Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov: the long path to success in Team Spirit

Alisa Barladyan
28 Feb 2022
19:30

Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov is one of the best Dota 2 players. Not only in the CIS but all over the world. He proved it with his victory at The International 10. But before, few people knew about Yaroslav. Of course, he was known but not as a great Dota 2 player. The thing is that Yaroslav has had a very long and thorny road to success, during which he stayed in the background most of the time. He didn't manage to make himself known, even though he didn't really want to. Miposhka just wanted to play his favorite game on a good team. As a result, Miposhka proved that everyday hard work and self-efficacy are a key to success. Perhaps, Yaroslav can be called the most hard-working Dota player in the CIS, as he won at The International 10. Don't forget that Miposhka is one of the kindest people in the community who hasn't had conflicts with other players. All this makes Yaroslav a unique cybersports player. Read what he had to overcome to get to the top and raise the Aegis above his head in the material of Cybersport.Metaratings.ru.

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Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

Childhood and beginning of his esports career

Yaroslav was born in Zlatoust on November 30, 1997. He didn't tell much about his childhood, as it was quite usual. Yaroslav went to school, played with other children in the yard, was fond of sports like everyone, and liked computer games most of all. The parents of the future cyber athlete were not against such leisure activities of their child. However, they wanted their son to study well, so Yaroslav had only good marks. He got a "C" in chemistry once, though.

Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

At the same time, Yaroslav played Dota 2. He got quite a high rank and then started to try out for various teams. Of course, it was only municipal or regional but not national level. However, even this practice made itself felt, and every day Yaroslav played better and better.

When I had qualified for the first tournament, I needed to go to another city. My Mom was against it, but my Dad watched what I was doing. He saw my attitude and my shining eyes. So, he let me go. My parents have always believed in me. And when I earned my first salary, they started to fully support me.

Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

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Yaroslav's esports career started in 2014 when he joined Yellow Submarine. The team played so-so but had good potential and even made it through the open qualifiers for The International 5. However, Yellow Submarine failed in the closed qualifiers and was far from the main tournament of the year. After that, the team disbanded, and Miposhka began to try himself in different rosters. Of course, these were mixes of pubers.

With time and practice Yaroslav played better and better and finally took first place in the Go4Dota 2 September Finals tournament. It was the first achievement in Miposhka's career.

Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

In March 2016, the Team Empire organization noticed and signed Miposhka. At that time, he still studied at the university and didn't know what to do: choose his career or studies. After joining Team Empire and signing his first serious contract, Yaroslav was surprised by all that was going on. He went to his university and took a gap year. But he didn't return to his studies and was expelled. After that, Miposhka started training. But he wasn't very successful, as he had to play not in his usual role.

The first day of test games begins with Afoninje, Goddam, and Artes, if I'm not mistaken. I was said to play on position four, though I have never been a support. It was like another reality for me. I don't remember the results, but the reviews were not the best. The problem wasn't even that I changed roles. My game was silent and stiff.

Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

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Team Empire and top 8 at The International

Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

Throughout 2016, Jaroslav was considered a promising player who could never fulfill his potential. Then Team Empire managed to take first place at the Global Grand Masters tournament and take many second and third places at different tier-3 championships. However, Team Empire failed at the qualifiers for TI6. Sometimes both Yaroslav and the entire Team Empire were in a tilt, but the players continued to train.

Once I sat alone in an empty rental apartment in Saint Petersburg. There was an oppressive environment: a mattress, a table with a computer, and a sink in the unrepaired kitchen. I wake up and just sit doing nothing for about four hours. I also played strangely, living with a constant sense of guilt. It was the hardest period in my life.

Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

Efforts have borne fruit, and over time, Team Empire began to play much better. It did well at the regular 2017 championship, after which it won during the qualifiers and made it to The International 7. It was a surprise for all Dota 2 fans. Nevertheless, during the main tournament of the year, Team Spirit was considered an outsider. It seemed that the team would make it to the top 12 at most, and most likely stay in the top 16. At that time, the team roster was as follows.

  • Vladimir "Chappie" Kuzmenko (carry);
  • Rostislav "fn" Lozovoi (mid);
  • Andrii "Ghostik" Kadyk (offlaner);
  • Vladimir "RodjER" Nikogosian (position four);
  • Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov (support).

Team Empire already had morale problems due to pressure, and right before the tournament, it turned out that Chappie couldn't go to The International because he had problems with his passport. He didn't manage to solve them. Roman "Resolut1on" Fomynok, who originally went to this tournament as the analytics studio talent, was chosen as a substitution. This made their chances even more poor.

