Gaimin Gladiators make history with first Major grand slam
European team Gaimin Gladiators cement themselves in Dota 2 history with the first Valve Major grand slam. For the third time, the team beat Liquid in the grand final of a Valve Major, punctuating their rivalry with a 3-1 victory.
This triumph marks the first Valve Major grand slam in Dota 2 history, a record that iconic team OG came close to achieving. The roster led by Johan “N0tail” Sundstein and Tal “Fly” Azik won three majors, the Manila Major in June 2016, the Boston Major in December 2016, and the Kyiv Major in 2017. Although basically a grand slam in the fact that it was three Major wins in a row, it wasn’t all in the same season. The Manila Major was the final Valve event before The International 6, while the Boston and Kyiv Majors were all leading up to The International 7.
But how did Gaimin Gladiators do in their final Major run? Let’s jump back to the past few days and look at their journey toward a Major trifecta.
From BetBoom’s default loss to Tundra’s penalty for opening Spotify, the Bali Major wasn’t without its controversies. However, despite all the chaos, Gaimin Gladiators cruised smoothly from the group stage to the main stage. Gaimin’s group stage run was nowhere near perfect, but it wasn’t too bad. Thus, the team ended groups with 10 wins and 6 losses and landed comfortably in the upper bracket of the Bali Major playoffs.
The Bali Major playoffs were where all the chaos was put on blast. BetBoom’s stream-sniping incident took the spotlight, diluting the shine of Gaimin Gladiator’s smooth-sailing journey towards the grand final stage. Gaimin cruised through the upper bracket, dropping only a total of two games—one against South American team Beastcoast and one against European team Quest Esports.
The grand final match was a fated meetup of two teams who have been competing neck-and-neck the entire year. European teams Liquid and Gaimin faced off each other in the finals for the third time, fourth if you count the Dream League Season 19.
The match was something written like the climax of a shonen anime arc. Gaimin Gladiators are fresh off a dominating win streak, toppling anyone who dared stand their way to the top. Liquid, on the other hand, have been closely following Gaimin’s trail, waiting for their chance to grab their spot at the top.
In the end, Gaimin Gladiators proved their prowess and claimed their grand slam title and left Liquid lying on the rubble of the chaos. However, this is not the end of their bittersweet rivalry. Both teams have qualified for a direct invite in the upcoming The International 12 in Seattle. Soon, both teams would have the chance to settle the score and to decide the outcome of this arc—will Liquid redeem themselves or will Gaimin fulfill their hero arc?
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