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The coming-of-age story of Danylo “Donk” Kryshkovets, who led the Spirit team to victory at IEM Katowice 2024. Will Team Spirit secure a place in the upcoming CS2 Major? Find out and watch the story of a rising Esports star unfold!”

From time to time, the Counter-Strike 2 candle is lit by a great team, a great tournament, or a great player. This month, we had the opportunity to watch all three at IEM in Katowice.

The tournament was won by Team Spirit, which has never won an S-level Counter-Strike tournament since its inception in 2016. Winning the title at IEM Katowice, one of the most prestigious Counter-Strike tournaments, is a remarkable achievement.

Every year, the best teams and players come to the tournament, and it’s not easy to beat them. Especially if you’re an outsider who has never won a major LAN event. But everything is much easier when you have players like Danylo “Donk” Kryshkovets.

Spirit’s victory at the IEM in Katowice

Spirit got to the tournament at the play-in stage, where they defeated Apeks (13-0) and then won a tough match against “The MongolZ”. The score on the first map was 2-0, but if you look closely, you can see that Spirit fought for victory on the second map, and it took overtime to win. The scores were 2:13 on Mirage and 14:16 on Ancient.

At the group stage, Spirit met Natus Vincere (2-1), Complexity (2-0), and FaZe Clan (2-0). These three matches proved that they are now the biggest favorites in the competition, despite starting as outsiders.

The results were not just positive. They were convincing. Except for the second map against Na’Vi, which was lost 11-13, Spirit won every map convincingly. The results are shown below:

13 – 7 on Ancient vs. Natus Vincere

13 – 4 on Mirage vs. Natus Vincere

13-3 for Ancient vs. Complexity

13 – 5 for Overpass vs. Complexity

13 – 10 on Mirage vs. FaZe Clan

13 – 5 for Nuke against FaZe Clan

As you can see, Spirit won all the maps almost without any problems and qualified for the playoffs. In this final stage of IEM Katowice, they played against Team Falcons (2-0) and FaZe Clan (3-0). Each time their performance was brilliant.

Donk from Team Spirit – at the beginning of the story

Danylo quickly entered the top tier of FaceIT, attracting the attention of OverDrive, the head scout of Team Spirit. Soon after, the 17-year-old was signed with the Spirit Academy. At first, things didn’t go smoothly, but Danylo continued to make progress. After a year and a half in the academy, the organization decided to bring him into the main squad, and we saw Team Spirit don for the first time. Currently, the seventeen-year-old donk has two MVP medals from LAN tournaments: IEM Katowice 2024 and BetBoom Dacha. However, the biggest challenges for Danylo are still ahead. From February 19 to 22, the European RMR B will occur, and Team Spirit can qualify for the first CS2 Major.

Donk’s performance

Team Spirit certainly has a solid strategy. But this strategy would not work without two players: Donk and Dmitry “Sh1ro” Sokolov. Over the past three years, Sh1ro has taken 4th, 3rd, and 8th place at the individual level in Counter-Strike. So you might think that he is the one behind Spirit’s success. But this is not the case.

The best player on the server, in every single case, was Donk. Here are his performances throughout the tournament:

  Vs. Apeks: 18 – 5 KD / 133.8 ADR / 2.24 rating 2.0

  Vs. The MongolZ: 47 – 33 / 102.2 / 1.47

  Vs. Natus Vincere: 57 – 36 / 100.5 / 1.49

  Vs. Complexity: 38 – 22 / 105.3 / 1.66

  Vs. FaZe Clan: 48 – 24 / 120.5 / 1.83

  Vs. Team Falcons 36 – 23 / 94.7 / 1.64

  Vs. FaZe Clan: 82 – 40 / 124.0 / 1.93

Donk stunned everyone with his debut and is now on the heels of the top players in CS2.

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