Quest quits Riyadh as minor controversy hits the tournament over a bizarre pause in game one.
Gaimin Gladiators has eliminated Quest Esports from Riyadh Masters after a gripping series that saw both teams come close to victory with a scoreline that fails to tell the full story. Gaimin 2-0’d Quest on July 28, but there were twists, turns, and tumult in this series.
The game one started innocuously enough with Quest Esports taking charge and pushing into Gaimin Gladiator’s high ground. But that’s when things got spicy, as a pause caused by a disconnection sparked immediate controversy.
The timing of the pause seemed like it couldn’t be more perfect for Gaimin, who looked poised to turn the high ground fight around. And indeed, as the pause ended after several minutes, GG’s Quinn Callahan dived into the sieging Quest, cleaning up several kills. Quest would go on to lose game one.
For game two, Quest seemingly focused hard on a big wombo-combo draft that saw them pick up Faceless Void, Snapfire, Enigma, and Phoenix. With all those huge AoE spells, anyone unlucky enough to be caught by Quest would definitely be toast. But the draft had left almost all of Gaimin’s comfort picks open. With Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp on Undying, Anton "dyrachyo" Shkredov on Medusa, and, perhaps most crucially, Marcus "Ace" Christensen on Doom, Gaimin were going to play this one their way.
But what followed wasn’t a game of comfort picks and ease, but a vicious back-and-forth battle. With Quest taking the first Roshan, the team pushed into GG’s base. Managing to repel them for almost the entire Aegis duration, Gaimin struck back while there were just 30 seconds left on it, perhaps looking to pop Aybek "TA2000" Tokayev’s Void Spirit just as it expired.
And while the timing was slightly off, the kill was good, and the momentum was fully shifted. All that was left was a long, drawn out siege of the Quest's base. Gaimin Gladiators had secured their continuing spot in the tournament.
What’s next for Quest and Gaimin Gladiators?
With the defeat, Quest Esports head out of the tournament in the 7th-8th place bracket, and take home a comfortable $500,000. A crazy amount of prize money, and more than the 7th-8th place finalists at TI11 (OG and beastcoast) won in 2022. So while Quest Esports, the only Saudi Arabian-based team at this event, are gone, they’re still taking home a nice souvenir.
Meanwhile, Gaimin Gladiators will advance to the Lower Bracket Quarterfinals to face BetBoom Team (*ahem* we mean BB Team, as the organization's full name is illegal to promote in Saudi Arabia). That match-up is just a few hours away at the time of writing. With such a short break, and a difficult opponent, Gaimin Gladiators has a hard road ahead to win yet another major tournament.
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