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announces CS:GO roster
M5 Academy is pleased to announce an important step in our development
After a long process of selection, we settled on signing a new team with the maximum potential for growth. Starting today, our tag will be represented by:
Aleksey "1uke" Zimin
Roman "Rommi" Golubev
Victor "jmLogicser" Smirnov
Vladislav "LavL" Lazarev
Andrey "d34dr0ck" Konovalov
“The fighting trinity was selected from six academic rosters, which were trained at the M5 Academy for over a year. To them, we have added experience and knowledge from 1uke and Rommi. The result was a very promising team, which we did not want to give to another organization. I’m proud that today another academic roster has become a professional team." — Dmitry Machulin, CEO M5 Academy
“We all have been waiting for the Russian team for which we want to cheer. I wish this roster a great success and I repeat the famous order No. 227, “Not a single step back!” — Dmitry Smilyanets, the founder of Moscow Five™
Longtime fans of professional Counter-Strike remember the name Moscow Five (M5) from the very first days of the discipline. Since 2004, with an epic victory at CPL Summer Belgrade and outstanding success on the world stage in 2011-2012, the organization has paid special attention to the competitive Counter-Strike scene. We will try to conquer the new heights in the coming 2020.
Throughout the history of esports in the CIS, there have been several Dota 2 and Counter-Strike teams that can boast of successes on the world stage. It is not surprising, because these disciplines are most popular in the Russian-speaking region. But there was one roster in League of Legends, which represented Russia even when Riot Games did not even open a regional office in this country. And it performed under the tag of Moscow Five.
Top Russian team for the top organization.
By the end of 2011, the Moscow Five organization was already, without doubt, the strongest in Russia and one of the strongest in the CIS. The success of the teams in Counter-Strike and Dota 2 helped it to reach the world level. At the same time, the most popular esports discipline, League of Legends, was gaining momentum in the world, and the M5 management could not stay away from this trend and began to search for the roster.
However, the choice was poor - the only Russian roster that showed the result then belonged to Team Empire. In November 2011, it won the qualifiers for the Intel Extreme Masters VI Global Championships finals, which took place in Kyiv. After an offer from Moscow Five, which Empire could not physically block, the team with Alexei "AlexIch" Ichetovkin, Danil "Diamondprox" Reshetnikov, Eugene "Genja" Andryushin, Eduard "GoSu Pepper" (now Edward) Abraghyan and Eugene "Darien" Mazayev came under the banner of the “Moscow Five”.
In Kyiv, Moscow Five League of Legends roster was to play for the first time in its life at a major LAN-event and meet with the world's leading teams. Most fans did not expect instant success and simply believed that the team will show a beautiful game and climb as high as possible. But after the group stage, it became clear that the M5 are ready to smash everyone. In the struggle for first place in the group, the American Team Dignitas was defeated, for which the stars of that time played - Voyboy, Scarra, and imaqtpie. The leader of the Riot Circuit Season 2 - SK Gaming with the current owner of the G2 Esports organization Carlos Ocelote Rodriguez Santiago was out of the work in the semi-final, and in the final, America's best team of those times - Team SoloMid - was able to win only one card with M5.
Way to the top
After the first LAN tournament, under the new tag, Moscow Five entered the League of Legends world elite. At the same time, the team played in all tournaments that were available to it, including online. In February 2012, M5 finished third in the ESL Go4LoL, won the Legendary Gaming New Year's Cup and reached the Kings of Europe finals. The only relative failure was the defeat in the qualifiers for IPL 4 Las Vegas, but this did not upset the fans much, because after a week the line-up had to play at the Intel Extreme Masters Season VI world final in Hanover. The M5 got a ticket there thanks to the victory in Kyiv, and fans of the Russian team believed that there, too, success awaited him.
At IEM Season VI, M5 was assigned to the most difficult group, where its competitors were SK Gaming, Team Curse, Team SoloMid, EHOME, and Team Sypher. But they all turned out to be powerless before the strategies and execution of Moscow Five. In the playoffs, the unbeaten run of the Moscow Five continued - CLG Prime and Dignitas flew the same way without a chance. “Let’s all go-to salad,” Darien characterized the M5 performance in Hanover with just such a concise statement. And this was not an exaggeration or foppishness. Even fans of other teams admit that he was absolutely right. And the representative of Team Dignitas Scarra after the tournament admitted that all the participants were head and shoulders weaker than Moscow Five, and the strategies of the Russian team were two to three months ahead of time. This tournament also went down in history in that in the fight for the title with the strongest squads in the world, the M5 did not lose a single map.
After graduating from the IEM World Championships, Moscow Five became the undoubtedly best team in the world. And nobody worried that M5 periodically lost in online tournaments or did not take first places, because at that time the M5 had nothing to prove. All that interested the team was the World Cup, which was scheduled for the fall. And in order to perform there, it was necessary to win the European regional final. But in order to maintain form and playing practice, Moscow Five tried not to miss a single tournament, even if it played half the strength there.
