The Russian organization of Spirit had their breakout year in 2020, peaking at an official ranking of 13th. in the world. Towards the end, however, the team had slumped in their performance and experienced difficulty with keeping their heads above water. In an interview with HLTV.org, Head Coach of 4 years, Nikolay "Certus" Poluyanov explained that it was difficult to keep performing near the end of 2020:
"We grew more and more fatigued towards the end of the year, there was no longer any strength to analyze our defeats, draw conclusions, fix mistakes, and conduct all the necessary work in practice."
The Spirit organization made a change in the roster in January 2021, bringing in a new AWP'er in Abdul "degster" Gasanov. This meant, to many people's surprise, the removal of the team's former AWP'er Artem "iDISBALANCE" Egorov, despite him averaging a rating of 1.12 in 2020. Certus explains, however, that the new signing of "degster" was due to changes in their approach to the game, and not due to "iDISBALANCE":
"We decided to remove iDISBALANCE because we wanted to change our game, and to do that we needed a more aggressive sniper." He further states "However, I’d like to state that Artem is an incredible player and teammate, and his lack of consistency was due to the tasks we assigned to him in the game."
Coming from a first-place finish at the DreamHack Open January event, the future seems as bright as ever for the Spirit roster. When asked about Spirit's future and their goals in-game leader Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov answered:
"Our team has the highest goals, we aim to break into the top 10 and stay there, to participate in every tier-one tournament while we gradually improve our team play and become a more stable team internationally."
You can read the full interview with Spirit right here: