Team Liquid, Gladiators through to upper bracket finals at DPC regionals

Team Liquid's Michael
Team Liquid's Michael "miCKe" Vu and Gladiators' Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard led their teams to dominant wins in the opening round of the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit Western Europe regional finals. (Photos: Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas)

Team Liquid and Gladiators had an impressive showing in their opening matches for the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) Western Europe Regional Finals, as they scored 2-0 sweeps against OG and Tundra Esports respectively, to meet in the event's upper bracket finals.

As the top two teams of Western Europe's Winter regional league, Liquid and Gladiators were the favorites to win their respective opening series. The fact that their matches ended up being so one-sided promises an explosive showdown between the two in the upper bracket finals.

miCKe was unstoppable as Team Liquid swept OG

Team Liquid’s playstyle has always been to focus on the chemistry between their players inside the game and out. The team is able to effectively kite their enemies by having different players take turns going in and out of the fight.

This is due to the team spending years working together. Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg and Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen spent more than two years together in Team Secret, while Michael "miCKe" Vu, Samuel "Boxi" Svahn, and Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi spent over three years playing together since they first joined Alliance.

This ability to work together showcased itself beautifully at the six-minute mark when Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov rotated to top on Puck to get a few kills, and instead, it turned into a two-for-one trade in favor of Team Liquid.

Team Liquid played phenomenally during the series and special mention must go to miCKe on Ember Spirit. miCKe was able to win the mid-lane against bzm’s Puck, a matchup that should have been more even between the two.

MiCKe leveraged that advantage to rotate around the maps and put enormous pressure on OG Esports. He also had the perfect duo backing him up, with zai on the offlane Spiritbreaker and Boxi on Weaver.

It was a bloody first game for Team Liquid as they took it with a score of 38-6, the most one-sided game of the Regional Finals so far. Game two went equally well for Team Liquid as they demolished OG. miCKe was the standout player of the series with a combined KDA of 26-0-32.

Gladiators unleash Broodmother in their match against Tundra Esports

The recently signed Gladiators (formerly Team Tickles) started their first game with an interesting draft, taking a second pick Broodmother for Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard, a hero almost always picked last when encountered. Gladiators banned out Puck, Spiritbreaker, and Kunkka, to give Ace the best game possible.

And their draft paid off massively, with Ace being the most farmed hero at the 10-minute mark. He was also able to completely shut down Oliver "skiter" Lepko on the Wraith King. Ace then proceeded to rotate around the map and feast on all the members of Tundra Esports.

This nonstop aggression from Ace closed the map off for Tundra Esports as they were unable to get enough for the team. The multiple pickoffs also allowed Ace to remain the most farmed hero on the map, eclipsing even Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov's carry Templar Assassin.

Ace was the MVP of the first game but he wasn’t the only one with an incredible performance in the series. Game two saw Miroslav "BOOM" Bičan step it up on the mid-lane Storm Spirit. Storm Spirit is one of the hardest heroes in the game to pin down and Tundra Esports’ catch relied on Adrian "Fata" Trinks’ Crystal Maiden and Neta "33" Shapira’s Doom, not exactly the scariest lockdown for a Storm.

This lack of lockdown allowed BOOM to dive deep into the Tundra Esports’ backline and create havoc throughout the game. The pivotal fight happened at the 28-minute mark when BOOM went straight for Tundra’s supports thanks to his Aegis and allowed Gladiators to take down four heroes and snowball to victory.

Team Liquid will face off against Gladiators in the upper bracket finals. The winner secures at least second place in Western Europe as well as a spot in the Grand Finals. The two juggernauts are set to bring some of the best Dota 2 action of the year.

The Winter Tour Regional Finals will take place across the weekends of 11 to 13 February and 18 to 20 February, with three regions competing in each weekend. It will feature the Top 4 teams of the DPC's six regions competing for their cut of a US$100,000 prize pool and all-important DPC points.

For everything you need to know about the Winter Tour Regional Finals, check here.

Team Liquid roster:

  1. Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen

  2. Michael "miCKe" Vu

  3. Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg

  4. Samuel "Boxi" Svahn

  5. Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi

Gladiators roster:

  1. Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov

  2. Miroslav "BOOM" Bičan

  3. Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard

  4. Erik "tOfu" Engel

  5. Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

For more esports news updates, visit and check out Yahoo Esports Southeast Asia’s Facebook page and Twitter, as well as our Gaming channel on YouTube.