At the same time, the roster did not want to limit themselves to online matches only. In March, he tried to register for American tournaments, but the Riot system did not allow this. M5 leader Dmitry "ddd1ms" Smilyanets took this as a reluctance of developers to watch how American teams lose to Russians and wrote a blog about it on the club’s website. Later, representatives of Riot Games contacted him and noted that League of Legends tournaments have regional restrictions, and, unfortunately, it does not allow the M5 to participate in competitions in America. Dmitry was forced to accept this answer but still did not give up his words about the Americans' fear of the Russian collective.
Domination in Europe and the assassins from Taipei
The nearest LAN-tournament, where the M5 could play without restrictions, was DreamHack Summer 2012, which also attracted all the strongest teams in Europe. There Moscow Five was no longer as incomparable as it was several months ago in Hanover. At first, the team lost to CLG EU in the group stage, but still reached the playoffs from second place. Then, after defeating Curse, the EU reached the final, where he again lost to CLG EU. But few people perceived this defeat as a failure. Just CLG was well prepared for the Moscow Five. For the Russian team, this loss was an important lesson before the World Cup - no matter how strong you are on paper, any opponent can give you a fight if you give at least a moment of weakness. Considering how the popularity of League of Legends grew in the esports world, such outcomes became more and more real, because the competition grew literally every month.
Before the next LAN tournament, Moscow Five won eight small competitions online and approached the European Challenger Circuit: Poland in their best form. In the group stage, the CLG EU again punished the M5, but the first priority - to reach the playoffs - was completed. In the elimination stage, the M5 again showed its true level. First, M5 destroyed Curse EU in the semifinals, and then took revenge from CLG EU, although before the match only Russian fans were ready to bet on them.
At the really important LAN-tournament, Moscow Five managed to regain the crown of the best team in Europe, and before the start of the World Cup, it was M5 who was considered the main favorite. But before traveling to the USA, the M5 had to prove this status at the European regional final. The task was 100% completed - the only map the Russians lost in the semifinals against Fnatic, but the series remained with them - 2: 1. And in the final, SK Gaming was once again out of work. Thus, the M5 once again confirmed that it simply has no rivals in its region.
Several defeats in online tournaments before the 2012 World Cup did not matter - everyone understood that the team was then set exclusively for the world championship, which took place in Los Angeles from October 4 to 13. As the winner of the European regional finals, Moscow Five was immediately identified in the playoffs without the need to play the group stage. In the quarterfinals, the Russians defeated the champion of the Chinese regional final Invictus Gaming and then got to the strongest team from Taiwan - Taipei Assassins.
After winning the first map, M5 fans believed that reaching the final was only a matter of time. But the Taiwanese prepared a surprise for Moscow Five - they had a couple of strategies in stock that nullified the aggressive style of the Russians. As a result, the second and third cards ended in the defeat of the Moscow Five. For fans of League of Legends around the world, this was a real shock. And Taipei Assassins, after defeating the M5 in the final, defeated the Koreans Azubu Frost and won the world title.
Despite the failure in Los Angeles, the team decided to continue playing with the same roster. In addition, ahead of the M5 was waiting for the final of the fifth season of the IPL, the qualifications for which the Russians won back in July. But it went very badly - the first place in the group Moscow Five lost to Taipei Assassins. In the top bracket of the playoffs, the Russian team immediately lost to future champions - the Chinese from World Elite. Further, the M5 went down the net to the small finals but again stumbled about Taipei Assassins. Total - fourth place. In general, this was a worthy result, but given past successes, it was unlikely to satisfy the ambitions of the players.
At the end of 2012, the management of Moscow Five announced the freezing of the project. Due to financial problems after the departure of Dmitry Smilyanets, a few months ago, M5 released the lineups for Dota 2 and Counter-Strike, but the roster for League of Legends remained in the club until the last. Soon it joined the organization Gambit Gaming, with which it performed in the European LCS, but it was under the M5 banners that the team completed its most important mission - it showed esports fans from the CIS what League of Legends is. Yes, this discipline has not gained popularity in the Russian-speaking community, despite the fact that it has become a major game in other parts of the world. But even those few who love LoL in our region, speaking about the successes of our teams, will definitely remember Moscow Five as the most successful CIS team in the history of the discipline.
At the dawn of the development of Esports, it already had several competitive disciplines, but among them, one stood out especially - Counter-Strike 1.6. In this article, we will tell you how the Moscow Five got the strongest roster in Russia and what it was worth to maintain and repeatedly confirm this status.
The origins of Moscow Five.
As historians like to say, the “first mention” of the Moscow Five appeared back in 2001. Then esports as a phenomenon was only in its infancy, and there were only a few organizations as we present them. Most of the teams were just compositions that performed under some permanent tag. Over time, some of them became more and more recognizable, maintained traditions and grew. One of these tags was m5team, the Counter-Strike lineup manager was Dmitry ddd1ms Smilyanets. In parallel, he worked as a programmer and assistant operator at Ostankino TV Center. Esports in such positions could hardly be called a job, then it was more like a hobby. They really started talking about m5team after winning the CPL Belgrade 2004, but that did not change much with regards to the short term future. At that time, esports projects were closing and opening with enviable frequency, and the M5 also suffered a similar fate - in 2005 the project was frozen, and Dmitry started a family, business and focused on real life. In 2011, when the esports industry entered an active stage of development and formation, ddd1ms has decided to return. The truly Russian tag Moscow Five was supposed to be represented only by the Russian players. It existed then, only it was not a club from the CIS, but the German organization Meet Your Makers. The revival of m5team was soon announced under the Moscow Five brand, which would soon become one of the most legendary and recognizable not only in Russia but throughout the world.
