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Team Spirit Impresses On Their Road To Qualify For Playoffs

Team Spirit has put the doubters in their place. Hailing as the youngest team and the first to qualify for the PGL Antwerp Major playoffs, Team Spirit is now on the world’s radar. Joining them are some of the world’s best Counter-Strike stars. Teams like NAVI, Ninjas In Pyjamas, ENCE and FaZe Clan all are set to grace the Champions Stage and fight for the Major title, while teams like G2 Esports, FURIA and Team Vitality all await their fate as the Legends Stage comes to a close on May 17th. 

To put this success story into perspective, coming into the PGL Major’s Legends Stage, Team Spirit were ranked 23rd behind forZe and ahead of Complexity. With five straight wins over teams like Astralis, FURIA, Heroic and Copenhagen Flames, the Russian superteam seems to have arrived in the form of the young and hungry Team Spirit. 

Taking a team like Copenhagen Flames is no small task for most teams in the world, however, Team Spirit ramped into their best-of-three in an emphatic fashion. Dropping the opening map 10-16 and blazing back on Mirage and Ancient with 16-8 and 16-6  finishes respectively only adds to their legend. And leading the pack statistically was Abdulkhalik “degster” Gasanov. 

Finishing the series with 65 kills, an astounding +28 kill to death ratio, 82.8 damage done per round and a 1.35 HLTV.org rating, it is clear degster is slated to be a problem for teams heading into the PGL Major playoffs. Boris “magixx” Vorobyev and Robert “Patsi” Isyanov were not to be outdone themselves. Performing well in their own rights, the former dropped 51 kills while the latter held 60 of his own–ironically enough both managed a +13 spread. 

And it wasn’t just in their best-of series that Team Spirit lit up the Major stage, even in their head-to-head with FURIA the team looked impressive against what many assumed to be a playoff lock. A 16-12 finish on Nuke is a competitive finish, but one you’d expect to go the way of FURIA–not the plucky Russians. This go-around was Pavel “s1ren” Ogloblin who led the team with 23 kills, a +8 kill to death spread and a 1.29 HLTV.org rating. 

Patsi said it himself in an interview with HLTV.org at the Major, “[…] We’ve been working a lot since the roster was introduced five months ago. We’re still too young, not just the age, it’s both the age of the players — their experience —, and the age of the roster. We’re under six months old, we’re playing great on LAN, we’re capable of beating elite teams and that really shows that we’re on the right path. We need to continue grinding and everything is possible.”

On May 19th the world will be watching and waiting for the conclusion of the Team Spirit arc. Will they waltz into the back half with Major experience or a title in hand? Try your luck out.

Images via Valve