BACK 2 BACK | ESL ONE BERLIN MAJOR 2023 CHAMPIONS
On the back of a successful 13-3 group stage performance; the major one winning Gaimin Gladiators turned their undesired attention to playoff competition, in hopes of making yet again a run for the ages. After their initial Major championship in Lima, Peru the Gladiators took the stage in the Berlin Velodrom with Dota 2 fans attached to their hip, hoping to watch their Western European juggernauts win on the grandest of Dota’s stages.
Previously mentioned, the impressive 5-3-0 series scoreline provided the Gaimin Gladiators an upper bracket quarter final seeding, giving an early advantage in the grueling and lengthy double elimination format. With 16 teams ready to clash everything was on the line, and the playoff powerhouse Gladiator roster returned in swift fashion taking the Dota world by storm; making once again another historic organizational run in the early stages of Gaimin Gladiator’s inception.
With the schedule settled and the bracket enveloped the Gaimin Gladiators started hot against Eastern European combatant Team Spirit. Starting the playoff run with the most dominant hero in Berlin Medusa; the Gladiators showed their tried and true strength in team coordination and cohesion. Winning both games in solid team fighting fashion, the Gladiators made quick work of Team Spirit, who later fell in Lower Bracket round one play. Consistent from the get-go the Gladiators had successful evaluation on the biggest change to Dota’s ecosystem in Patch 7.33, providing the team with proper drafting and rotations giving them the undivided edge throughout.
After a two day lay off; the Gladiators looked to lock-up an Upper Bracket and top three spot. In their path; OG. After their lackluster early season beginnings, OG began their Berlin journey in similar fashion to their Western European counterparts. Finishing with a 4-4 series record and a first round upset over Team Liquid; OG looked like a completely different team, once again showcasing the organization's consistent success even with the unfortunate circumstance of a revolving door of fill-ins and teammates that has plagued the roster. The stage was set for a meeting of familiar foes in the world’s now strongest region, and the Gladiators definitely did not disappoint. Game one was of familiarity to the always kill hungry Western Europe teams; accumulating 64 total kills in total; the series beginning provided plenty of back and forth excitement. With successful early game rotations and key timings on the back of Dyrachyo’s always popular Terrorblade pick; the Gladiators took game one and made game two like a cakewalk. Simply put, game two was a complete game, best said by Caster, retired professional and previous teammate of Quinn “Quinn” Callahan; SVG “ Perfect Execution.” With a game two win, the Gladiators solidified their situation, maintaining their undefeated playoff play, but most importantly a guaranteed top three finish.
Venturing forward to the upper bracket final, Gaimin Gladiators looked to lock up another Grand Final spot this time competing against a newcomer organization and familiar Group A competitor in 9Pandas. Finishing behind Gaimin with a 2-6-0 series record and 10-6 scoreline; 9Panda’s turned some heads on their path to ESL One glory. Defeating the likes of North America’s Shopify Rebellion and Western Europe’s always strong Tundra Esports; 9Panda’s hoped to turn the tides of Western Europe dominance; which unfortunately for them wouldn’t come to fruition. Maintaining their undefeated playoff streak, the major one winning Gaimin Gladiator roster proved the year’s opening major was no fluke. After a dominating start by 9Panda’s, the Gladiator roster never gave up, making an otherwise early looking beatdown an exciting comeback. Winning with successful buybacks and team fight coordination, an early 16 minute 16K networth lead came and went. Fighting as the Gladiators always do they maintained their undefeated playoff streak, in an otherwise impossible way. Game two was as close as can be. With intense team fighting from its early beginnings to the bitter end for the unfortunate likes of 9Pandas. Breaking the game wide open at the 31st minute, the Gladiators could not be brought down, winning ever so slightly, the Gaimin Gladiators once again marched their way to the Grand Finals, on the back of an exciting game two performance.
Grand Finals, a familiar spot for the Lima Major and Dreamleague winning Gaimin Gladiator roster hoping to encapsulate another extraordinary accomplishment. Western Europe would be graced with two competitors once again, as the always persistent Team Liquid roster would battle through the lower bracket competition on their path to a major one rematch. Winning five straight series from the depths of Dota lower bracket play, the DPC Tour 2 Western European winners defied many, looking to change major one’s previous finale.
The Grand Final was set. The Gaimin Gladiators looked to defy the odds of winning back to back, but Team Liquid would finally make a break in the otherwise undefeatable Gladiator armor. With an early game one series lead, the Gladiators looked unstoppable; but Team Liquid finally proved to be a notable opponent. With a strong game two to the likes of Team Liquid and their fans, Gaimin Gladiators undefeated playoff streak was finally broken, and the series looked to provide a close tight knit manner.
This loss did not fully corrode the strength of the always persistent Gladiator demeanor. As they’ve shown through and through, the Gladiators bounce back and have always maintained a strong juggernaut mentality. With a 1-1 series, the Gladiators turned into an unstoppable force, winning games three and four in a dominating and unrelenting approach.
After an exhilarating game three victory, shown defiantly with the exasperation of the Gladiator roster shown to the thousands online and in person; the Gladiators proved fatal to Team Liquid, making the last and final game a beatdown, encapsulating the tournament victory overall. Winning it all with a 3-1 series’ final, Gaimin Gladiators once again put their stamp on the Dota 2 Pro Circuit, completing weeks long competition securing vital DPC point accumulation for the ultimate end goal.
Gaimin Gladiators are ESL One Berlin 2023 Major Champions!
With back to back major victories the Gaimin Gladiators continue to defy all odds, becoming one of the biggest household names in all of Dota 2 esports. Thank you for all the support online and in-person, and continue to stay tuned to everything Gaimin Gladiator related here and via our social media spaces. The road to TI12 is almost complete.