When Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov wants his Magnus, he gets his Magnus — and wins with style.

Team Spirit’s offlaner finally picked up his signature hero for the first time at The International 2023 in a high-stakes matchup. In game one of the upper bracket final against LGD Gaming — where the winner secures a grand final berth — Collapse showed why his Magnus remains to be feared, even when unfavored in the meta.

Collapse Magnus was the difference-maker at TI12 upper bracket final

Team Spirit's Collapse and Mira at The International 2023/TI12
Credit: Valve

From start to finish, the game was a tightly-contested affair between two teams harboring aspirations for the Aegis of Champions. Aside from Collapse’s Magnus, there was a bevy of other signature heroes as well: Terroblade for Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk, as well as Tinker — making his first appearance period at TI12 — for Cheng “NothingToSay” Jin Xiang.

As always, Collapse proved to be a menace on Magnus through the early and mid-game, often pulling LGD’s heroes out of position with some stellar Blink-Skewers. But with the game on knife’s edge with successful moves from both sides, the 21-year-old truly unlocked his hero’s potential in the later stages of the game.

Come 60-minutes, Collapse opted for an unconventional item for his Magnus — a Seer Stone. With LGD stuck in their base, Spirit’s offlaner pushes Magnus to the absolute limits by maximizing his cast range, completely catching LGD off-guard.

Again and again, Magnus proved to be the difference maker.

Collapse used the Seer Stone active to immense effect as well, catching out LGD when they attempted to smoke out of their base in another desperate move. A perfect Horn Toss caught two of LGD’s cores, dragging them back into a world of hurt.

While LGD fought back — with Lin “planet” Hao’s Grimstroke and Li “niu” Kongbo’s Centaur Warrunner particular highlights — in the end, it was all Team Spirit.

The Eastern European team opted for the safe plays with some cheeky X Marks the Spots, sending Yatoro’s Terrorblade in constantly, but it was Collapse’s catches that proved to be the backbreaker for LGD.

With game one in the bag, it’s not quite over yet — LGD Gaming and Team Spirit continue to play out their upper bracket final, which you can watch live here on Dota 2’s official Twitch and YouTube channels.

READ MORE: The International 2023: TI12 Schedule, results, teams, where to watch