The announcement of the signing the former Meet Your Makers (Mikhail Dosia Stolyarov, Eduard ed1k Ivanov, Roman ROMJkE Makarov, Alexander xek Zobkov, Sergey Fox Stolyarov) was released on February 18, 2011, and a week later the team went to Kyiv to participate at ASUS Open Winter 2011.
Frankly, Moscow Five did not have worthy opponents there. While being under the MyM tag, the Russian team performed well on the world stage - its last result in the German organization was 5-6 place in the European final of Intel Extreme Masters, where the team fought with the most experienced and stellar teams of that time. Among them were Natus Vincere, who won the three largest championships in 2010, the Swedish rosters SK Gaming with f0rest and GeT_RiGhT and Fnatic, the Poles Frag eXecutors with NEO and TAZ, as well as the Danish team mTw, led by current Astralis coach Danny zonic Sorensen. Therefore, at ASUS Open Winter 2011, in addition to winning from the M5, they did not expect anything, and all opponents on the grid were defeated with a score of 2: 0. In the final, the Moscow Five broke up with Iron Will, which was then headed by the icon of the Russian Counter-Strike Alexei LeX Kolesnikov.
From that moment it became clear that Moscow Five simply had no competitors in Russia, and in the CIS the only opponent of the Moscow Five was Natus Vincere, a world-class team that had already won several world championships at that time. The original goal to get the strongest Russian team was met, but for great victories on the world stage, the M5 had to do a lot of work. And Dmitry's role for the entire Moscow Five organization was to provide players with some of the best conditions in the world. And apparently he succeeded with that.
But the path to the top on the competitive stage was too complicated and thorny. Even then, the competition in Counter-Strike was simply prohibitive, and just collecting strong players in one squad was not enough to achieve the highest goals. The first real test of strength for Moscow Five was the world finals of the fifth season of Intel Extreme Masters, which had brought together the strongest players on the planet. M5 did not have enough victories to leave the group. M5 defeated those whom the team was obliged to beat, but in the matches with Frag eXecutors, mTw and the Brazilian compLexity Gaming with Gabriel FalleN, Toledo could not be underestimated. However, it was a valuable experience that was useful to players in further tournaments.
Further, the results of the M5 only improved noticeably. At Copenhagen Games 2011 - a real survival competition with two group stages and 43 participants - Moscow Five entered the playoffs, wherein the first match M5 got SK Gaming. The Russian team, despite the fact that it was an obvious outsider, was able to give the fight to the higher-class Swedish roster at that time. First, the M5 lost de_dust2 with a score of 13:16, and on the second map de_nuke, the audience watched several series of additional rounds in a row, while the Swedes still could not get a victory with a score of 25:21. Four days after Copenhagen Games 2011, the team went to Spain for GameGune 2011. There, the task of advancing the group was again completed, but the lack of training between the tournaments affected the playoffs. In the upper bracket, Moscow Five again lost to SK Gaming, and in the lower bracket lost to e-Sahara.
The major confrontation in the history of Russian Esports
Although Moscow Five has not yet managed to prove itself on the world stage, it still had a large fan base in Russia, because in fact the country then had no other teams that defended its honor on the world stage. But everything changed in April 2011, when the efforts of Anton sneg Cherepennikov returned to the scene Virtus.pro.
Even though the VP line-up for Counter-Strike was just getting together and had not yet managed to prove itself in business, there was a lot of excitement around this team, and the old fans, of whom there were quite a lot, returned to their favorite team. For M5, this was a real challenge, because, in the media plan in the vastness of Russia, there was a competitor. Moscow Five needed to do everything to keep Virtus.pro out of the game and retain leadership not only in the number of medals and victories, but also to convince Counter-Strike fans from Russia that past achievements mean nothing, but in the present M5 stronger than anyone else.
The first meeting of principled opponents took place at the eSport Universe Moscow LAN tournament. Everyone expected a confrontation between M5 and VP in the final, but unlike the Moscow Five, hooch, evil, h4cker, mice, and kibaken made a mistake in the group stage, losing to Denis's seized Kostin mix called fbgaming and left the group only from second place. However, the hooch team, as it turned out, prepared very carefully for Moscow Five, and it was VP who caused the most M5 problems in this tournament. In the semifinals, applicants for the top 1 of Russia staged a real battle, especially on the first de_inferno map. But Virtus.pro was only enough to transfer the match to overtime, where Moscow Five squeezed the opponent with a score of 22:19. On the next map, de_tuscan M5 confidently finished with the opponent and reached the final, where Dmitry OverDrive Biryukov team Burn did not offer M5 any decent resistance.