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Team Empire

The team didn't get into the upper bracket, as it played against Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, LGD, and other strong teams. Team Empire took seventh place in the group with statistics of 1-4-3 and made it to the lower playoff bracket where it defeated Cloud 9 in bo-1 series. After that, Team Empire fought against Evil Geniuses and outplayed their opponent with a score of 2-0, which became a sensation.

The day after the match with EG, we had a day off. And just because of that day off, we lost some momentum. We started to focus on other things: began to raise the topics of how much we would win, how much we had won, what percentages went to whom — all sorts of confusion started. We didn't think about the game. We lost our way a little bit, and our greed killed us.

Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

Then Team Empire met with Team Liquid and lost to the future The International 7 champion. Nevertheless, contrary to all expectations, the team surpassed itself and showed a perfect game at the main tournament of the year. The team took 7-8 place which was a wonderful result for the CIS game.

Team Empire

Later, the team consolidated the success by the victory at the ROG MASTERS 2017 tournament. Over time, however, the results of the "Imperials" went down.

In 2018, the team didn't get to The International, but Yaroslav and the team demonstrated quite a decent game. Team Empire won at several tournaments and took many honorable second and third places both at regional and international tournaments. However, the organization thought that the team's results were unsatisfactory, so a reshuffle in the team began. On January 15, 2019, Miposhka left Team Empire. Yaroslav had more than 400 games for this tag, he played for almost two years, which is currently a record in his career.

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Returning to Yellow Submarine

Miposhka

After some time away from Team Empire, Miposhka joined the European stack The ReaL DeaL, which was later signed by Team Singularity. Unfortunately, Yaroslav didn't qualify for some serious tournament as part of the new organization and left the team in September 2019 after the failure at the qualifiers for TI9. Then Miposhka returned to the CIS and joined Hellraisers.

At that time, Hellraisers was a promising team with a good enough roster. As usual, the team did not do well at first, but over time it played better and better and even showed a good result for the region. However, as time went on, Hellraisers started to play terribly, and the team's results worsened dramatically. After that, Yaroslav left Hellraisers and obviously not by choice.

But he wasn't alone for a long time. Less than a month after the kick, Jaroslav joined Yellow Submarine, his first team. Manager Dmitry "Korb3n" Belov was behind this comeback. He also was a manager of the Team Empire roster when the team took 7-8th place at The International. Since then, Korb3n has been trying to assemble a new cool Dota 2 roster, and Yaroslav was one of the first people he invited. As a result, five talented players gathered under the Yellow Submarine tag. Only Miposhka and so bad, who became a captain, performed in the professional arena. The roster was as follows.

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Team Spirit
  • Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk (carry);
  • Alexander "TORONTOTOKYO" Khertek (mid);
  • Magomed "Collapse" Khalilov (offlaner);
  • Vitaly "so bad" Oshmankevich (position four);
  • Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov (support).

This year, the team played till the end of 2020 and showed good results, having taken top places at major regional tournaments. In December 2020, Miposhka and the Yellow Submarine mix went under the tag of the Russian club Team Spirit. Yellow Submarine turned out to be the club's project. The organization wanted to test players in combat conditions before signing them. The experiment went well, and the Dragons got a strong Dota 2 roster.

Team Spirit's way to The International 10

Team Spirit

Team Spirit's way to The International 10 was very long, it started with the first DPC 2021 season. The team failed the league and lost two opening matches to underdogs from Team Spirit and NoTechies, and didn't return to the race for the major.

As it turned out, the reason for the defeat was a conflict between Team Spirit's coach Airat "Silent" Gaziev and the captain Vitaly "so bad" Oshmankevich. Because of that, the team started the first DPC season without a coach. After several losses, the organization decided to return Silent to work and to stop working with so bad. Miroslaw "Miroslaw" Kolpakov replaced him. With him, Team Spirit lost only to the leaders of the region, Virtus.pro, and outplayed the other teams.

It was at this point that Team Spirit emerged as a strong team and Yaroslav as the captain and leader of the team. Since then, there have been no conflicts between the "Dragons." The guys became friends and professionals, aiming for high results.

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Team Spirit

The "Dragons" were up in arms for the second DPC season. Team Spirit began to play far better than before. The team lost only once during the season — in the match against Virtus.pro. Team Spirit had all the chances to beat the "Bears." On the decisive map, the "Dragons" had an advantage of about 10,000 gold and could have finished confidently, but got too carried away with their dominance, jumped under the T4 towers, and allowed the VP to come back. Their lack of experience of playing against tier-1 teams has played its role, and Team Spirit didn't win. However, the team gained valuable experience, which will come in handy in the future.

