An ingenious play by BetBoom Team, led by Akbar “SoNNeikO” Butaev, was enough to upset defending TI10 champions Team Spirit 2-1 and send them down to the lower bracket in the DPC EEU 2021/2022 Tour 2 playoffs.

The first game saw BetBoom going all-in on aggression, picking up a Nature’s Prophet carry and Snapfire mid, played by Nikita “Daxak” Kuzmin and Denis “Larl” Sigitov respectively. The two were important contributors in every fight, with Daxak leveraging Prophet’s global presence and Larl’s low cooldowns to take an early lead.

But Spirit’s champions mentality came through in the mid-game. The TI10 champions slowly clawed their way back into the game with several well-executed teamfights. Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk’s consistently stellar Chronospheres on Faceless Void kept them in the game.

But Daxak’s Nature’s Prophet leveraged his mobility to constantly push out the map. He opted to pick up a Gleipnir to lock down Spirit’s mobile cores, and the Sprout Leashes talent proved to be a powerful Black King Bar-piercing tool to keep Spirit’s Faceless Void and Storm Spirit in place. Larl also managed to scale into a terrifying late-game physical damage carry, thanks to Snapfire’s numerous Lil’ Shredder talents.

With Spirit’s carries locked down and harmless, BB Team secured the victory in game one.

Game two saw Spirit coming back with a vengeance. Led by Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov’s active Night Stalker, BetBoom’s Necrophos hard carry gambit failed to throw off their opponents. It was by far the shortest game of the series, Spirit dominating from start to finish to even out the series.

BetBoom completely changed their strategy for game three. Instead of relying on pace, the team opted for Terrorblade, which handily outcarries the cores on Spirit. To counter, Spirit went for the signature Collapse Magnus, hoping to drag the enemies out of position.

But throughout game three, BetBoom displayed surprising poise and patience. Despite the frenetic pace they intended to play at for games one and two, the team was comfortable slowing it down, waiting for Daxak’s Terrorblade to come online. 

After a protracted 51 minutes, victory was cemented when BetBoom picked off Alexander “TORONTOTOKYO” Khertek’s courier, which held a Divine Rapier. Spirit’s midlaner did not lock the components, meaning that there was a full Rapier on the courier that dropped upon death. BetBoom scouted the courier with a well-placed high-ground cliff ward in the Radiant jungle just outside the Dire Secret Shop, before using Io’s Relocate to try and cut it off.

While TORONTOTOKYO displayed the awareness to quickly micro it away, BetBoom quickly placed another high ground ward on the bottom side of the trees, often termed the Tinker ward spot. Unfortunately, Spirit was unaware of the move. Thinking it safe, TORONTOTOKYO flew the courier right past enemy vision—and Daxak was there to Blink in, kill the courier, and take the Divine Rapier for himself.

The economic—and mental—damage was done. Spirit valiantly tried to hold on, but there was no defeating a six-slotted Terrorblade that had just stolen the game’s best damage item from their own midlaner.

BetBoom continues run while Spirit are in danger of relegation

Spirit’s loss means they have been sent down to the lower bracket, and will face HellRaisers in a do-or-die scenario. The playoffs’ expedited schedule means that one of these two teams—who were first and fourth respectively in Tour 1—will be relegated to Division II for Tour 3.

Relegated teams not only lose out on the chance to attend the Stockholm Major, but will also miss out on the Arlington Major in August, because Division II teams do not get a chance to qualify. No matter which team is relegated, it’s highly likely that the only way for them to attend TI11 is to win the regional qualifier or wildcard.

Spirit and HellRaisers will have one day to steady their nerves before heading into their series, scheduled for April 29, 10 p.m. GMT +8. Meanwhile, kingslayers BetBoom Team will hope to continue their march through the playoffs against NAVI, SoNNeikO’s old team, on April 29, 1 a.m. GMT +8.

Catch the games live on Beyond the Summit’s official Twitch channel.

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