Team Spirit Larl Says squad1x’s Hero Pool Does Not Match TI12 Meta
In the absence of Valve’s True Sight, Dota 2 fans have been closely following the teams present at The International 2023 (TI12) and their vlogs to get a taste of all things happening behind-the-scenes. One of the most prominent teams at TI12, Team Spirit, has also been documenting its run at TI12 on YouTube. It recently released the third episode of its The International 2023 (TI12) vlog.
In an interesting take, Team Spirit’s Denis "Larl" Sigitov talked about Virtus.pro Ilya "squad1x" Kuvaldin’s hero pool at TI12 ahead of the Team Spirit vs Virtus.pro match in the upper bracket quarterfinals.
Larl’s Take on squad1x’s TI12 Hero Pool
Ahead of Team Spirit’s match against Virtus.pro (VP), Larl weighed in on VP’s playstyle and its hero picks. Larl acknowledged that VP had improved significantly compared to its performance at Riyadh Masters 2023, where it finished last in the Play-in Group A. However, he felt confident in taking on Virtus.pro.
Answering the question of whether Virtus.pro is the dark horse of the tournament, Larl said, “Yeah, probably. Anyway, you can say the same about many teams.” He said that Spirit has been studying VP’s pattern and understanding the team’s hero picks.
While talking about VP, he touched upon its mid-laner squad1x. Larl opined that squad1x’s hero pool does not match the current meta and noted how squad1x’s most favored hero, Templar Assassin, is out of meta at TI12.
According to Larl, squad1x’s top three heroes are Templar Assassin, Puck, and Earth Shaker. Larl said, “I don’t think his [squad1x] pool matches meta. He has some meta heroes but it isn’t much. There are two-three.”
Interestingly, following this interview, on game day, Team Spirit banned all of squad1x’s top three heroes — Templar Assassin, Puck, and Earth Shaker — in game 1. Despite this, VP emerged victorious.
Puck was picked by Team Spirit for Larl and we got to see squad1x’s Templar Assassin in action in game 2, but VP was handed a loss by Spirit.
Team Spirit ultimately claimed victory over VP, as it banned squad1x’s Templar Assassin and Puck again in the decider.
Mira Reflects on Team Spirit’s Draft Against Virtus.pro
Following its victory in the series, Myroslav "Mira" Kolpakov noted that the reason Team Spirit lost game 1 was due to its bad draft. He reflected on how picking Faceless Void and Viper against Pugna was a horrible decision as the team could not output significant damage. While Viper is a counter for Bristleback on paper, Bristleback’s movement speed was too great and easily outmaneuvered Team Spirit.
Mira added that in the next two games the team’s draft was good, with the only downside being VP stealing Muerta away in the third game.
The vlog also featured some in-game communication of Team Spirit during its match against VP. This clip showed how Team Spirit seemed calm and collected even during such high-risk games, being precise with the information being shared.
Team Spirit is now set to face off against Team Liquid in the upper bracket semi-finals this coming weekend on 27th October.