Previously unsponsored Gaimin Gladiators have won their first event under an organisation after crushing Team Liquid
Formerly known as Team Tickles, Gaimin Gladiators were picked up by a sponsor just three days before the start of the WEU DPC Regional Finals.
As one of two teams promoted to Division 1 last DPC circuit, expectations for the squad were pretty low; even among the team.
When they started off the DPC Winter Tour, captain Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp said the team's goal was to avoid relegation.
The road to WEU DPC Regional Finals
After losing just two of their seven series, against Team Liquid and Secret, the squad finished second on the leaderboard.
A four-way tiebreaker situation for 3rd-6th place eventually saw Tundra Esports and OG join former Tickles and Liquid to fight for $50,000.
How the Regional Finals played out
Team Liquid kicked off the WEU DPC Regional Finals in style, booting OG down to the lower bracket without breaking a sweat.
The newly sponsored Gaimin Gladiators were up next, sending Tundra Esports packing into the elimination round.
After being stomped by Team Liquid, the boys had to prepare themselves for a lower bracket final against OG; as the sunflower squad eliminated Tundra in last place.
A quick 2-0 later and Gaimin Gladiators were ready for a rematch of the upper bracket final match against Team Liquid.
This time they were prepared to pull out all the stops.
Grand final time
The Gladiators had an hour to prepare for their match-up with Liquid after swiftly dispatching OG.
They clearly used the time wisely, as game one easily went their way; with Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov becoming completely unstoppable on Templar Assassin.
Liquid came out swinging in game two, determined not to end the event with a sweep of losses.
With the squad snatching the Templar Assassin for themselves, it was a tough game for the Gladiators.
Ultimately, a lack of BKBs against a magic-heavy line-up including Queen of Pain, Mirana, and Jakiro, proved to be a problem.
Gaimin Gladiators were unable to find an opening, and lost game two of the WEU DPC Regional Finals finale.
The squad were determined not to lose their cool, and picked up their highly successful IO + Storm Spirit combo.
As a fairly even laning stage ended, the Gladiators built up momentum and started to snowball.
They ran over Liquid in fights before taking game three in their favor.
Tensions rose as the two squads prepared for game four, and what could be the final match of the event.
Once again, Liquid chose to ban out Marcus "Ace" Hoelgaard's Broodmother and Spirit Breaker.
Gladiators saw their chance to grab the IO + Storm Spirit once again and took it, grabbing the two heroes either side of Liquid's Ember and Grimstroke picks.
Even though Liquid picked up Templar Assassin once again, their strategy to beat the Gladiators' successful combo didn't pay off, and the squad were able to round out the series 3-1.
How Gladiators reacted to being crowned WEU DPC Regional Finals winners
As you can probably imagine, the squad are pretty excited by their victory.
Coach ImmortalFaith posted a Tweet giving love to their new organization, Gaimin Gladiators, before adding: "More than the result I'm happy with our progress."
Captain Seleri seconded the love in his own Tweet.
Big shoutout to GG for picking us up as well.
They are a new org but they take super good care of us I can promise you that. they are here to stay so please give them some love!
With just over a month until the next DPC tour action kicks off, hopefully the Gaimin Gladiators will be able to enjoy their victory for a little while longer before getting back to grinding.
Congratulations to your WEU DPC Regional Finals champions, who walk away with $50,000 and 250 DPC points.
Team Liquid, who finished in second place, have also bagged themselves $25,000 and 130 DPC points.