So close but so far – Tundra Esports has been eliminated from the 2023 Riyadh Masters.
An elimination series is not for the weak-hearted and this specific one took the entire Dota 2 universe on a wild ride. Five-time Tier 1 champion, Gaimin Gladiators, took on TI11 champs, Tundra Esports, in the Lower Bracket of the Riyadh Masters. This battle placed GG's win streak on the line.. and Tundra was inches away from shattering their glorious record.
Take a look at the player reactions after the grueling elimination series.
What happened in the Gaimin Gladiators vs Tundra series?
Throughout the BO3, Tundra was visibly the more dominant team. Despite fielding coach Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling as a stand-in, Tundra was improving in the tournament at a frightening speed. But GG played their cards right and consistently held their grounds to deliver not only one but two comebacks in the series. Here's what the results look like:
Tundra had broad control in their early phases, but GG always found a way during the late games. In the third and final game, Tundra almost had their win in the bag. Skiter's Broodmother even earned a Rampage at minute 32, stomping GG hard. But one teamfight in GG's base turned everything around.
A 20K net worth lead for Tundra Esports quickly depleted. And an unkillable dyrachyo Medusa marched forward to Tundra's base, slowly and painfully destroying their hopes at the Riyadh Masters.
The series ended with relieved smiles on Gaimin Gladiator's side and disbelief on Tundra's side. Tundra Esports is eliminated and departs Riyadh Masters at the 9th-12th place with $300,000 in prize money.
Can GG make the Lower Bracket run?
GG playing in the Lower Bracket was already odd to begin with. Arguably the most dominant team of all time, GG has reigned supreme in 2023. But in Riyadh Masters, GG has surprisingly been shaky. They have lost a series against 9Pandas in the Group Stage. And yesterday, they were knocked down to the Lower Bracket by Team Liquid. This series against Tundra was also not an ideal victory with it being a near-death scenario.
GG is undoubtedly still a strong team, but they are not in the most comfortable position. To continue their tournament win streak, GG now has to complete a Lower Bracket run. Their next opponent will be the formidable new blood on Quest Esports. Catch their matchup tomorrow on July 28.
Check out the Riyadh Masters schedule and results here.