VAMOS! The Lima Major: Group Stage
The 2023 Dota Pro Circuit is notably underway with Tour 1 vastly in our rear view mirror. With the best Dota 2 teams across the globe who competed within inter regional play for a spot at the first ever major in South American history and the first in the inception of the 2023 season; The Lima Major. With the teams now set, and the tables shifted to the first Major of the year, the Gaimin Gladiators come into Peru with their eyes set on the grandest stage of them all in hopes of Dota 2 glory.
Lima, the capital city of Peru and host of the first major of 2023 and with a population averaging close to 11 million as of 2022 (https://www.macrotrends.net/) has not seen a major within the region for the entirety of the Dota Pro Circuit creation (DPC.) With one of the loudest and proudest fanbases in Dota; Lima, Peru provides much to be explored and much to offer for fans and pro players overall. With increased eyes and strength of the South American region over the past years, Lima looks to provide an exciting beginning, with plenty of money and DPC points to desire. Every region comes into Lima with one goal; win the Lima Major, but more importantly acquire the necessary DPC points to put themselves on a pedestal; Above everyone else. The Gaimin Gladiators tour 1 is now behind them; and today we go into the Group Stage portion of South America’s Lima Major.
Having been slotted in Group A, Gaimin Gladiators had the pleasure of competing against some of the best the world has to offer. With teams such as South East Asia's Execration and Talon Esports; North America’s Team SoloMid; South America’s own and newly integrated Evil Geniuses; China’s PSG.LGD and Ehome; and frequent notable oppositions in Eastern Europe’s Team Spirit and Western Europe’s Tundra Esports; Gaimin Gladiators looked to lock in a top four spot for upper bracket seeding, and a safety net in a double elimination format for only the best to secure. With each series providing a two game double-header all victories are necessary for top seeding and playoff acquisition.
February 22nd began and the Gaimin Gladiators came out with a bang. Matching up with South East Asia’s Talon Esports
Gaimin Gladiators vs Talon Esports (February 22)
Series one of the Lima Major was an exciting one to say the least with both games totalling 118 minutes of radiant and dire destruction. After a solid game one opening victory for the Gladiators roster; the 66 minute game two did not fall into the hands of the Gaimin Gladiators roster providing a 1-1 series tie overall. With consistent picks of Leshrac, Centaur, Lina and Treant Protector, Gaimin Gladiators used series one as a necessary stepping stone for the long and grueling group stage portion.
Gaimin Gladiators vs Team Spirit (February 22)
Gaimin Gladiators now 1-1, rounded the day out with a rather proficient and talented foe in Eastern Europe’s finalist in Team Spirit. After a 2-0 sweep over North America’s Team SoloMid, a win would provide a strong early day grasp on the group; the Gladiators thought otherwise.
After immaculate drafting and early-mid rotations throughout both games; Gaimin Gladiators made series two look easy, with consistent strengths in skirmishing and aggression; Gaimin Gladiators provided solid teamwork throughout, taking the second series’ of the day 2-0, ending the initial day 3-1 and on top of Group A.
Gaimin Gladiators vs Ehome (February 23)
As some have projected as one of the weaker teams within the Group A competitive slate, Ehome came into day two’s matchup with a day one record of 0-2. Gaimin Gladiators looked to pounce on a young and inexperienced Chinese roster. With a game one 24 minute GG by the Ehome side; Gaimin Gladiators did not hold back, with a game two stranglehold and follow-up GG at only the 14th minute. Gaimin Gladiators competed with ease, finishing the series in 38 minutes moving to a solid 5-1 record on day two’s opening series.
Gaimin Gladiators vs Tundra Esports (February 23)
Thursday’s last series of the day was a team quite known by the Gaimin Gladiators. Western Europe’s Tundra Esports rounded out the day for the current first place Gladiators looking to accumulate a solid stretch of victories in the middle of the group stage portion. With back to back drafts of Lina, Undying, Puck, and Disruptor; The Gladiators played game one on the back of several immense catches and skirmish heavy initiations providing a solid 34 minute game one victory. Game two didn’t provide a concise victory throughout. With back and forth fights, experience and gold leads for both; Gaimin Gladiators clutched up, defeating Tundra Esports at the 53rd minute, closing the day out with another 2-0 victory.
