Shock The World: Team Spirit Are Major Semifinalists
The PGL Antwerp Major was dominated by one narrative: Team Spirit shocked the world by advancing to the semifinals. Sure, the giants like FaZe Clan and NAVI battled for the title in the finals. They might have even been the favourites from the start. However, Team Spirit were the bells at this ball. From middling to madness, Team Spirit’s road to the PGL Antwerp Major was nothing short of a modern-day esports miracle.
February marked the first European Regional Major Ranking Open Qualifier. There Team Spirit toppled teams like Team Lakaka, Savage, and Movistar Riders but would fall in the quarter-finals to OG.
However, their second at-bat was an omen for things to come. Besting the likes of struggletony, DREAM Gaming, SKADE, Strive In Chaos, Endpoint and eventually falling to SINNERS Esports in the final, Team Spirit would book their tickets to the second RMR for the European region.
There they would beat ASG, Endpoint, and Anonymo Esports to qualify for the major as Contenders on the button in 8th place.
Then Team Spirit was off to the races.
They advanced from the Challengers Stage with relative ease, beating the likes of Imperial Esports, Eternal Fire, and Astralis. Ending the stage with a 3-1 record and a +27 round differential put them at a competitive stage with the caliber of ENCE. And if this was the spark to the flame, then the Legends Stage would be the inferno.
Breaking out in front, Team Spirit was not only the youngest team to qualify, but they were the first. With swift victories over FURIA Esports, Heroic, and Copenhagen Flames they had effectively gone from struggling domestically to even making it this far–to being in the playoffs of the major and looking like a darkhorse to ruin someone’s chances.
Chaos is exactly what Lady Fate had ordered as Team Spirit waltz into the playoffs prepared to face a familiar opponent in FURIA. With a convincing 16-12 win on Vertigo and a fairly decisive throttling on Ancient, Team Spirit not only was still in the PGL Antwerp Major, but they were in the semifinals.
There is no shame in Team Spirit’s run being ended by the eventual major winners. FaZe Clan looked in rare form and Team Spirit should keep their heads raised high. For comparison, coming into the PGL Major’s Legends Stage, Team Spirit was ranked 23rd behind forZe and ahead of Complexity. Today they are ranked 6th in the world.
They might not have felt the relief of champions that day, but they were there.
Team Spirit saw the lights, the trophy raised high, the Antwerps Sportpaleis erupting in excitement.
This is just the start for them.
This is just the start of the Team Spirit revolution.
See you in Autumn.
Images via Valve