Despite the victory of Moscow Five, the passions between M5 and Virtus.pro, as well as their fans on the Internet, flared up even more. Everyone was looking forward to the next team battle at the Intel Challenge Super Cup Season 8 in Kyiv, where both teams from Russia were in the same group and they had to play two matches. Both times, Moscow Five failed the first half (the score was 13: 2 in favor of the opponent) and tried to come back, but Virtus.pro managed to score the required three rounds, despite the good series for M5. The defeat from the principal adversary hit Dmitry Smilyanets very strongly. He tried to contact the players, but they had gone asleep by then. The heated leader of Moscow Five left a comment on the team site, where he stated that after such an annoying defeat he will "deprive players of all financial benefits."
His message was read by Vitaliy v1lat Volochay, who at that time was already a famous commentator. He noted that depriving players of salaries for one defeat is a terrible decision. After that, a skirmish began between ddd1ms and v1lat, in which the Moscow Five leader advised the commentator not to get into the team’s internal affairs and reminded him of several grave sins in the past.
At this time, the team was focused on returning to the game after losing to Virtus.pro. Indeed, despite the defeat from VP, M5 still had enough points to leave the group. Having dealt with Kerch.net in the opening playoff match, Moscow Five again hit Virtus.pro, but this time the success was for M5. In the final, M5 again lost to SK Gaming, only with the score 2:1. Despite this, the fans were pleased with the results of the tournament in Kyiv - worthy resistance to one of the strongest teams on the planet, as well as a victory over a principled opponent in an important match, inspired them greatly. As for the deprivation of “financial benefits”, it later turned out that ddd1ms was talking about a bonus. Given that Virtus.pro was ultimately defeated, the players received their bonuses, and the words of their leader after losing to VP in the group essentially became something of a motivation.
After ICSC 8, Dmitry has organized an unusual team building for the squad - climbing to the top of the Achishkho ridge in the Kavkaz Mountains. For sports tourists, such an event is not particularly difficult, but for untrained cyber-sportsmen, this was a real test. After the trip on the M5 channel, an interview with the players was released, in which the essence of this trip became clear. The fact is that after the Intel Challenge Super Cup 8, players complained about Counter-Strike fatigue, which caused dissatisfaction among fans. Like, you are sitting at computers and just playing, at the same time complaining, as if two shifts were plowed in a day at the mine. Of course, it was a matter of moral fatigue, not physical fatigue. And such a trip away from the computer, Counter-Strike, and the esports info the field helped players unload psychologically through the physical difficulties they encountered for the first time in a long time.
Judging by further results, the campaign for Achishkho was good for the players. After that, Moscow Five reached the final point in the confrontation with Virtus.pro - this happened at the Russian qualifiers for World Cyber Games 2011 in September. It was expected that both teams skated on all opponents and met in the final. At that duel at the Sokolniki Exhibition Center in Moscow came the whole army of VP fans who were ready to mentally destroy the M5, cheering for their idols from the audience. But this did not stop Moscow Five from snatching a 2-1 victory and finally securing leadership in Russia. After that, VP began a long series of setbacks, while Moscow Five continued on its way to the top and regularly participated in championships with the strongest representatives of the competitive world in Counter-Strike.
After winning the Russian qualifiers, a good performance at the World Cyber Games 2011 World Finals became one of the priorities for Moscow Five. However, before that, M5 had to play in four major LAN-tournaments - Samsung European Championship 2011 in Poland, Electronic Sports World Cup 2011 in France, MSI Beat IT Russia 2011 in Kyiv and DreamHack Winter 2011 in Sweden. They went for M5 with varying success - at SEC and ESWC the team advanced the groups, but twice lost in the playoffs to strong opponents - Frag eXecutors and Natus Vincere.
But it was possible to really please the fans at MSI Beat IT Russia 2011. Having lost to Fnatic in the group stage and reached the playoffs from second place, Moscow Five showed the real nature of the champion. First, M5 went through WinFakt and DTS Gaming in the quarter-finals and semifinals, and in the decisive match, M5 got back to Fnatic, which in the previous match left NAVI out of work. For the Swedish team, the gaming level of Moscow Five turned out to be a surprise - M5 won with a score of 2:0, although few people bet on it before the match. This title was the first for Moscow Five at international tournaments, and now the team could be safely ranked among the elite of the Counter-Strike competitive world.
At DreamHack Winter, which took place four days after MSI Beat IT, Moscow FIve did not leave the group, losing to NAVI and Fnatic. But this had little effect on the mood of the fans because everyone was waiting for World Cyber Games 2011, which was no less prestigious to win than any other top-level tournament. From the group stage to the semi-finals, the M5 went without a single defeat until it met SK Gaming. And again, the confrontation with eminent Swedes ended in defeat for the Russian team.