At the halfway point; Group A was dominated by the likes of Talon Esports and the Gaimin Gladiators with 6-2 and 7-1 scores respectively, both looked like true contenders, looking to secure upper bracket seeding in a strong and disciplined group.
The second half of the group stage began with South East Asia’s best and a match-up with Execration, an unexpected and resurrected organization who have proven naysayers wrong since the beginning of tour 1.
Gaimin Gladiators vs Execration (February 24)
Having their only loss to a South East Asian team thus far; Gaimin Gladiators came into Friday’s contest looking to maintain their position as a top seed in the second half of the group stage portion, playing against SEA’s best in Execration. The Filipino team came into the series with a chip on their shoulder; defeating Gaimin with a strong early-mid game that transitioned well enough to push past a consistent composition in game one. Thankfully, Gaimin Gladiators came back with a vengeance in game two; defeating the well rounded filipino roster in stomping fashion in only 21 minutes moving their record to 8-2 and keeping pace into the upper bracket.
Gaimin Gladiators vs Evil Geniuses (February 25)
Facing the pride and joy of South America’s Evil Geniuses roster; many looked at Evil Geniuses as one of the strongest teams coming into the Lima Major. Finishing in a respective 2nd place within the region; EG came into the series on the edge of upper bracket contention, hoping to solidify in the top four; and that’s exactly what they did. Giving Gaimin Gladiators their first 0-2 series of the group stage; Evil Geniuses played consistent and disciplined Dota, pushing them past the day 4 group favorite.
Gaimin Gladiators vs Team SoloMid (February 25)
With their first North American match-up on the menu; Gaimin Gladiators looked to lock up a top four spot in need of a 2-0 series win. Unfortunately for the Gladiators, they would have to wait another day. After a successful and strong game one victory at the 35th minute, Gaimin Gladiators would break even after a similar defeat in game two, keeping TSM in the running and keeping stable within the top four, but not finalizing a position at the top as they had hoped for.
On the last day of the group stage, Gaimin Gladiators came in with a record of 9-5, maintaining upper bracket contention; but their seed was slowly slipping away. Going 1-3 on the second last day, provided bitter feelings to the squad. Being #1 and #2 of the group provides team selection within the upper bracket, and could potentially lead to a long major run. The Gladiators went into Sunday’s game hoping for a 2-0 victory; which would lead to them being the best of Group A’s play, giving them Quarter Final selection between all three and four seeds of upper bracket contenders.
Gaimin Gladiators vs PSG.LGD (February 26)
In the last day of Group A play, Gaimin Gladiators came in with lots to prove. After an unsuccessful Saturday of games; the Gladiators had top seed in the palm of their hands, but the Chinese powerhouse in PSG.LGD had lots to say about that. Coming in with an 8-6 record, a 2-0 for the Chinese roster would certainly lead to upper bracket qualification, after a back-forth group stage for the team. With renewed team cohesion the Gaimin Gladiators looked like the Gladiators of previous group stage success. With two fantastic early-mid game victories; the Gladiator roster cruised to a 2-0 series victory, putting fate in their own hands winning Group A overall and once again looking at top tier form for upper bracket playoff play.
(Image VIA Liquipedia: Lima Major 2023)
Finishing the Group Stages with a 11-5 record overall, the Gaimin Gladiators came into Peru on the back of strong regional play; showcasing the true strength of the Western European region and the Gladiator team as a whole. With the first place seed, the Gladiators now look to enter Arena 1; home of the Peruvian fans and South American region as a whole.
With the selection of China’s own Team Aster, the Gaimin Gladiators are proud to welcome all the fans with the first slate of Playoff games at Arena 1, kicking off on-stage competition with everything on the line. We are ready to fight #AgainstAllOdds, and show the Dota world the true strength of Gladiator Glory.
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 on stage at Arena 1 for the Lima Major Playoffs! Happy MMR hunting.