Are Russian Bears Finally On Their Way To TI win?

EPIC League Division 1 tournament just ended few days ago. And even though a Dota 2 esports rookie might have guessed that the victory and 200,000 dollars would go to the ever invincible Team Secret, they would be wrong. Because somewhat forgotten, but never to be dismissed Russian bears, also known as, beat OG in the finals and took home the trophy.

But to know how they became the current number 1 in the world, we must first look at their history. Team stepped out into the world spotlight as early as 2012, but their first significant tournament was The International 2013 where they ended up last. That somewhat marked their professional journey, where there have been many victories, but one remained elusive, the one at Dota 2’s biggest tournament, that same The International.

Many Different Faces Of

After their debacle in 2013, they decided to change their roster, but that didn’t help and they were last again the following year. Moving on, the organization formed another brand, a subdivision called Polar, but that variation didn’t last long, since that roster became the main one after just six months of existence. it proved to be a good decision, since that roster earned a direct invitation to The International 2015 where they placed sixth.

Even though that move looked promising, everything fell apart soon after and they had a very bad year, with poor performances on Majors and not even qualifying for The International 2016. This eventually led to yet another dismemberment of the team, but this time the org’s move was more radical than ever before – they decided to form a new roster out of players from different CIS teams.

That big decision finally paid off and the most important part of the history, as we know them today, could begin. It was also around that time that’s longest-standing players to date, Solo and No[o]ne joined the roster. 2017 brought the team’s first big victory, ESL One Hamburg, and after many more roster changes (some heavily questioned by fans), the team won four more big tournaments in 2018, including Kuala Lumpur Major.

2019 was looking like it was going to be a big year for, but it all went south fast. They were serious contenders for winning The International, but instead of that they got kicked out just to finish between 9th and 12th place. After that, two important players, who’ve been with the team for three years at that point, Ramzes and 9pasha, left. That was also the time when epileptick1d and Save- (current captain) joined the roster.

How Did They Get To That Unexpected Win?

The latest roster shuffle for the Russians happened at the beginning of November this year, when the organization decided to switch rosters internally: their VP.Prodigy team, which is the org’s youth division, became their main roster. With that transfer VP veterans Solo and No[o]ne left the team. The organization said goodbye to the players in a very short post on their website, where they briefly listed their biggest accomplishments and wished them well for the future, but let’s say that is just a Russian way (they also covered their EPIC victory with a three-sentence post, so that’s that).

And that brings us up to date, where their new roster basically had their debut at one of the biggest Dota 2 tournaments this year. All of the big boys came out to play, and not many fans placed their bets on a’s win, but they proved everything is possible. They’ve beaten famed and accoladed Team Secret on their way to the semi- finals, where Team, who were next in line, also stood no chance. Finally, at the end team OG (current TI title-holders, for that matter) put up a decent fight, but eventually lost 2 to 3 to the reigning Russian champions.

Does this mean they have finally unlocked their secret formula and are on their way to conquer the world and win that unreachable TI? We’ll have to wait and see, but who knows for how long, since Covid-19 already cancelled a bunch of upcoming (and past) events, including TI 2020. Let’s hope for the best, and while we wait visit our Pick 6 and play the game of your choice for free.