The International 10 (TI10) champions Team Spirit are well on their way to securing their trip to the Arlington Major.
After a dominant 2-0 sweep over One Move on Friday (1 July), Team Spirit are currently 4-0 in the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Summer Tour regional league for Eastern Europe.
They are also one of the only two teams, alongside North America's Quincy Crew, that haven't dropped a game this Tour so far.
Team Spirit wasted no time dispatching One Move, a squad newly-promoted to Division I, taking less than one hour to win the series.
TORONTOTOKYO destroys One Move in game one
One Move's draft in the series opener was quite greedy, as they picked a mid-Alchemist for Maksym "mellojul" Pnev.
Alchemist is a strong carry in this patch but taking him mid meant that One Move would be pretty weak for the first 20 minutes of the game.
One Move picked Hoodwink and Pangolier for Oleg "sayuw" Kalenbet and Vasilii "AfterLife" Shishkin in order to have some killing power in the midgame.
Alexey "Smiling Knight" Sviridov played Chaos Knight, one of the most independent carries, in order to allow the other three players to make space around the map.
Spirit had an entirely different strategy, focusing on winning the lanes and midgame skirmishes. To that end, Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov played Viper alongside Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov's Lycan in the top lane.
Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov and Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk played an aggressive dual lane together on the Rubick and Juggernaut respectively.
The biggest difference between the two drafts was in the mid lane, as Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek focused entirely on making space with Tiny.
Spirit managed to win both side lanes convincingly, thanks to Miposhka's Viper destroying the Chaos Knight. Even with an Oracle sustaining him, it was impossible for Smiling Knight to get last hits in the laning stage.
Due to Spirit's success in the side lanes, TORONTOTOKYO was able to play aggressively on One Move's side of the map and slow down Alchemist's farm.
Just eight minutes into the game and Tiny was already proving to be a nightmare, as he managed to bring down both One Move supports in quick succession.
No matter how much a team controls the map, Alchemist will always manage to get his farm and Mellojul was no exception as he was the most farmed hero on the map in game one.
However, he was the only core on his team who was doing well, as Pangolier and Chaos Knight had to repeatedly die in order for Alchemist to keep farming.
Playing with only one farmed core against Spirit's tri-core lineup proved to be a problem for One Move.
This became apparent as the game reached its climax at the 27-minute mark. One Move could do nothing when Spirit jumped them except run away while still losing three of their members.
It was the TORONTOTOKYO show as he demonstrated the perfect way to play Tiny as a space-making midlaner.
Spirit's star midlaner was involved in 16 out of his team's 23 total kills, nabbing half of them for himself.
It was pivotal for Spirit to play aggressively in game one and TORONTOTOKYO's Tiny allowed them to do so.
Miposhka lands brilliant game-ending Winter's Curse in game two
One Move adjusted their draft in game two, opting for stronger lanes and a roaming mid-Tiny for mellojul.
Luna and Enchantress, played by Smiling Knight and Pantomem respectively, would take the safe lane while Afterlife would provide vision for the team on Night Stalker and sayuw would play Hoodwink once again.
For Spirit, it was business as usual as they picked some of their most well-known heroes, such as Mirana for Mira and Monkey King for Yatoro.
Miposhka played brilliantly in game two on Winter Wyvern, while TORONTOTOKYO played Kunkka and Collapse went for another Zoo hero, this time the Beastmaster.
Due to the more aggressive lineup for One Move, they were able to stay even in the laning stage.
Similar to game one, Tiny was the big space maker early one, as mellojul secured a double kill eight minutes in the game, the same way TORONTOTOKYO did previousy.
It was an odd second game for the series, as the two teams were evenly matched for the first 20 minutes, with a slight lead for Spirit.
However, One Move started to crumble after securing the first Aegis of the game, as their cores died five times in the span of two minutes.
Despite that, it was still looking like anyone's game as Spirit pushed for high ground.
This was Miposhka's time to shine as Winter Wyvern's ultimate, Winter's Curse, can be one of the strongest spells in the game at disrupting the enemy's lineup and that's just what the captain of Team Spirit did.
Miposhka used Smoke of Deceit and went past the tier two tower to plant an Observer Ward.
Catching the two most important cores of One Move and deleting them before the fight started allowed Spirit to end the game in 26 minutes.
Who said hard supports can't make game-winning moves?
Spirit are in a fantastic spot to make it to the Arlington Major, only needing to win one out of their three remaining series.
With Mind Games underperforming, the TI10 winners will likely be one of the teams representing Eastern Europe.
It's a different story for One Move, as their current 2-3 record makes it impossible to get top three in the region, especially with a fearsome Natus Vincere as their last opponent.
That said, One Move should be able to defeat Pari Parni to stay in Division I for the next DPC season and avoid relegation.
Team Spirit roster:
Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk
Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek
Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov
Miroslaw "Mira" Kolpakov
Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov
One Move roster:
Alexey "Smiling Knight" Sviridov
Maksym "mellojul" Pnev
Vasilii "AfterLife" Shishkin
Oleg "sayuw" Kalenbet
Nikita "Pantomem" Balaganin
Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.