However, there was no time to lose heart, because ahead of Moscow Five was waiting for the match for bronze against NEXT.kz with AdreN and mou. The team from Kazakhstan was simply destroyed on the first map with a score of 16:1, on the second map was able to translate the match into overtime. But there M5 did not take a single round and lost 19:15. Even though the M5 was one of the contenders for the top 1, everyone was very happy even for the third place, because this is the first success of the Russian team at the WCG in nine years - the last was in 2002 when the M19 took the trophy.
The only replacement and Indian adventure
After returning from World Cyber Games 2011, Moscow Five was noted for several more successes. First, the team without any defeat on at least one map won ASUS Final Battle of the Year 2011, and after the new year won the Intel Extreme Masters Season VI Global Challenge Kyiv bronze medals. There, the offender for M5 in the semifinals again became SK Gaming, and in the match for third place the Russian team left Fnatic out of work.
In March, the M5 was to perform at the IEM Season VI World Finals. After leaving the group from second place followed by a defeat from ESC Gaming - the former Frag eXecutors. Then the team went to the TECHLABS Cup 2012 Moscow, where he again left the group from the second line, however, in the playoffs he lost to Natus Vincere. After two 5-6 consecutive places in the team, a breakdown began. At first, ROMJkE wanted to leave the team, but in the end, they changed xek. They decided to take Roman hacker Abramov in his place - at that time he was a Virtus.pro player. The rivalry between M5 and VP has quieted down a long time ago because in the competition plan Virtus.pro has not been a competitor to M5 for a long time. But after this transfer, the confrontation between the teams in the information field flared up again.
After the announcement of the transition of hacker to VP, Anton sneg1 Cherepennikov accused Dmitry ddd1ms Smilyanets of luring players, despite the mutual agreement between the clubs not to do this. In response to this, Bold stated that there were no written conditions, let alone a contract, between hacker and Virtus.pro, so formally the player was a free agent. At the same time, the leader of M5 noted that he would personally return Abramov’s salary to Cherepennikov in two months - that is how much hacker spent in VP before moving to Moscow Five.
They decided to check the new roster in the case at India Gaming Carnival. Initially, the Counter-Strike community of fans ambiguously accepted this tournament, but given that the leading teams of the world were not going to go to India, for the updated M5 roster this trip should have been a good training and a way to get used to each other before the next important starts. Many expected that the teams would not receive their prize money and that there would be constant problems on the streams, but in the end, everything turned out to be much sadder.
The worst fears were already confirmed when the players saw the venue - a ragged barn with wooden tables and benches. But this did not stop anyone - all the participants sat down and began to play, despite the first shocking impression. As expected, the M5 easily crushed all of their opponents in the India Gaming Carnival, leaving them no chance. However, the finals were not destined to play - in its midst at the venue, the power was turned off, and the organizers, instead of solving the problem and orienting the players about further actions, simply removed all the computers.
The last trophy
In June 2012, the M5 leader was forced to leave the organization. However, before Dmitry Smilyanets has left, the team managed to please him with a victory at the show match against Natus Vincere as part of TECHLABS Cup BY 2012. The format of the match was different from what was used in other tournaments - the teams played two cards of 30 rounds, and for each victory, the team was supposed to receive $ 50. The first de_dust2 card ended in favor of the Russian team with a score of 20:10, and on de_tuscan NAVI they already resisted much more fiercely, but their efforts were not enough for more than a defeat with a score of 14:16. Total, Moscow Five scored not only more rounds than the opponent in the sum of two cards, but also won on each of them. At the same time, Dmitry was the most ardent fan of the team in the entire Minsk shopping center "Capital". The TECHLABS Cup was the last trophy of the Counter-Strike 1.6 squad held by the M5 leader.
The last tournament for Dosia, ROMjKE, hacker, fox, and ed1k as part of Moscow Five was DreamHack Summer 2012. There the team did not advance the group, losing to Fnatic and Natus Vincere, and took 5-6 place. A month later, due to financial difficulties, the management of M5 decided to abandon the Counter-Strike line-up. To some extent, this was a real blow to the Russian CS scene. But thanks to the work of M5 over the past year and a half, the level of the local scene has grown many times over, the conditions for the players have finally allowed them to fully concentrate on the game, and many novice e-sportsmen have the motivation to continue to improve, rather than quit and do something more familiar. And two M5 players - Dosia and fox - will end up in Virtus.pro in October, with which for the first time in CS:GO’s history they will defeat Ninjas in Pajamas at the LAN tournament and interrupt their series of 87 victories.
The release of Dota 2 has become one of the key events in the history of Esports. At the intersection of two eras between the first and second parts of Dota, the rapid development of this discipline began, and top organizations played an important role in this. And it was Moscow Five that was among the clubs that helped the scene in the CIS take a tangible step forward. In this article, we will tell you about the M5 Dota 2 roster and what it has achieved.
Let’s buy a garage.
At sunset, DotA AllStars in the CIS had two strongest teams that showed world-class results - DTS and Natus Vincere. The teams constantly competed with each other, while regularly leading the battle to the top teams from Europe. But in early 2011, DTS owner Maxim XPEH Dyakonyuk decided to abandon the Dota roster. The line-up with Yaroslav NS Kuznetsov, Sergey ARS-ART Revin, Andrey Dread Golubev, Sergey God Bragin and Dmitry LightOfHeaven Kupriyanov was left without an organization.
