Western European Dota 2 juggernauts Gaimin Gladiators have just done something no other team in Dota has ever done before.
Gaimin Gladiators are now the first-ever team to win every Major in a season after they defeated rivals Team Liquid, 3-1, in the Grand Finals of the Dota 2 Bali Major on Sunday (9 July). The Bali Major champions also claimed the grand prize of US$200,000 and 600 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) points.
This not only marks their third-straight Major title, this is also their fifth-straight tier 1 tournament win.
Gaimin Gladiators started their historic streak of dominance by raising their first Major championship in the Lima Major in March, followed it up by winning DreamLeague Season 19 in April, then won a second Major title at the Berlin Major in May. All three of those trophies notably came after they defeated Liquid in the finals.
Ahead of the Bali Major, Gaimin Gladiators won their fourth title in DreamLeague Season 20, this time against Eastern Europe's BetBoom Team.
While the titans of Western Europe can still improve their already historic streak in the Riyadh Masters in July, Gaimin Gladiators surely have their eyes set on The International (TI) 2023, this year's iteration of Dota 2's annual multimillion-dollar world championship tournament that will take place in Seattle this October.
No team has ever won a Major and TI in the same season. Gaimin Gladiators have the chance to set an unassailable feat of becoming the first-ever team to win all Majors and then TI in the same season.
Gaimin Gladiators and Liquid followed different paths on their way to yet another Major Grand Finals showdown.
Liquid started the Bali Major in Group B, where they claimed the top seed with a 12-4 record, tied for best among all teams in the tournament's preliminary stage. Meanwhile, Gaimin Gladiators looked like they have lost a step, only managing to grab the third seed of Group B with a 10-6 record.
In the Playoffs, both teams enjoyed strong starts in the first round of the upper bracket. Liquid defeated China's PSG.LGD, 2-1, while Gaimin Gladiators knocked down South America's Beastcoast.
Their paths then diverged in the second round of the upper bracket. While Gaimin Gladiators were able to defeat fellow Western European squad Quest Esports, 2-1, Liquid were surprisingly swept by TI 2022 champions Tundra Esports.
Gaimin Gladiators went on to sweep Tundra themselves to become the first team in the Bali Major Grand Finals.
Down on the lower bracket, Liquid had to dispatch Eastern Europe's 9Pandas and then Quest Esports to make it to the lower bracket finals on the final day of the tournament.
Liquid exacted revenge for their upper bracket semis loss, as they soundly swept Tundra this time around to set up yet another showdown with Gaimin Gladiators in a Major Grand Finals.
Gaimin Gladiators came out swinging to start the finals behind a show-stopping performance from midlaner Quinn "Quinn" Callahan on Timbersaw. Quinn had a perfect 15-kill, 9-assist outing to fuel his team's 31-24 kill lead and give them a comfortable 48-minute victory to start the series.
Liquid then struck back hard in a 54-minute slugfest in game two to tie things up at 1-1. Michael "miCKe" Vu's Leshrac proved to be an unstoppable force in teamfights while Michał "Nisha" Jankowski's Primal Beast isolated key targets.
MiCKe had 13 kills and 15 assists against three deaths to key Liquid's only win of the finals. Nisha also pitched in with eight kills on five deaths to pace the team's 34-26 kill score.
Gaimin Gladiators were quick to shake off their game two loss and put on arguably the most one-sided victories of the entire Major in the pivotal game three. Quinn had another standout performance, this time on Leshrac, by leading his team's dominant laning stage that quickly snowballed to a 21-minute rout.
Quinn had a clean eight kills and eight assists to lead Gaimin Gladiators to a commanding 2-1 series lead.
The two-time Major champions smelled blood in the water in game four, putting up yet another dominant performance. Despite Liquid's best efforts to mount a comeback, Gaimin Gladiators simply could not be denied as they secured their historic third-straight Major championship in 29 minutes of action.
Gaimin Gladiators Dota 2 roster:
Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov
Quinn "Quinn" Callahan
Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard
Erik "tOfu" Engel
Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp
Aske "Cy-" Larsen
Team Liquid Dota 2 roster:
Michael "miCKe" Vu
Michał "Nisha" Jankowski
Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg
Samuel "Boxi" Svahn
Aydin "Insania" Sarkohi
William "Blitz" Lee