A Dreamy Accomplishment

Dreamleague; One of the most long lasting tournament series’ in the Dota 2 esports ecosystem continued with its 19th season this April month. With the month-long tournament structure and one million dollars on the line; the best of Dota’s competitive teams competed looking to not only win a lump sum of prize winnings, but also an exceptional qualification to the Riyadh Masters in Saudi Arabia later this year. After a successful qualification to the Berlin Major, the Gaimin Gladiators took the Dreamleague tournament by storm; showcasing one of the most exciting tournament runs of the year's early inception. 

With sixteen teams looking to grasp money and Riyadh contention; the Dreamleague tournament was a long and continuous trek to ultimate glory. Comprising two group stages, commencing into a top four playoff contention; qualifying would be tough and strenuous, competing against the finest Dota 2 teams from across the globe.

The Gladiators seeded initially into Group A, competing against the likes of North America’s TSM and Shopify Rebellion, Western Europe’s Team Entity, South East Asia’s Execration, China’s Team Aster, and finally Evil Geniuses prevailing from South America. The initial group stage beginnings looked promising for the Gladiator roster; finishing the initial tournament portion with an impressive 3-4-0 series’ scoreline overall; projecting them onwards, finishing tied for 1st overall and into the second group stage portion.

With the top eight ready to do battle for four spots; the Gladiators looked poised to a top four finish in their month-long DreamLeague Season 19 journey. Amongst them Team Liquid, Tundra Esports, Beastcoast, Evil Geniuses, OG, Shopify Rebellion and TSM looked to continue their pace. Group Stage 2 was no match for the Gaimin Gladiators who continued their initial group stage strength once again tying for 1st overall, and into the Upper Bracket Final. With the 6-1 series’ scoreline, the Gladiators would compete against Team Liquid in the Upper Bracket Final, alongside the Lower Bracket Semi Final qualifiers in Shopify Rebellion and Tundra Esports.

The Playoff portion unfortunately didn’t start the team on the right track; losing to their Western European adversaries in a 2-0 fashion on the back of a 76 minute grueling game two defeat; pushing them down to the Lower Bracket Final in a last chance look at Grand Final contention. The Gladiators turned the tables on their initial unsuccessful playoff beginnings defeating the Shopify Rebellion’s roster 2-0 and in a fairly dominant style.

Throughout the playoff portion, another very interesting variable came into the Dota 2 community, and the esports scene as a whole; Patch 7.33. With a vast introduction to a new map, character and item changes, quickened changes alongside the heightened pressure during a highly touted tournament was not a normal scenario for the likes of the playoff teams, who showcased strategies with varying levels of success. Regardless, the Gaimin Gladiators turned their attention to Team Liquid, a formidable foe often battling amongst one another in the end to be the best, in a best of five winner take all.

With a new patch, a new opponent and the Riyadh Masters in their sights; the Gladiators looked to continue their prowess as one the strongest Dota teams in the world; looking to maintain their stance as a team to be reckoned with.

The best of five turned out to be a grueling set that went back and forth in one of the earliest looks at the new ecosystem of 7.33 patch play, with varying levels of strategies and coordination. 

Game one showcased this with an early introduction to Dota’s newest hero in Muerta selected by Team Liquid. Unfortunately for the DPC Split 2 Western European champs, game one did not go in their favor, after an energizing but lengthy game one went into the favor of the Gladiator roster on the back of an astounding 63K networth lead. 

In game two the long winded kill heavy style did not continue, as the likes of Liquid made it a swift breeze. With the early concepts and strategies brought to the table, Team Liquid made their composition look suffocating, winning out in a quick 35 minute surrender. 

Reversing the roles once again; Gaimin Gladiators brought back the combative and juggernaut fighting style they’ve come to master. After close and unwavering wins on the side of the Gladiators, a 55 minute base fight finalized the game, closing out game three with a 2-1 series lead. As much of the series had gone prior the back and forth mentality would continue in game four. 

Running it back with a similar composition in game two the Liquid roster used the newly developed strategy with expertise, once again demolishing the Gladiator roster in a measly 28 minutes. 

Game five; Winner take all 1 million dollars and an early trip to Saudi Arabia was on the line, and the Gladiators finished in style. Winning in complete fashion, with concise gameplay throughout; the Gladiators roster proved to be a narrow bit ahead of the always persistent Liquid roster. With strong team cohesion and a formidable 41 minute victory, the Gaimin Gladiators once again claimed victory above their Western European adversaries, becoming the new Dota 2 DreamLeague champions! 

With the 7.33 patch note running its course the Dota 2 competitive scene is at an all-time peak. With various newly developed strategies, heroes and ideas on the rise, the Dota 2 ecosystem is better than ever! We congratulate our Dota 2 roster on a fabulous DreamLeague performance and look forward to the dominant juggernaut to continue throughout this 2023 season.

The Velodrom venue is nearly upon us in the upcoming ESL One Berlin Major and we hope you tune in to watch as your Western European Gaimin Gladiators look to repeat as Major Champions. For more information on Gaimin Gladiators Dota 2, and all our professional esports teams stay tuned here for recaps, blogs and content in all our esports ventures. Thank you for reading. We'll see you all in Berlin at the upcoming ESL One Berlin Major 2023!

Keenan “Slakks” Flamand
Author / Creative Writer