For some time, the team performed at online tournaments under the tag Garaj Gaming. At the same time, a major LAN event was approaching - Omega Sector Professional League Spring 2011 with a prize pool of about $16,000. A trip to Kazakhstan was quite expensive, and the team urgently needed a sponsor who was ready to cover its expenses for flights and accommodation.
The fact that the strongest Russian team was left without sponsors was discovered by the leader of Moscow Five Dmitry Smilyanets. He offered players help, and at the end of the tournament, he was ready to discuss the signing of contracts with them. The announcement took place on the last March day of 2011:
“Literally last night we could not even think that we would develop further in the direction of DOTA. Having seen the news about the misfortunes in the literal sense of the word that befell our Russian guys, and accepting the fact that they are one of the best teams in the world, we decided to finance the guys’ performance at the OSPL tournament. Upon returning from Kazakhstan, we will sit at the negotiating table and discuss the possible joint future of our teams, according to the results of the tournament.” — Dmitry "ddd1ms" Smilyanets
On OSPL, the team performed under the tag M5.Garaj. Naturally, the players were most motivated to win, because already at that time M5 was the organization with the most successful Counter-Strike line-up in Russia. Many sportsmen dreamed of getting into this club, and M5.Garaj took full advantage of this chance.
Frankly, the only opponent of the Russian team at that tournament was Natus Vincere - everyone else could hardly fight with experienced and titled M5.Garaj Doters. The meeting of the strongest teams happened in the semifinals. It was the only match in the tournament where three cards were played, and in a difficult fight, the Russian team defeated NAVI. In the final, they were opposed by the Viper Team from Kyrgyzstan. For them, reaching the final was already a success, and it was not difficult for the guys from M5.Garaj to put a bullet and win the trophy on OSPL.
A month after the end of the tournament, an official announcement was made that Garaj Gaming was becoming part of the Moscow Five organization. At the end of May 2011, the team had a trip to ASUS Spring 2011, which was held in Kyiv at the Esports Arena - at that time the main esports venue in the CIS. Naturally, this tournament was attended by Natus Vincere, and again they and M5 were the main favorites.
This time, the teams met in a match for the championship title - along the way they beat several mixes from the CIS, as well as the strong French team Virus Gaming in the semifinals. And again, the fight between M5 and NAVI lasted three cards, but the second turned out to be stronger at their home base. The next tournament showed that on the stage in the CIS there are two strongest teams, and it was they who had to fight among themselves for the titles at the next DotA Allstars tournaments.
The management of Natus Vincere understood this very well. To break away from the competitor, he needed to strengthen the composition. And where to get the players, except for Moscow Five? In M5, then one of the strongest bundles of support in the world played - Dread and NS. And it was they who first received the offer to switch to NAVI, but they refused. After that, NAVI management turned to LightOfHeaven, and soon an announcement took place that shocked the entire community of Dota players - Dmitry Kupriyanov became a Natus Vincere player. M5 had no choice but to find a replacement for it. The place of Kupriyanov was taken by experienced Alexander Santa Coltan.
A Million Dollar Tournament
Even before the start of ICSC # 9, the announcement of The International 2011 took place - the largest tournament in the history of not only DotA but all Esports. Valve officially announced the imminent release of Dota 2, and the company decided to present it to the public through a competition with an unprecedented prize pool of $ 1,600,000.00 at that time. There were no qualifications - the developers simply distributed invites to leading teams from around the world. Of course, Moscow Five also got on this list.
From the first games, it became clear that the M5 and Natus Vincere feel great in the new game. But the annoying M5 error in the match with MiTH-Trust did not allow the Russian team to take the first place in the group stage. With two victories and one defeat, they stopped on the second line - this was enough to reach the top bracket. But the first match of the playoff opponent of Moscow Five was NAVI, which at that tournament effortlessly destroyed all its opponents.
As it turned out, the M5 was ready to fight. Peak Natus Vincere was more suitable for pressure - their captain Ivan ArtStyle Antonov loved this style very much. Throughout the match, fights were won by one or the other, and several attempts to enter the enemy’s base from NAVI were smashed by the competent defense of the M5. Each time, NS and his team increasingly pulled the initiative on themselves until a decisive episode of the game happened. God on Storm Spirit took the invisibility rune under the NAVI ward. They noticed this, put a Sentry Ward and caught the unsuspecting midfielder Moscow Five without a buyback. After this, attempts to defend themselves were in vain. Natus Vincere made it to the semi-finals of the upper bracket, and the M5 fell to the bottom, where they easily defeated the Philippine Mineski, and then OK.Nirvana.int, in which Fear and Pajkatt played.
The next opponent of Moscow Five was EHOME. Like the M5, the Chinese team went into the lower bracket after losing to Natus Vincere. For most of the match, the Chinese suffered. In all fights, they exchanged minus until they finally closed at the base with Tinker. Going on a ramp against this hero, who regularly reclines cars, was extremely difficult. To simplify his task, the M5 needed to catch some heros outside the base, and then simply take the side, and without much resistance, demolish the side, then the other and end the match with a victory.
