Chapter 1: The Team at TI8.
Do you remember that Russian team that made it to TI8 last year and even defeated the first runner-up of TI7, Newbee? Well, it’s Winstrike. While it was definitely a lovely underdog story for all the Russian fans out there as Winstrike got out of the groups being the last placed team. However, that was as far as Winstrike could go as they get swept by VGJ.Storm in the next series.
Unfortunately, right after TI8, the team had a rough start for the new DPC season, where they failed to qualify for literally every single minor and major. While Silent, nongrata and NoFear remained in the team, the other 2 slots (belonging to Iceberg and ALWAYSWANNAFLY) undergone several shuffles. From bringing in yamich and Misha last January, to later replacing them with MiLAN and dnz who were their duo supports. Despite the massive changes in roster, Winstrike still couldn’t gain any better results as all their efforts were to no avail.
Chapter 2: Winstrike Strikes Back!
So just yesterday, Winstrike announces their roster for the upcming major and minor qualifier. And with EPICENTER being the final major of this season, alot is on the line, not just for Winstrike nut every team out there. If that fails, it's the TI9 qualifiers for them. This time, there's not just one but two very interesting players joining the stack. It's no other than the infamous Lil and the former OG stand-in, iLTW.
Chapter 3: Lil and Friends.
If you have checked out the current hot topic on the site about Lil from Toxic to PMA, you would have read that he's looking for a team and has apparently turned over a new leaf. And according to many from the community, there's no doubt that Lil is a very experienced and talented pro player himself.
However, because of his rather toxic attitude even in the pro scene, he gets a bad rep among pro players and talents. So, whether if you think that Lil has changed, that's really up to you to decide but we will know very soon if there's going to be drama or early disbands soon. However, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt here that he really has looked in the mirror and changed. Who knows? I mean we could use another prominent CIS team in the International any time.
Chapter 4: The Ana Replacement.
Lil aside, here's another extraordinary player who get to play alongside the TI8 champions, OG. According to team OG, iLTW is definitely a very talented player and we can clearly see it from his games with OG. Although they didn't make it to any major, iLTW still proved to be on par as Ana, with Ember Spirit being his signature hero.
He also had lots of experience before TI8 where his team used to practice with OG, so that's clearly some good experience he had there, which is why he didn't look as out of place as Pajkatt when he stand-in for OG.
Chapter 5: Final Thoughts.
With such prominent players from the CIS region joining forces, we can't help but get excited about how far Lil and his new stack will achieve. But if Lil fails, we won't mind the drama and memes too. So, everyone wins! Stay tuned for ESL ONE Mumbai!