Team Spirit made their triumphant return to Dota 2 on December 19th, signing the former roster of Yellow Submarine. News of the signing came in a post on the team’s official website, with accompanying posts on social media. The organization also announced the signing of new coach Airat “Silent” Gaziev.
— Team Spirit (@Team__Spirit) December 19, 2020
The stack, who were currently competing in the BTS Pro Series Season 4, wasted no time grabbing the gold for their new team. They defeated Vikin.gg 3-0 in the finals, marking the organization’s first tournament victory in Dota 2 in over two years. Their last first place came in 2018 at I Can’t Believe It’s Not Summit against No Pangolier.
— Team Spirit (@Team__Spirit) December 20, 2020
Team Spirit had been absent from the Dota 2 scene for over eight months, with their last competitive appearance at OGA Dota PIT Season 1: Europe/CIS. After a 10th-place finish there, the team began to hemorrhage players, losing Vasily “AfterLife” Shishkin and Alexander “Immersion” Hmelevskoy in June. By October, the team had only two players on it’s active roster, and looked close to official disbandment.
That all changed with the signing of Yellow Submarine. The stack, which had rocked the Dota 2 world with a surprise upset over Team Nigma in October, were rising stars of CIS Dota. After their surprise return to prominence at ESL One Germany, the squad started to make waves with a series of qualifier victories, forcing their way into DOTA Summit 13 and the EPIC League. However, the team fell just short of podium spots in both events, but came away with an impressive combined $35,500 in earnings from the two events – a dramatic turn around for a team which had only returned to competition in July.
After a direct invite to the semifinals of the BTS Pro Series Season 4: Europe/CIS, the stack were signed by Team Spirit. The move came just hours before their first match in the tournament. Defeating Live to Win in the semis, the team moved on to the Grand Final where their 3-0 defeat of Vikin.gg put a stamp on an incredible rise by this young squad.
Speaking about the signing, Team Spirit CEO Nikita Chukalin went into detail about the situation which led to the organization taking a break from Dota 2: “Back in summer it became clear that the new DPS season would not start until the end of the calendar year. This time window allowed us to try a new approach in the formation of the roster.”
Chukalin goes on to imply that reformation and signing of Yellow Submarine’s roster was part of Team Spirit’s plan all along. After shortlisting a group of players, the organization monitored Yellow Submarine’s progress throughout the fall. After their recent success the team felt it was time to make things official and brought the stack onboard.
Team Spirits return to Dota 2 is also a sign that the fast approaching DPC season is providing just the right incentive for teams to return to the game. An organization that just months ago was struggling to hold together a roster is now able to sign and provide support to a promising stack thanks to the impending season.
Details of Team Spirits new roster and a full announcement post are available on their official website.