To prevent the enemy from feeling free, Moscow Five acquired the Gem of True Sight and walked around the map in search of the Observer Ward. Surprisingly, not a single ward was found, but somehow EHOME correctly left the Ganges, as if reading an opponent as an open book. The game dragged on, and the enemy Weaver (one of the strongest late-carry from the set of heroes that was on TI1) received more and more slots, and soon the Russian team was no longer able to fight on equal terms. The match was lost, and the M5 stopped at a 5-6th place. After the game, it turned out that Gem of True Sight, due to a bug, detects only enemy heroes, but not wards. But this didn’t mean anything, because even before the tournament the teams had signed up to the fact that such flaws could appear in the game, and they would not affect the final result.
Unfulfilled Dream Team
After The International 2011, ARS-ART and Santa left the team. As soon as the tournament ended, Dmitry Smilyanets declared that from now on the M5 roster for Dota 2 becomes a priority. To strengthen the roster to replace Revin and Coltan, they took two-star players - Ivan Vigoss Shinkarev and Vladimir PGG Anosov. The truth was a nuance - their reputation left much to be desired. The first was known for the fact that at any moment he could “score” the game and just the abyss, the second was not the most pleasant character - he often scolded the players, and the composition of his mix The Retry changed with enviable constancy. On paper, it was a real dream team, but given the past, the players had to do a great job to make everything work out in practice.
“We thought about PGG right away, and we chose the fifth player for a long time, doubted it. We had about five options. As a result, they leaned towards Vigoss. He has been playing a lot lately, said he is ready to train a lot and devote himself to Dota again. Only Dread somehow managed to stay without a conflict with PGG - because he never played with him. This, roughly speaking, is already a task. All of their conflicts were shoved to hell. We just play and score on past grievances. Actually stupid to be offended. Someone offended someone two years ago, so what? So remember it all my life or what? Nothing terrible has happened,” - said NS, commenting on the transition of Vigoss and PGG.
The first test for the roster was the online tournament Hao Fang Golden League, in which the M5 was to play with the Chinese teams. The practice of playing online with other regions, especially with China and its firewall, was doubtful - the big ping and server lags did not allow to reveal the potential of the players. Even though the Chinese promised a cool host boat that would be convenient for all regions, according to the players, he was, to put it mildly, far from ideal. But Moscow Five did not stop it - in the first game, they smashed TyLoo to smithereens. The match was not broadcast to a Western audience, and the M5 players were quick to put the replays in the public domain. As it turned out, the rules forbade this, because of which the Russian team was disqualified after the first winning match.
“They are afraid of us! Therefore, they were looking for a reason to remove the M5 from the tournament. We will punish them on the LAN,” - commented Dmitry on this episode.
Then the LAN tournament in Kyiv Esports Arena took place - Techlabs Cup UA 2011. Once again, the only M5 rival was Natus Vincere, the rest were only extras. The intrigue was fueled by the fact that NAVI could not maintain the roster after winning the TI - ArtStyle left the team with the scandal, and the former Moscow Five player Sergey ARS-ART Revin took his place. As expected, both teams met in the finals, but NAVI turned out to be more prepared - they won 2-0. But even this result, the fans were very happy. You just need to practice a little, and then NAVI can already be in the role of catching up.
Everyone predicted only a bright future for this roster, and the M5 fan base has increased significantly. Some of them showed their creativity. For example, a fan under the nickname Leg MC even dedicated a PGG track that the entire community had been quoting for months:
A month later, Moscow Five returned to Kyiv to the Intel Challenge Super Cup # 9 LAN finals. In the group stage, the M5 lost to two principal opponents - the XBOCT + 4 mix, in which the current carry Natus Vincere (the team missed the tournament) and the new DTS roster led by ArtStyle played. But two victories in matches against Emocore and monkeybusiness were enough to break into the playoffs. In the semi-finals, M5 took revenge on DTS, and then defeated monkeybusiness for the second time in the title match. Although at this tournament there was neither the full NAVI, nor the other strongest teams in the world, it was still the first trophy for the new Moscow Five roster. And this further strengthened the belief that the team will succeed.
However, a week later at the Electronic Sports World Cup 2011 in Paris, where the participants had to play Dota 2 (DotA AllStars was on HFGL, ICSC, and Techlabs), everything went wrong. M5 lost two matches in the group against EHOME and monkeybussiness and did not get into the playoffs.
“For the first time in six years, I didn’t leave the group,” NS said then in an interview after the tournament.
In the same place, he said that something needs to be changed in the composition.
After the tournament, the players quarreled. The management of the organization decided to dissolve the composition. For the next OSPL Autumn 2011 LAN tournament, NS and God rode with Garaj Gaming, while Vigoss and PGG put together another The Retry mix. Garaj performed better in Kazakhstan - she won the tournament, while TR lost to the unknown team Hummer from Kyrgyzstan in the third round of the bottom bracket.
