Kings of the Coliseum: Gaimin Gladiator’s table-topping Lima Major Group Stage performance cover image

Kings of the Coliseum: Gaimin Gladiator’s table-topping Lima Major Group Stage performance

Gaimin Gladiators were on top in the WEU DPC and eat TI champions for breakfast — Let’s stop pretending it’s a fluke.

If there’s one team that’s shocked the world at the Lima Major so far, it’s the Gaimin Gladiators. Their 11-5, top-of-the-group performance has proven many doubters wrong. Barring a pair of hiccups against TSM and Execration, the squad only dropped games against fellow upper-bracket squads, and head into playoffs with a startling momentum. 

But is it even surprising? This team has been one of the top squads in Western Europe for the whole season. They only dropped series to Team Liquid and OG during Tour 1, and the latter squad aren’t here to act as kryptonite.

Revitalized by the joining of a motivated and vocal Quinn Callahan, the Gaimin Gladiators have gone from strength to strength at the Lima Major. So what’s made them so potent in the tournament so far?

Gaimin Gladiators embrace the meta instead of fighting it

If Treant and Ench are what need to be picked, that's what GG will do (Image via Valve)
If Treant and Ench are what need to be picked, that's what GG will do (Image via Valve)

Let’s face it, there are some un-fun heroes in the meta right now. Five positions have to lock in the same heroes every time. If you’re in four position, you’re likely on Rubick duty. And in offlane, you better enjoy stacking Guardian Greaves or Shiva’s, because aura items are broken.

Still, Gaimin embraces the meta, and instead of buckling against it. Marcus “Ace” Christensen’s selfless play on the likes of Tidehunter and Centaur sees him embrace the strong heroes, without going into more indulgent builds, such as Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov’s Aghs pickup.

Erik “tOfu” Engel is seemingly on permanent spell-stealing or Glimpse duty, but it makes sense — he’s undefeated this tournament on Rubick and Disruptor. And Melchior “Seleri” Hillenkamp probably wakes up some days thinking he’s a tree. He’s been on Treant Protector or Undying in 13 out of 16 of the team’s games, and likely many more to come.

This isn’t to say that Gaimin is stale. They’re just happy to play the same heroes over and over again if teams refuse to ban them or take them away. And if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Flexible Gladiator carries

But what really helps Gaimin dominate is their flexible carry players. Both Quinn, and Anton “dyrachyo” Shkredov have managed to show a huge variety of picks in both carry positions.

Dyrachyo played ten different heroes this tournament, one of the highest in the event so far. And Quinn has played both pure utility picks like Batrider and Pangolier, but also traditional Ember and Storm Spirit picks, Leshrac, and Puck.

How do you stop the Gaimin Gladiators at the Lima Major?

In our opinion, there’s two factors to punishing Gaimin Gladiators at the Lima Major:

1) Push them out of their comfort zone

Gaimin is comfortable when the game follows the meta. As a methodical team with a cerebral bunch of players, they understand how the game should be going at any given time. But, they’re likely to fall behind if it doesn’t go that way.

When Gaimin Gladiators are behind, they don't come back (Image via <a href="https://www.dotabuff.com/matches/7032228447">Dota Buff</a>)
When Gaimin Gladiators are behind, they don't come back (Image via Dota Buff)

2) Don’t let them get ahead early

Once they’re behind, that’s where Gamin Gladiators have struggled. Gaimin have lost the majority of games where their team was behind at least 2,000 gold by minute 15. In all Gaimin Gladiator's losses at the Lima Major they gave up first blood. And in those games, their usually reliable cores and supports struggle to play from behind.

You can’t beat the Gladiators when they’re comfortable. Take them out of the coliseum, and they crumble…


Find out the full Lima Major live results here. You can also check out our Esports.gg event hub for more Lima Major coverage!