Western European juggernauts Gaimin Gladiators continued their historic run of dominance over the Dota 2 scene as they claimed the championship of DreamLeague Season 20 on Sunday (25 June) with a 3-2 win over Eastern Europe's BetBoom Team in the tournament's best-of-five Grand Finals.
With their victory, Gaimin Gladiators claimed the grand prize of US$300,000 out of the event's US$1 million prize pool. Meanwhile, BetBoom settled US$175,000 in consolation. Both squads have also earned direct invites to the US$15 million Riyadh Masters tournament in July.
This victory also marks Gaimin Gladiators' fourth-straight championship in a tier 1 tournament this year, all coming in either the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season or in third-party events like DreamLeague.
The Western European juggernauts now look to extend their dominant run by claiming a third-straight Major trophy in the upcoming Bali Major.
Unyielding and united, the young gladiators conquered. Victorious once more, they claimed their fourth consecutive grand finals crown. Resilience personified.
Against All Rivals.
Against All Threats.
Against All Odds.#ESLProTour pic.twitter.com/9R0PBJEHNn
— GG | Gaimin Gladiators ⚔️ (@GaiminGladiator) June 25, 2023
Gladiators overcome rough patch to win DreamLeague Season 20
While Gaimin Gladiators rightfully look unstoppable after claiming ultimate victory, there were stretches during DreamLeague Season 20 where they looked mortal.
The team notably underperformed during the tournament's two Group Stages, finishing third in both to get seeded to the lower bracket semifinals of the Playoffs. They were also down 0-1 in the two Playoff matches they played before the Grand Finals, eventually taking hard-fought 2-1 victories over Southeast Asia's Talon Esports in the lower bracket semifinals and China's PSG.LGD in the lower bracket finals.
Meanwhile, BetBoom actually looked like the most dominant team of the tournament even if they only earned their spot as replacements for Execration, who could not participate due to visa issues.
BetBoom finished second in both Group Stages to get directly seeded to the upper bracket finals in the Playoffs, sweeping PSG.LGD 2-0 to earn their spot in the Grand Finals.
Gaimin Gladiators started the Grand Finals strong with a comfortable 44-minute victory in game one.
However, BetBoom stomped them in games two and three to take a commanding 2-1 series lead. It seemed Gaimin Gladiators finally met their match by then, as BetBoom dominated them to the tune of 25-7 and 26-2 kill leads in the series' second and third games, respectively.
With their backs against the wall, Gaimin Gladiators seemingly flipped the switch to force a decider, winning game four with a 26-12 kill lead in 36 minutes of action.
As the championship hung in the balance and game five got underway, both teams engaged in a methodical chess match. BetBoom looked to outmanoeuvre and outfarm the Gladiators' deathball headed by Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov's Medusa and Quinn "Quinn" Callahan's mid Huskar.
Despite their best efforts, BetBoom were slowly ground down in a battle of attrition. A clutch Scythe of Vyse cast from Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard's Broodmother to counter a last-ditch attempt by BetBoom to spark a comeback sealed the 34-minute game five victory for Gaimin Gladiators.
With four championships now secured, Gaimin Gladiators have three more tier 1 tournaments to play to complete the perfect season.
Up next is the Bali Major, where they can claim their third-straight Major championship. The Bali Major will take place from 29 June to 9 July and features 18 of the best teams in the DPC fighting for their cut of the US$500,000 prize pool and 3,500 DPC point pool.
For everything you need to know about the Bali Major, check here.
After Bali will be Riyadh Masters, the biggest tournament outside of the DPC this season with a US$15 million prize pool. Riyadh Masters will be held from 17 to 30 July and features 20 of the best-performing teams from DreamLeague and the ESL Pro Tour.
Last, but certainly not the least, is The International 2023 (TI 2023), this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual multimillion dollar world championship tournament. TI 2023 will be hosted in Seattle this October.
No Dota 2 team has ever won all three Majors in a season and capped it off with a TI championship. As the most dominant team in recent memory, Gaimin Gladiators are in prime position to make history.
Gaimin Gladiators Dota 2 roster:
Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov
Quinn "Quinn" Callahan
Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard
Erik "tOfu" Engel
Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp
Aske "Cy-" Larsen (coach)