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BOOM Esports defeats defending champions Team Spirit at TI11

Southeast Asian squad BOOM Esports defeated the TI10 champions Team Spirit on the first day of the International 11 playoffs. The first round of lower bracket matches was played in a best-of-one format, with losing teams being eliminated from the tournament.

BOOM’s victory came as a surprise because the European team was the heavy favorite to win. Team Spirit’s early exit means they will miss a back-to-back championship.

Their match was eagerly awaited because in an ESL One Stockholm Major interview in May, Team Spirit’s carry player, Illya “Yatoro” Mulyarchuk, described BOOM Esports players as “mediocre”.

“I guess the most exciting games will be against Fnatic and T1. BOOM? Who are they? They don’t seem like great players to me. I feel they are mediocre,” said Yatoro.

BOOM Esports’ support and carry Rolen Andrei “skem” Gabriel Ong told Yahoo Esports SEA in an exclusive interview ahead of their match against Team Spirit that he didn’t care what Yatoro thought of his team and wished his opponents luck.

“We don’t care what other people think or say about our team,” said Skem. “I just wish [Team Spirit] good luck in our match later. The pressure is on them because they have all the expectations”.

BOOM vs Team spirit

BOOM Esports drafted Solo Middle Saieful “Fbz” Ilham’s signature Mars and Marci for their support Timothy “Tims” Randrup, while Team Spirit drafted Lifestealer, Leshrac, and an offlane Outworld Destroyer for their Offlaner Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov.

Both teams were evenly matched during the laning phase, but the Southeast Asian team saw a chance to move ahead after striking their item timings and securing the first Aegis. BOOM gradually increased their lead, and Spirit’s off-meta Lifestealer and Outworld Destroyer picks couldn’t compete with BOOM’s superior plays.

BOOM relied on a Shadow Fiend carry for Souliya “Jackky” Khoomphetsavong, who quickly became an irresistible force with a 9/0/5 KDA. Despite Team Spirit’s attempts to safeguard its base, BOOM Esports continued their brutal aggression, winning the series after 40 minutes and removing the reigning champions from TI11.

BOOM’s TI11 journey

Dota 2 esports statistician Ben “Noxviller” Steenhuisen tweeted before the final day of the TI11 Group Stage that BOOM had only a 1.42 percent chance of making it to the TI11 Playoffs.

BOOM previously played poorly during the first three days of the Group Stage. However, the team managed to prevail 2-0 over North American Evil Geniuses (EG) in their final Group Stage.

Fortunately for BOOM Esports, Eastern Europe’s BetBoom Team tied their series against PSG.LGD. North America’s Soniqs Esports also lost their final match of the day against Gaimin Gladiators.

As a result, BOOM was forced to play tiebreaker matches against Soniqs and BetBoom. In the match against the North American team, BOOM relied on Erin “Yopaj” Ferrer and Skem.

The two Filipino players finished the game without being killed, bringing their team one step closer to clinching the No. 8 spot in Group A.

BOOM then completely dominated their next tiebreaker match against BetBoom Team, with the BOOM team having 38 more kills than their opponents. After defeating Soniqs and BetBoom, they earned a spot in the TI11 Main Event.

Skem explained that removing the weight from their shoulders forced them to rebound on the final day of the Group Stage.

“The difference was that there was no more pressure on us [in Day 4 of the Group Stage]. We play better with no pressure,” said the Filipino Dota 2 player.

BOOM Esports will face the second runner-up of TI10, PSG.LGD, in the Lower Bracket round.