Team Spir­it became a two-time cham­pi­on: in 2021, the Russ­ian-Ukrain­ian team won the tour­na­ment for the first time.

Team Spir­it won the main tour­na­ment of The Inter­na­tion­al 2023 Dota 2 in Seat­tle for the sec­ond time. The Russ­ian-Ukrain­ian team beat Gaimin Glad­i­a­tor in the final with a score of 3:0 and received 1.4 mil­lion dol­lars (about 130 mil­lion rubles) for the vic­to­ry. Accord­ing to experts, Team Spir­it had one of the best per­for­mances in the his­to­ry of the tour­na­ment, los­ing only 2 maps through­out.

Why has the prize fund become smaller?

In 2021, when Team Spir­it won The Inter­na­tion­al for the first time, the prize pool was a record $40 mil­lion. At the same time, the win­ners received sig­nif­i­cant­ly less — 18.2 mil­lion. In 2023, the prize fund amount­ed to only 3.1 mil­lion, and the Russ­ian-Ukrain­ian team earned 1.4 mil­lion for first place in the cham­pi­onship.

This is because Dota 2 devel­op­ers Valve have shift­ed the focus away from the “Bat­tle Pass” or “The Inter­na­tion­al Inter­ac­tive Com­pendi­um” pro­vid­ing addi­tion­al con­tent for the game. Part of the sales of the “bat­tle pass” was sent to the tour­na­ment prize pool, so this year the amount of win­nings was small­er. After win­ning the 2023 Dota 2 World Cham­pi­onship, Team Spir­it entered the top 3 rich­est clubs in eSports in terms of the amount of prize mon­ey won.

Who is on Team Spirit?

Magomed Khalilov “Collapse”

A 21-year-old play­er from Rus­sia and, per­haps, the main star of all Russ­ian eSports. Ini­tial­ly, Khalilov stud­ied to become a doc­tor, but took a leave of absence and began devel­op­ing in Dota 2. The first teams were Cas­cade and Yel­low Sub­ma­rine. Yel­low Sub­ma­rine became the basis for Team Spir­it.

Denis Sigitov “Larl”

Denis is also only 21 years old. A cou­ple of years ago, the guy stud­ied at the Novosi­birsk State Uni­ver­si­ty of Eco­nom­ics and Man­age­ment and par­tic­i­pat­ed in the stu­dent e‑sports team. Sig­i­tov start­ed play­ing for Team Spir­it in Decem­ber 2022 and, appar­ent­ly, fits per­fect­ly into the team.

Yaroslav Naydenov “Miposhka”

The 25-year-old cap­tain of Team Spir­it is from Zla­toust. In 2021, Yaroslav also led the team to vic­to­ry. After win­ning the next tour­na­ment, Nay­de­n­ov had to refute rumors about the end of his eSports career: “I’m not going to leave any­where, but I’ll def­i­nite­ly take a break.”

Ilya Mulyarchuk “Yatoro”

A 20-year-old Ukrain­ian who has already become a two-time cham­pi­on of the main eSports com­pe­ti­tion in Dota 2. Ilya also start­ed in Yel­low Sub­ma­rine at the age of 17 with­out expe­ri­ence in pro­fes­sion­al com­pe­ti­tions, but was able to make a name for him­self.

Miroslav Kolpakov “Mira”

23-year-old Ukrain­ian pro­fes­sion­al eSports play­er. Miroslav began his career in Dota 2 in 2019 as a mem­ber of Cas­cade Esports. Over the course of sev­er­al years, the play­er won twice with Team Spir­it at The Inter­na­tion­al.

In 2022, Team Spir­it moved its office from Moscow to Bel­grade and began relo­cat­ing employ­ees. The team has sus­pend­ed expan­sion in Rus­sia. How­ev­er, in August 2023, the Ukrain­ian Esports Fed­er­a­tion still black­list­ed Ukrain­ian play­ers play­ing for Team Spir­it on the same team as the Rus­sians.