Gaimin Gladiators astonished the viewers as they emerged victorious in the grand final of Dreamleague Season 19 last night. Facing Team Liquid, they beat the king of Europe once again in a dramatic best of five sets.
Gaimin Gladiators victory over Team Liquid reaffirmed their reputation as a big match specialist. Even though Team Liquid played at full power, Gaimin Gladiators was the better team in terms of adaptability, considering both teams were playing Dota 2 with brand new patch 7.33 in the grand final.
Following the end of the second group stage of Dreamleague Season 19 on April 20, Gaimin Gladiators and Team Liquid faced each other in the upper bracket final. With similar records of 6 wins and 1 defeat, many had expected a tight battle. Team Liquid, however, triumphed with a 2-0 tally and advanced to the grand final. Gaimin Gladiators who fell to the lower bracket final then beat the dark horse of the North America, Shopify Rebellion, and climbed up to the grand final.
The first game showed an extraordinary play from Marcus “Ace” Christensen who managed to break Team Liquid’s aggressiveness. Even though Team Liquid scored more kills at the early game, Ace, who played with Doom, managed to farm safely and acquired crucial items in the late game. By 50th minute, Gaimin Gladiators turned the tide and won the first game with a score of 32-28.
Unaffected by the loss, Team Liquid put the Gaimin Gladiators under a great deal of pressure by relying on the trio of Chen, Underlord, and Necrophos. Liquid eventually tied the game in 34 minutes with a score of 21-9.
The next two games became a repeat of the game one and game two. Anton “dyrachyo” Shkredov’s outstanding performance with Muerta helped the trailing Gaimin Gladiators to fight Team Liquid back in the late-game of game three. The following match, however, saw Team Liquid triumphed by a wide margin. Game four was finished with a score of 33-3 in under 29 minutes, thanks to the fantastic duo of Michal “Nisha” Jankowski and Michael “micke” Vu.
Gaimin Gladiators and Team Liquid decided to rely on late-game heroes for their final game. Nonetheless, by the middle to late game, Ace was able to outsmart Team Liquid with his Doom again. Gaimin Gladiators outplayed Team Liquid, 30-9, in just 40 minutes thanks to their excellent teamwork and zone control.
This victory marks Gaimin Gladiators second major achievement in 2023 and their second victory over Team Liquid in big tournament thus far. A month ago, they defeated Team Liquid in Lima Major with a landslide score of 3-0. They will receive USD 300,000 prize money as well as a ticket to Riyadh Masters competition, which will take place in the upcoming summer.