Seleri and the lineup of the recently renamed Gaimin Gladiators are days away from the Regional Finals. He spoke to us ahead of their Friday matches.
On February 8th, the former Team Tickles and captain Melchior “Seleri” Hillenkamp were signed by Gaimin Gladiators, becoming the latest Dota stack to have been picked up by a major sponsor.
The signing comes after a stellar season saw Team Tickles go 5-2, and secure a Major berth after just five weeks. But the season was bittersweet, with the Major ripped away from them the days before they’d clutched their spot.
We reached out to team captain and five position Seleri of the new Gaimin Gladiators squad ahead of their appearance in the DPC WEU Regional Finals. Seleri talked to us about the new sponsor, Team Tickles past season, the Regional Finals, and hopes for the 7.31 patch.
New beginnings after Team Tickles incredible run
Team Tickles qualified for the DPC WEU 2021/22 Division I while they were still under the banner of Viking.gg. But after being released from the org, the team retained their spot, and entered as independents.
What followed was a whirlwind run through the Upper Division. The stack won their five first matches, dropping just a single game to eventual first-place squad Team Liquid. They clutched their spot at the Major in Week 5, a few days after it was announced the Major had been cancelled. The squad eventually finished in second place, and were signed by Gaimin Gladiators just a few days ago.
Seleri thanks for talking to me. First things first, congratulations on signing with Gaimin Gladiators. It’s always good to see a Dota team get sponsored. How do you feel about that?
Seleri: Thank you. It feels nice to have support that believes in us and helps us on our journey!
The signing comes on the back of a hugely successful season for Team Tickles, you guys were number two in the region. At what point did it click that “Oh yeah, we can beat all these teams.”?
Seleri: We knew we can beat everyone before the season started, but we could also lose against everyone.
What has changed this season that saw the stack perform so well? Is it just the roster changes, or is it something else?
Seleri: Previous experience helped Immortalfaith Boom and me, and the others just ended up fitting really well with us.
Headed to the Regional Finals
The Regional Finals are Valve’s replacement for the Major. As one of the top teams in Western Europe, the Gaimin Gladiators will clash with divisional rivals Team Liquid, Tundra Esports, and OG for a share of the $100,000 prize pool.
Additionally, the top two teams could secure between 250 and 130 DPC points. Given they’ve already pocked 180 DPC points from the regular season, the Regional Finals could be a great headstart on a run to The International.
What do you think of your chances in the Regional Finals?
Seleri: Just like every other game we have played so far we can beat everyone, we can only lose against ourselves so we have nothing to fear.
You had that incredible season, you go 5 weeks where you win every all of your matchups, pretty much locked in for the Major, and then it’s cancelled. What did that feel like?
Seleri: I did not expect to qualify for the major at the start of the season so it worked out just like I expected! But it sucked of course.
Luckily Valve stepped up and set up the Regional Finals. We were told they talked to top teams about this. Were you guys a part of this discussion, or were you getting second hand info from Cyborg Matt like the rest of us?
Seleri: You think they talked to TEAM TICKLES?
Some people are pretty disappointed by the Regional Finals format. It seems very short and sweet. 6 matches total. Do you like it? Or are you just happy there’s something to play for?
Seleri: I think this is the best format they could have done for a regional finals, we could also do some triple elimination format with double lower bracket. Not many other options if it’s region locked.
Seleri’s Final Thoughts
Following the Major, Valve has announced the release of patch 7.31, on February 23rd. We closed the interview by talking about what Seleri might want to see in the patch, and his efforts outside of the DPC.
Any hopes for what you’d like to see in Patch 7.31?
Seleri: Chen buffs please! Besides that I really enjoy the current patch, new things are being discovered all the time. There’s a couple of heroes who could use nerfs for casual play. Like Spirit Breaker.
Any final words for the old Team Tickles fans or new Gaimin Gladiators fans?
Seleri: Thanks for all the support guys, I am one of the lucky people that can open Twitter and I know 99% of the messages I see are positive! Will try my best to provide entertaining gameplay and some more cringy IRL vlogs.
Seleri and the rest of the Gaimin Gladiators are in action from February 11th at the DPC WEU Regional Finals. Watch their first match against Tundra on the official DreamLeague Twitch channel.