At the group stage of the WePlay AniMajor 2021, Team Spirit showed a decent game, although didn't get any clear victory. But the "Dragons" definitely surprised the opponents from the other regions who never played against them before. Team Spirit drew against Evil Geniuses, Vici Gaming, PSG.LGD, beastcoast, and TNC Predator. As a result, Team Spirit got into the playoff where it beat Alliance and left the tournament taking 7-8th place.

In two DPC seasons, Team Spirit earned 585 points and ranked 14th among all teams in the world in terms of DPC points. Unfortunately, Team Spirit had to be in the top 12 to get an invite to The International 10, so it had to play qualifiers. It was hard, but the "Dragons" still managed to grab the victory in a tough struggle. This was how Miposhka went to The International for the second time.

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Yaroslav's victory at The International

Team Spirit

Before the tournament began, Team Spirit was considered neither a favorite nor an outsider. It was expected to make it to the top 12 or top 8. But the tournament started badly. The guys got into a more difficult group and on the first game day, fought against PSG.LGD and Team Secret, which outplayed them.

It was not an easy day — we lost to Team Secret with a score of 0-2 and to PSG.LGD with a score of 0-2. Actually, we didn't demonstrate our best game. It's not yet clear exactly what it has to do with — perhaps it's some kind of nervousness, maybe it's just thinking about the wrong thing. I am sure we can show a different side of ourselves. In short, it was a bad day, but in general, nothing critical has happened yet. We still have a lot of games ahead. We have of course discussed some reasons for the defeats and held motivational speeches. So, keep believing in us, our beloved fans, we'll show you what we can do.

Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov

On the second day, Team Spirit lost to Vici Gaming. Also with a score of 0-2. At this point, everyone was tense, because with such a situation Team Spirit might not get out of the group at all. Korb3n said in an interview on "starperhab" that he would have a talk with the players and give them a slap. The slaps worked, and Team Spirit did not lose a map during the remaining time of the group stage, which ensured its place in the upper playoffs bracket.

Team Spirit
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Team Spirit became a loser after the first round defeated by Invictus Gaming (1-2). After this, the "Dragons'" victories began. They beat Fnatic (2:0), OG (2:0), Virtus.pro (2:1), Invictus Gaming (2:0), and Team Secret (2:1). An incredible streak especially considering that these are the best teams in the world and not just anyone.

All that's left is the final boss, PSG.LGD. It was difficult to imagine that the Chinese "machine" can lose, as it played flawlessly. But in the grand finals, the PSG.LGD started to lose. They were literally afraid of their opponents, which was the key to their defeat. Team Spirit won with a score of 3-2 and became The International 10 champion.

Team Spirit

The main factors that enabled Team Spirit to achieve its goal were composure and trust in each other. Of course, Miposhka played a key role in this victory (everyone did a good job). As a captain, he kept the team's spirits up after the terrible start to the tournament and not letting his emotions get the best of him, came up with a plan that worked in the end. It was he who inspired the team and acted as a mentor to less experienced teammates. Yaroslav's huge experience has played its role and brought the team to victory. Team Spirit wouldn't become The International 10 champion without Miposhka.

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Miposhka is kind

If you watch any interview with Miposhka or open a video with him on the Team Spirit channel, you will immediately realize that this is the kindest person. You can tell it by his humble smile and honest eyes. He always holds his head straight, speaks freely and supports any dialogue, jokes openly, swears, but does it without yelling and anger. In other words, Yaroslav is, first of all, a person and then a Dota player. This makes him very different from other members of our favorite discipline.

In my opinion, he is a very underrated player from the perspective of the CIS community. Not among the players or management but the fans. The European community has a much warmer attitude toward him. Read what the chat says when he gives an English-language interview, and then what the CIS broadcast chat says. I am not saying Yaroslav is the best in the world. But he doesn't get the approval he deserves.

Dmitry "Korb3n" Belov

Miposhka hasn't had conflicts with other players. We mean an open conflict when a person offends someone, threatens him, and sends hello to their mother. This is quite common. But Yaroslav doesn't indulge in it. He doesn't argue with anyone in the public, does not break things, does not show off after victories, and is always respectful of his opponents. This is his main strength. Yaroslav is just a nice person to follow. We always want people like that to do well. So it is encouraging to see that Miposhka got what he deserved after long and hard work.

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