Star-studded Chinese team Elephant have become China's fifth representative in The International 10 (TI10) after they soundly defeated EHOME, 3-1, in the grand finals of the tournament's Chinese qualifier on Sunday (10 July).
Despite having four of the best players in China in Zhang "Eurus" Chengjun, Lu "Somnus丶M" Yao, Zhou "Yang" Haiyang, and Xu "fy" Linsen, Elephant struggled throughout the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) and were unable to qualify for any of the two Majors.
However, they were able to get it done when it mattered the most and qualified for this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual world championship tournament.
Elephant's journey to TI10 saw them take down Team MagMa and Royal Never Give Up in the first two rounds of the upper bracket before falling to EHOME in their first meeting in the upper bracket finals. Elephant then made short work of Team MagMa in the lower bracket finals to earn the right to challenge EHOME in the grand finals for a spot in TI10.
After throwing the first game of the finals away to EHOME, Elephant bounced back with a dominant 34-minute win in game two. Somnus丶M on Leshrac notched a series-high 12 kills against two deaths to pace his team's 29-9 kill advantage at the end of the game.
Somnus丶M was once again the difference maker for Elephant, as his Templar Assassin led his team to a 43-minute victory in game three. Somnus丶M notably tied his series-high in kills with 12 against three deaths as Elephant took a commanding 2-1 series lead.
Elephant had all the momentum in the world as they dominated EHOME in a 41-minute game four to claim the 3-1 series victory. Somnus丶M on Lina once again led all players in kills with 11 against three deaths, while Eurus on Terrorblade pitched in with a clean nine kills of his own, to lead Elephant in earning a spot in TI10.
Elephant will be joining Fnatic from Southeast Asia, Team Spirit from Eastern Europe/the CIS, Undying from North America, and SG Esports from South America in the list of teams that earned their spot in TI10 through the regional qualifiers thus far.
Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses, PSG.LGD, Invictus Gaming, Virtus.pro, Quincy Crew, T1, Vici Gaming, Team Secret, Team Aster, Alliance, Beastcoast, and Thunder Predator have already earned direct invites to the tournament.
Elephant will also be the fifth Chinese team in TI10 alongside PSG.LGD, Invictus Gaming, Vici Gaming, and Team Aster.
Valve announced on Thursday (8 July) that TI10 would be moved from August to October and pulled out of Stockholm, Sweden, after it failed to get recognition as an 'elite sporting event'. TI10 will now be held in Bucharest, Romania from 7 to 17 October, where the 18 participating teams will be fighting to claim the coveted Aegis of Champions and the lion's share of a massive US$40 million prize pool.
Zhang "Eurus" Chengjun
Lu "Somnus丶M" Yao
Zhou "Yang" Haiyang
Xu "fy" Linsen
Xie "Super" Junhao
Liu "Sylar" Jiajun
Guo "Xm" Hongcheng
Yang "Chalice" Shengyi
Pan "Fade" Yi
Yap "xNova" Jian Wei
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