Dota 2: Gaimin Gladiators remain on top with win over Liquid in DreamLeague Season 19

With their victory, the Gaimin Gladiators are looking like the overwhelming favourites to win the upcoming Berlin Major.

The Gaimin Gladiators claimed the championship of DreamLeague Season 19 after besting rivals Team Liquid, 3-2, in the grand finals. (Photo: ESL)
The Gaimin Gladiators claimed the championship of DreamLeague Season 19 after besting rivals Team Liquid, 3-2, in the grand finals. (Photo: ESL)

Dota 2 Lima Major champions Gaimin Gladiators cemented their place atop the pro Dota 2 scene with a thrilling 3-2 victory over rivals Team Liquid in the best-of-five grand finals of DreamLeague Season 19 on Sunday (23 April).

With their victory, Gaimin Gladiators claimed the grand prize of US$300,000 out of DreamLeague Season 19's US$1 million prize pool as well as a direct invite to the US$15 million Riyadh Masters tournament. Liquid, on the other hand, took home US$175,000 in consolation.

Gaimin Gladiators and Liquid outlasted 14 other teams through two group stages and a short playoff round in their second grand finals showdown this season, the first being in the Lima Major.

With Dota 2's massive 7.33 update also releasing just two days before the grand finals, both teams showcased how exciting the new metagame can be. In the first four games of the series, Gaimin Gladiators won hard-fought slugfests in games one and three while Liquid took easy victories in games two and four.

But in the deciding game five, the Gaimin Gladiators were the ones to cruise to an easy win to claim the 3-2 grand finals victory.

In game one, the Gaimin Gladiators survived a dominant laning stage from Liquid behind Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard's Doom, who topped the net worth chart while setting up key pickoffs that stalled the game out.

With Liquid's early momentum ground to a halt, Gaimin Gladiators methodically ground their opponents down. Even the fearsome late game Muerta, in the hands of Michael "miCKe" Vu for Liquid, could not stop the Gaimin Gladiators from taking a 52-minute victory to kick off the grand finals.

Ace led the way for his team, notching a game-high 10 kills against four deaths while lapping everyone else with his over 40,000 net worth.

Liquid were quick to tie up the series in game two, dominating Gaimin Gladiators to the tune of a 21-9 kill lead in 35 minutes of action.

Game three was a similar story to game one, with Liquid once again dominating the laning stage before the Gaimin Gladiators mounted a late game comeback. Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov on Muerta and Quinn "Quinn" Callahan on Puck both overcame a rough early game to lead their team to a 57-minute victory while notching 13 kills apiece.

Game four followed a similar script to game two's, though this time around Liquid dispatched of the Gaimin Gladiators in just 28 minutes. In what will likely be the most one-sided game of 7.33 for a while, Liquid racked up 33 kills while only conceding three deaths to force the finals to a deciding game five.

However, the Gaimin Gladiators seemed unfazed by their horrid game four loss and demolished Liquid in the decider. Dyrachyo paced his team's 30-9 kill lead with nine kills against one death on Slark, Quinn added eight kills on one death on Templar Assassin, while Ace had a clean five kills on his signature Doom pick.

The DreamLeague Season 19 finalists now look ahead to the upcoming ESL One Berlin Major 2023, which will take place from 26 April to 7 May.

As the winners of both the Lima Major and DreamLeague Season 19, the Gaimin Gladiators are hands-down the biggest favourites to take the second Major championship this season. However, Liquid are not far behind as their rivals and first runners-up of the two aforementioned events.

The Berlin Major will feature 18 of the best-performing teams in the DPC fighting for their cut of the US$500,000 in prize money as well as 2,700 DPC points. Those DPC points will notably go towards securing all-important direct invites to this year's iteration of The International (TI), Dota 2's annual multimillion-dollar world championship tournament.

For everything you need to know about the Berlin Major, check here.

Gaimin Gladiators roster:

  1. Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov

  2. Quinn "Quinn" Callahan

  3. Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard

  4. Erik "tOfu" Engel

  5. Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp

  6. Aske "Cy-" Larsen (coach)

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