Our Road to the Major series moves to the CIS Minor with Team Spirit. With the exception of Victor 'somedieyoung' Orudzhev, this team's roster has been together since June of 2016. That roster is:
- Pavel 'COLDYY1' Veklenko
- Dmitry 'S0tF1k' Forostyanko
- Vadim 'DavCost' Vasilyev
- Dmitriy 'Dima' Bandurka
- Victor 'somedieyoung' Orudzhey
CIS Closed Qualifier
Team Spirit was one of 8 teams invited without having to go through the Open Qualifiers.
Team Spirit went 3-0 in matches in the Closed Qualifier, starting with a 2-0 sweep of DreamEaters, 16-8, 16-14. They performed better on CT side both games than on T side, handily winning on Overpass, while struggling only slightly on Inferno
Their next match they drew AVANGAR, and swept them 2-0 as well. Once again, Spirit performed very well on CT. On Cache, they came back from a 3-12 deficit to win 16-14 on the strength of a 13-2 CT second half. On Dust II, they won 16-5 with a 12-3 T side first half
Their third match pitted them against forZe, who they also swept in 2 maps. Spirit handily took down forZe 16-11 on Overpass with a great T side first half, and 16-6 on Nuke with a great CT side first half. This third sweep guaranteed Team Spirit a top seed in the group stages of the CIS Minor
Team Spirit earned the top seed in Group B, where they had AVANGAR, forZe, and Monolith Gaming to compete against.
Their first match was a quick victory against Monolith in an ugly 16-2 stomp on Dust II behind the strength of a fantastic 13-3 T side first half.
Their next match put Team Spirit up against forZe, a team they had swept in the Closed Qualifier. This game was a bit closer than the first match of the Groups, but on Mirage, Spirit jumped out to a 5-10 lead on T side. Though they gave up 6 rounds on CT side, they also closed the match out with 6 of their own to win the match 11-16. This locked up a spot in the playoffs for Team Spirit.
Upper Bracket Semifinals
Round 1 saw Team Spirit matched up against pro100 and stumble for the first time in qualifying for the Major. In the best of 3 the first map was Spirit's choice of Train. They took a commanding 10-5 lead on CT side in the first half, but could not close it out as pro 100 won 11 of 13 rounds to win the map 12-16.
Map 2 was Cache as chosen by pro100. The first half was as even as possible with pro100 taking a 7-8 lead on CT side. The second half was a repeat of map 1's second half, with Spirit only managing to take 2 rounds. This led to a 9-16 pro100 win and 2-0 sweep of the match. This loss sent Spirit down to the Lower Bracket where they would be matched up with AVANGAR for the third time en route to the Major.
Lower Bracket Semifinals
Map 1 of this match was AVANGAR's pick of Cache. Team Spirit jumped out to an early 11-4 lead on T side, but faltered a bit in the second half. They managed to finally close the map out 16-12 to take a 1-0 match lead into their map pick.
Team Spirit chose Dust II for the second map. The first half was much closer than map 1's first half with AVANGAR taking a 7-8 lead. Team Spirit could not match previous performances on CT and AVANGAR eventually closed the map out 12-16 to send the match to a decider map.
The decider map was Inferno, and it was a completely different scene from the previous two maps. Team Spirit took a 13-2 first half lead on T side and quickly closed out the second half in only 4 rounds to win 16-3. Team Spirit advanced to the Lower Bracket Final after beating AVANGAR 2-1.
Lower Bracket Final
Team Spirit got their chance to avenge their only match loss with a rematch against pro100. Map 1 was Dust II, as picked by Team Spirit. There was no competition in the map as Spirit used a dominating 3-12 T side first half and swept 4 rounds in the second half to easily win 3-16.
Nuke was the second map and pro100's pick. However, Team Spirit again jumped out to an early lead, taking the first half 2-13 behind fantastic CT play. The second half they had a bit more trouble, but they still managed to win the map 6-16 and sweep the only team to beat them in the Minor to this point. This placed Spirit in the Grand Final against HellRaisers, in the first meeting of the two at the Minor or Qualifier.
Overpass was chosen as the first map of the Grand Final by Team Spirit. It did not start well for them, as HellRaisers took a 10-5 first half lead on CT side. Though Spirit fought valiantly in the second half, winning 9 rounds, eventually they fell 16-14.
HellRaisers picked Mirage for map 2. Team Spirit reversed the fortunes of the first match by winning the half 5-10 on CT side. They easily closed the map out on the second half by winning 6 of 7 rounds and taking a 6-16 map win to send the Grand Final to the decider map of Dust II.
On Dust II, Team Spirit took a commanding first half lead on T side, 3-12. They could not close the match out though, and HellRaisers took command of the second half, winning the map 16-14 and the match 2-1. Though Team Spirit lost the Grand Final, their second place in the tournament guaranteed a spot in the New Challengers Stage of the Major.
Year to Date
2018 was the breakout year for Team Spirit, as they managed to place top 2 in several smaller international tournaments and qualifiers. They could surprise many teams in the Major if they are underestimated.
Player to Watch
Vadim 'DavCost' Vasilyev
The AWPer of the team, is arguably the most vital piece of the Team Spirit roster. When he is locked in, he has the ability to completely lock down a site, making Team Spirit's CT side tremendously strong. If they are to have a deep run, they will need the 22 year old Russian to be at his peak.