A Maintained Dominance: DreamLeague Season 20 Champions

As the 2023 season continues to escalate; the back to back major champions and defending DreamLeague Season 19 champions continue to turn heads as the most dominant team this 2023 season. After another successful 2nd place Tour 3 performance, the defending DreamLeague champions hoped to maintain their distinctive stranglehold in the latest ESL installation of the DreamLeague Dota 2 tournament. With a whopping $1,000,000 on the line and a chance to become the first four-time tier 1 champions in Dota 2 history; the opportunity would not be faltered. The Gladiators of 2023 looked dominant as they have this pro circuit and the DreamLeague 20 venture showcased another true Gladiator success story. With the two week long tournament giving the team proper preparation for the Bali Major, the Gladiators began the group stage with hopeful yet slightly unpromised Group B play.

Group B play commenced another interesting two week long ESL DreamLeague Season 20; suited alongside varying teams from across the globe including: Eastern Europe's 9Pandas and BetBoom, familiar comrades in OG and Team Entity, the up and coming South American Beastcoast roster, China’s consistent adversary in Team Aster and the staple North American roster of Shopify Rebellion. This DreamLeague group stage wasn’t a predominantly consistent performance from the likes of the back to back major champions, the highly expected and presumably title hopefuls didn’t come out the gates in tried and true form. After persistent 1-1 series draws to the likes of Beastcoast, Team Aster, Shopify Rebellion and OG, a secondary group stage qualification hung in the balance. Thankfully and with a 2-0 series victory over Team Entity, and a lucky 0-2 defeat by the trailing South American Beastcoast roster; The Gladiators narrowly escaped Group B play, finishing out group stage one with a 8-6 record and a three way tie for 2nd. 

The best of three group stage two followed and the Gladiators began on rocky roads, but turned tides with succession. After starting the second group stage portion 0-2 losing to the likes of BetBoom and China’s leading PSG.LGD,  the Gladiators made a complete 180, winning out the rest of their remaining series’. With victories over Team Spirit (2-0), 9Pandas (2-1), Talon Esports (2-0), Evil Geniuses (2-1) and Team Aster (2-1); The Gladiators looked to regain the form they previously encapsulated finishing group two play with a 5-2 series total and 11-7 overall game count, finishing 3rd overall moving onto playoff play.

With the unfortunate start to the second group stage play, and only four teams moving on to playoff contention; The Gaimin Gladiators started off against South East Asia’s Talon Esports with unfamiliar grounds in lower bracket play and only one life to live.

The lower bracket sem-final was a tight contest, with both teams trading long developed games in both 46 and 51 minute victories alike. With a winner-take-all game three on the line, the Gladiators took form, overcoming the always aggressive South East Asia mentality in a dominating 31 minute victory, continuing their path to becoming potential four time tier one winners.

The lower bracket final showed much of the same for the Gaimin Gladiators. After the initial series loss to the now lower bracket PSG.LGD roster, the Gladiators thrived as they normally do when down within a series. With very close back and forth games succeeding the Gladiators, the team squeaked out tight and sometimes tumultuous brawley games, becoming victorious in the lower bracket final in 2-1 fashion. With the win, the title remained in their close grasp, but a familiar Eastern European team stood in their near path.

After Gaimin Gladiators previous two defeats within both group stage portions of the tournament the Eastern European BetBoom roster looked like the clear and concise team to beat and favorite to win. The Grand Final turned into a bloodbath with both teams giving it their all, and the Gladiators looking to become DreamLeague champions once again. Gaimin Gladiators claimed first blood winning the first game in a series since the prior group stage two portion. Yet  BetBoom bounced back with clear and promising play in the following games. With back to back success and pressured early game play; BetBoom took games two and three and looked like a team with proper tournament win endeavors. 

However, stated various times throughout their journey this year the Gladiators never seem to give up. Playing with poise and cohesiveness in the last two games the Gladiators once again made the comeback. Winning games four and five with strong team play, the Gladiators dominance stayed course, accumulating to the greatest end goal; Becoming the DreamLeague Season 20 champions. 

Remaining true to the name, the Gladiators remain the strongest unit in the Dota 2 professional sphere. Winning back to back majors and now back to back DreamLeague tournaments; the Gaimin Gladiators show continuous dominance, in one of the toughest games in today’s esports ecosystem. 

Congratulations to our Dota 2 roster for the continued success, and we cannot wait to compete and show our true power at the Bali Majors' beginnings. 

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 Bali, Indonesia for Dota’s last Major championship!

Happy MMR Hunting!

Keenan “Slakks” Flamand
Author / Creative Writer