Given this, in the formation of the new roster, the M5 management preferred Kuznetsov and Bragin. At the Dota 2 Star Championship in Kyiv, they took Santa, Kyky, and klif to the team. Having overcome two group stages and simultaneously defeating Natus Vincere, the team stumbled over the next The Retry roster, in which Vigoss was no longer there. Moreover, PGG won that tournament, and Moscow Five had to be content with third place.
In general, the organization was satisfied with this result, it remained only to finally form the composition. One of the candidates for the vacant seats was ArtStyle. In the process of discussions, it turned out that he wants to take the players to another organization - Darer, which belonged to the familiar Bulgarian businessman Antonov. Dmitry Smilyanets proposed to make a joint project with him, but the dialogue did not go out - all the players went for ArtStyle, and the M5 organization postponed the Dota 2 roster set until better times.
The darkest blackhole
After the Dota 2 Star Championship, the composition of The Retry was signed by DTS, but their cooperation did not last long. When PGG freed, Dmitry again decided to invite him. The new roster includes PGG's teammate on TR and DTS Vadim BloodAngel Trushkin and Vigoss, and five added two players who previously played only in semi-professional teams - Airat Silent Gaziev and Dmitry Inmate Filinov.
The team did not conduct the StarSeries Season 1 online group stage very well and took fifth place, which did not allow getting to the LAN finals. However, the fourth team, It’s Gosu Esports, refused to participate and the organizers invited Moscow Five instead. This time, Natus Vincere was not the only rival to the M5. In addition to them, the Swedish team Counter Logic Gaming (with Pajkatt, Loda, and Akke) and the same Darer were selected for the tournament.
M5 began the performance with a defeat from NAVI in the upper bracket with a score of 2:0. At the same time, in a parallel match, Darer lost to CLG, and principal opponents met in the lower bracket. The initial advantage allowed the PGG team to demolish the enemy mid in the 26th minute. Darer was able to recoup and even seize the initiative, but a mistake when entering the base cost them, four heroes, without buybacks. After that, the M5, via the demolished mid, went to the enemy base and scored a victory on the first map.
On the second map, Moscow Five played with Anti-Mage - one of the most unpleasant carry of the meta, which everyone preferred to ban. The ArtStyle error on the draft cost him too much - the hero felt rather bad about the game, and when the M5 entered Roshan Darer, nosebleed needed a good fight. However, Moscow Five was ready for this - the combination of Vacuum and Blackhole from PGG under the screed was more like fatality than an ordinary episode in the match. Further bring the match to victory was only a matter of technology, and a principled opponent was defeated 2-0.
This was followed by a victory over the CLG in the final of the lower bracket, but the general impression of the M5 fans about the tournament was slightly spoiled by the defeat from NAVI in the grand final. However, this was by no means a tragedy. After all, few expected that the lineup that lasted a month, like that, on the first attempt, would be made by a team that at that time had no competitors in Dota 2, not only on the European scene but throughout the world.
After the tournament, a short break took place, and then M5 began performing at the StarSeries Season 2 online stage. At the same time, the invitees were announced at The International 2012 and taking into account the second place in the largest European tournament of that era, Moscow Five was included in the list of invited teams. Also, in mid-May, Inmate announced that he did not want to play on the professional stage and voluntarily left the team. Instead, they took Igor Admiration Kalnysh.
Around the same period, Dmitry Smilyanets was forced to leave the Moscow Five, and the organization was left without its leader. This did not stop the M5 from reaching the StarSeries LAN finals, but even then it was felt that the team was rapidly losing shape. In Kyiv, it was only enough to take third place - in the upper bracket after defeating Darer (only without NS, Dread and Santa, who left for VP), the M5 lost to NAVI again and then lost to mousesports in the final of the lower bracket. In online tournaments before TI2, the results were quite disastrous - the team did not leave the group at The Defense 2 and the BeyondTheSummit World Tour. Fans were looking for an excuse that the team does not strain before the main tournament of the year, and in Seattle, it will show what it is capable of.
But at The International 2012, everything went just awful. Not only did Moscow Five lose to everyone in the group stage, but she also overslept the third-day match against Team DK. It was a real scandal, after which the entire e-sports community was angry at PGG. M5 took the last place in the group, has managed to win on only two cards, and in the lower grid of the playoffs without a chance lost TongFu.
By that time, Konstantin Groove Pikiner, who is now the Esports director of Gambit Esports, took over the organization. Of course, immediately after the tournament PGG and his team were fired. Instead, they gathered a new five, which included Nexus, Sedoy, Stalianer, Dread, and Solo, but soon the organization began to have financial problems, and in November it was decided to abandon the Dota 2 division.
This ended a whole era in the history of the organization. Attempts to revive it in 2014 by the forces of Maxim Nirvana Zalilov were unsuccessful - those compositions could hardly claim to be a world top. And the period from 2011 to 2012 will forever remain in the memory of Moscow Five fans as a time when their beloved organization, in spite of all the problems, strove to go forward only, and each roster had enough ambitions and prospects to become the best of the best in the world.