After an unbelievable run through the lower bracket, Team Spirit claimed the top prize at TI10 with a 3-2 victory over PSG.LGD.
Team Spirit pulled off the unthinkable when they took down the Chinese juggernaut, PSG.LGD, in the grand finals of The International 2021 (TI10). Coming into the final day against all odds, Team Spirit defeated Team Secret 2-1 in the lower bracket finals and then went on to defeat the tournament favorites 3-2 in the grand finals. It is the first time a CIS team has won The International after Na’Vi did it at TI1 in 2011.
Playing with an Ursa and Pangolier as their main cores without a Magnus to buff them up, PSG.LGD were on a timer to take control of the game, keep control of Roshan and try to finish the game early before Team Spirit’s Naga Siren came online. But the CIS team didn’t allow that to happen, and in fact, got their own hands on the second Roshan, denying Wang “Ame” Chunyu’s Ursa the Aghanim’s Shard that is extremely necessary for the hero. Eventually, the Chinese team got overrun by Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk’s Naga.
PSG.LGD let the Magnus through for a second game running, even though Collapse had shown in previous games why it made for a worthy ban. They went for an Earthshaker-Morphling strategy, and with all their cards on the table, got countered by a faster lineup. Yatoro’s Luna was always an item ahead of Ame’s Morphling. By the time the Morph-Shaker strat came online, PSG.LGD was far too behind. Zhang “Faith_Bian” Ruida did try to stall the game with the usual Nature’s Prophet shenanigans, but it only delayed the inevitable.
After game 2, the question had to be asked – should Magnus be banned? But for the third game in a row, PSG.LGD let the Magnus through, but this time, they immediately picked the Rubick to counter the Magnus. They also had the last pick for the first time in the series, which permitted them to pick up the Tinker for Cheng Jin “NothingToSay” Xiang, without Team Spirit having a retort for it. With the global strategy of Spectre and Tinker, PSG.LGD slowly but surely took over the game. They took their time to finish it, considering only one huge mistake separated them from defeat, but they got there eventually. Game 3 was the first game where XinQ got a playmaking hero rather than the Io, and that seemed to be a key factor in the turnaround in PSG.LGD’s fortunes. The Rubick made life extremely difficult for Team Spirit.