first game was a real tone-setter for the series, going the way of Xtreme Gaming. Having won Elite League a month prior really seemed to motivate them through this middle part of the 2024 Dota 2 season, so seeing them in the Grand Final match here was no surprise. Ding “Dy” Cong and his squad made sure that Spirit would come to regret their support Terrorblade pick in this game, holding Miposhka to zero kills and 11 deaths through an agonizing 45 minutes of gameplay.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Lin “Xxs” Jing was having the time of his life as Dark Seer. A 13 minute Guardian Greaves timing followed by a Black King Bar at 19 minutes tells you all you need to know about how well he was playing. To top it all off, he closed the game out in the final teamfight by getting a four-man Vacuum to help set his team up perfectly — despite being really deep in Team Spirit’s high ground.

All in all, this was a masterclass by Xtreme Gaming, and was at first a possible portent of things to come in this series.

Game 2: The Spirit Carries On

But things would not be so simple for XG, as evidenced by Team Spirit’s fantastic response in Game 2. Although the laning phase was pretty much dead even between both teams, and even through the mid game seemed like the advantage would tip over to XG’s side, Team Spirit broke the game wide open at the 35 minute mark.

A successful teamfight where they only gave up Myroslav “Mira” Kolpakov’s Bane for three kills in their favor helped them seize control of the game until the very end. Denis “Larl” Sigitov’s Razor was the perfect counter to Wang “Ame” Chunyu’s Lifestealer, thanks to the presence of Static Link (W) and its ability to neutralize right click carries like Lifestealer.

The real star of this game however was Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov, who didn’t even need his signature Magnus to put his fingerprints all over the contest. His 12-3 Centaur Warrunner ran roughshod over XG’s lineup, causing huge amounts of chaos and putting tons of pressure on XG during teamfights. Collapse has always been the flashy player on Team Spirit, and he certainly showed why here.

Game 3: Match Point for XG

Refusing to be outdone just like that, however, XG fired back in Game 3 — although it took a full effort and a half to do so. Team Spirit led the way for much of the midgame, enjoying a net worth advantage of almost 14,000 gold heading into the 40 minute mark. Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk caused their lead to skyrocket by grabbing a triple kill as Sven at the 25 minute mark, too, putting Spirit in great position to really put the hammer down in this series.

PGL Wallachia Ame

via PGL

But as any Sven player will tell you, you want to end the game quickly if you pick Sven as your win condition. Unfortunately, Team Spirit allowed XG to hang on in this game, long enough for them to get their cores some farm and themselves the means to control Yatoro’s damage output in the late game.

Nothing exemplified this more than the teamfight that helped turn the game around at the 43 minute mark. Yatoro was just unable to stop XG’s cores; his damage was only enough to kill the supports on the Radiant side. This caused a massive gold swing in XG’s favor, which allowed them to close things out after being behind for so long.

Game 4: Larl Goes Nuclear

Facing elimination and the prospect of losing at yet another premier tournament, Team Spirit really had to dig deep to ensure their survival at PGL Wallachia. And that’s exactly what they did, particularly Larl who thought now was the time to go absolutely ballistic from the solo mid position.

After seeing that XG didn’t have much in the way of counters, Larl last picked Zeus in the draft and proceeded to quietly ramp up his impact through the course of the game. The net worth totals for both sides were actually very even throughout most of this game, but it was Larl that helped create huge opportunities for Spirit towards the end.

An ultra kill going his way was just the icing on the cake, and Spirit would just never relinquish their huge lead from there. XG were helpless to stop their opponents, especially after Yatoro had finished building his items as Faceless Void.

Game 5: A Deceptive Slugfest to Close It Out

The final map in the series was the all out bloodbath that fans were hoping to see between these two teams, with the score tallying up to a total of 67 kills in the span of almost 60 minutes of gameplay. But that number belies just how dominant Spirit was for most of this game. In fact, XG barely even had a lead in this game; Spirit held onto it for almost all 58 minutes apart from two short instances in the midgame.

PGL Wallachia Handshake

via PGL

And this was of course off the back of Ame’s performance as Faceless Void, which as we all know counters Anti-Mage, the hero Yatoro was playing on the other side. But unfortunately for XG, this pick alone wasn’t enough to get them across the finish line in first place. Yatoro practically had free reign over the entire map, ending the game with 15 kills to his name.

Quite a rare instance of Anti-Mage still being the strongest hero on the map after his optimal window had already come and gone. It just goes to show how great Yatoro is at his role, and why he and his team are two-time International champions. With no gas left in the tank in the deep late game, XG had to concede the title at PGL Wallachia.