This weekend, Moscow-based Team Spirit became the first Eastern European team to win the Dota 2 world championship since 2011.
Team Spirit did not just win The International 2021, it also took home over $18 million, which PC Gamer called the biggest prize payout in esports history.
And not just that! Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated the team on their achievement.
“Dear friends! Congratulations on your well-deserved victory at The International 2021, the Dota 2 World Championship. For the first time in history, a Russian team from club Team Spirit won these prestigious competitions. Well done!” Putin wrote in a letter posted on the Kremlin’s official website. “On your way to the final, you demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and solidarity, and in the decisive duel, which became a real test of skill and character, you managed to concentrate and seize the initiative from strong opponents at the most crucial moment. You have proven that our esports players are always goal-oriented and capable of conquering any peaks. I wish you continued success and all the best.”
“The decisive duel,” cited in the letter, was with Chinese team PSG.LGD, which Team Spirit managed to beat in the fifth and final game. The last time a team from Eastern Europe Ukraine’s Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) won the championship was a decade ago. In 2011, Ukraine’s Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) won the very first International.