The CIS esports organization Team Spirit announced they have decided to part ways with Andrey "Ghostik" Kadyk ahead of WePlay! Bukovel Minor due to internal disagreements that came as a result of different views of the player and the team.
Earlier this month Team Spirit became the third qualified team for WePlay! Bukovel Minor by making it through the WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020 CIS Qualifier.
Spirit’s road to their ticket for Bukovel Minor started in DreamLeague Season 13 closed qualifiers, which featured 10 CIS teams, including Virtus.pro and Natus Vincere, Gambit and HellRaisers to name a few of the strongest.
While Team Spirit struggled in the group stage at the said tournament, Mikhail "Misha" Agatov and his squad switched into a higher gear in the playoffs. There they defeated NaVi (2-1) but narrowly lost to Virtus.pro (1-2) in the next round, thus dropped down to the lower bracket, where they reunited with NaVi in a decisive match that would send one of the two directly into the second Major of 2019/20 DPC. Unfortunately, Spirit fell flat and lost 0-2, meaning their climb to the Leipzig Major continued in the WePlay! Bukovel Minor closed qualifiers.
The WePlay! Bukovel Minor closed qualifiers took off on December 5, 2019, when the remaining four teams - Gambit, Team Spirit, Gentlemen and HellRaisers went head to head in a bid to claim one of the two tickets leading to the Minor tournament.
Team Spirit started their closed qualifiers venture in the semi-finals where they clashed with Gentlemen. It was a close match, with Gentlemen claiming the first map, but Team Spirit managed to produce a reverse sweep to claim a promotion into the finals. There, Spirit failed to recapture their form as they lost 0-2 to Gambit.
After a devastating loss, Team Spirit met with HellRaisers in the lower bracket finals for one last shot at earning a ticket for the tournament. It was a close and exciting fixture, which saw two teams go back and forth, yet it was HellRaisers who were holding onto a 2-1 lead by the end of the third map. Needing only one more map to win, HellRaisers entered the decisive map filled with confidence but were met with resilient Team Spirit who won two straight maps in a commanding fashion to secure an appearance at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor.
While the whole team played very well, a lot of Team Spirit's success can be attributed to Ghostik who laid waste on HellRaisers in the final two maps of the series and played a pivotal role in his team's road to the Minor tournament.
Unfortunately, he won’t be able to represent Spirit in Bukovel, as it was announced earlier this week, Ghostik will no longer be a part of Team Spirit.
The announcement made by the team read:
“Andrey certainly made a great contribution to the development of our team and the achievement of great results. But, unfortunately, there was the difference in views about the training process, understanding of the game and further development paths. It became more bad than good. I can’t say that there were some direct conflicts, but the views on the processes within the team were divided. Our players are young, so positive atmosphere and faith in each other are the key factors for them. The lack of these things is the reason for the change. Whatever it was I want to thank Andrey for his professionalism and wish him good luck in his future career. “
The announcement shock many considering losing a player of his calibre was a huge blow to Team Spirit and their chances of winning their first Minor event since December 2018. However, shortly after the announcement of Ghostik’s departure, it was revealed Team Spirit have found a replacement in former Winstrike Team member Alexey "nongrata" Vasilyev, who reportedly already started to practice with the squad and will play a role of a stand-in at the upcoming Minor.
It was also said that Team Spirit will decide whether to make nongrata a permanent member of the team or not based on their placement at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor, which will unfold this January, starting on Thursday, January 9, and concluding three days later on Sunday, January 12.
The participating teams will compete for the lion's share of US $300,000 and the largest slice of 660 DPC points, as well as a direct invitation for DreamLeague Leipzig Major, which will take off on January 18, 2020 and feature US $1,000,000 in prize pool alongside 15,000 DPC points.
Team Spirit will enter WePlay! Bukovel Minor with the following line-up:
Igor “iLTW” Filatov
Egor “Ergon” Kozlov
Alexander “Immersion” Hmelevskoy
Mihail “Misha” Agatov
Alexey “nongrata” Vasilyev (stand-in)