Defending TI champion, Team Spirit, eliminated in Round 1 of TI11 playoffs

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Oct 21

There were many surprises on day one of TI11 main stage. Thunder Awaken brought down Evil Geniuses. Team Secret took out PSG.LGD. And now, BOOM Esports, a team that only had one percent chance to make it to the main stage after the TI11 group stage, took down Team Spirit the TI10 defending champions.

Given the best-of-one match format, it was evident both teams were playing cautiously. Only 16 kills were accumulated even after 30 minutes into the game. The 17th kill only occurred six minutes later. By then, BOOM already pressured Spirit’s high ground with a considerable gold advantage.

Their high ground push was rewarded a crucial kill on Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk’s Lifestealer. Having seen no buyback coming out, BOOM sensed blood in the water and continued to press the advantage. The Erin “Yopaj” Ferrer mid Mars pulled an incredible double arena to finish off the rest of Spirit’s lineup, giving his team the opportunity to go for the straight end.

BOOM, who were about to be eliminated not too long ago, lived to fight another day. “We’re just happy to beat the defending champions. We didn’t expect anything.” said Yopaj in his winner’s interview with host Kaci Aitchison. After pulling a miraculous one percent comeback in the last day of the TI11 group stage, BOOM CEO Gary “natshuba” Ongko and captain Rolen “skem” Ong decided to shave their heads. They had a superstitious believe that going bald, which was what Yatoro did at TI10, will give them a buff to win TI11. It had proven to be quite effective thus far.

At TI10, Team Spirit was the underdog. No one expected them to get far, let alone winning the whole tournament. Yet they defied the odds and took down powerhouses Fnatic, OG, Virtus Pro, Invictus Gaming, Team Secret and eventually PSG.LGD to win it all. Spirit continued to impress in 2022, winning multiple leagues and tournaments including Arlington Major. Indeed Team Spirit leaving early was a huge upset, but SEA fans were ecstatic to have BOOM esports move on to represent the home crowd.

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