Image courtesy of EPICENTER
Team Winstrike, previously known as FlyToMoon, have successfully nabbed the only spot through the CIS Regional Qualifiers to the main event of the International 2018.
Team Winstrike have qualified for the biggest and most prestigious Dota 2 event of the year, The International 2018, by defeating well-known and stacked teams such as ESPADA, Team Spirit and Team Empire. As one of the two teams to receive direct invites to the Regional Qualifiers of the CIS region, besides Vega Squadron, they proved their worth and showed some unique and impressive plays.
Formed only a few months ago in the mid-season roster shuffle of the Dota Pro Circuit, FlyToMoon (original name) made their mark on the professional scene as one of the strongest teams from the region. Their most significant and well-known run at a DPC event was at EPICENTER XL, where they placed 3rd, an unprecedented result considering the caliber of teams that participated at the tournament. They defeated Virtus.pro in the lower brackets before being eliminated by Team Liquid. Incredible, considering they barely managed to qualify for the event, placing 2nd in the CIS Qualifiers and getting a chance at redemption in the Madness Qualifier. Although they failed to qualify for any other DPC Major or rack up enough qualifying points for the rest of the season, they stayed on the radar for many as a team to watch.
Only a day before they secured their presence at TI8, it was officially announced that FlyToMoon was picked up by Team Winstrike, a Russian organization that also owns a CS:GO team.
Right off the bat, Team Winstrike showed what they were capable of, topping the group of the regional qualifier. After losing only one game, their first against Double Dimension, they went on to dominate every other team with surprising ease.
Reminiscent of the Madness Qualifiers of EPICENTER XL, they showed their prowess of winning BO1 series, as the games got shorter and shorter the further the group stage progressed.
The team continued to plow through the top teams from the group stages into the qualifiers. Exacting their revenge, they sent Double Dimension to the lower bracket with a clean sweep 2:0 victory. Their next opponent would be ESPADA, who are perhaps most famous for sending Natus Vincere home in the first round of the CIS Open Qualifiers. They would turn out to be their toughest opponent yet, as the games in the series got longer and longer until Winstrike ultimately won the deciding 72-minute match.
They would come back to face them in the BO5 Grand Finals, the deciding series of who got to go to The International. ESPADA were ready to give a good fight, winning the first match with Stanislav “633/BZZ” Glushan’s Pangolier. However, Winstrike were quick to strike back, winning the next three matches with aggressive dominance. They were even brave enough to pick a Pudge for mid-laner Bogdan “Iceberg” Vasilenko in the third game, with which they won in a surprising fashion.
Team Winstrike roster: