Talon Esports dethrone Gaimin Gladiators at Riyadh Masters 2023 cover image

Talon Esports dethrone Gaimin Gladiators at Riyadh Masters 2023

The kings of Dota have been dethroned! Gaimin Gladiators have been taken down by Talon Esports at Riyadh Masters 2023.

The seemingly unstoppable Western European Dota 2 team Gaimin Gladiators have finally fallen. Talon Esports managed to take down the Goliaths at the Riyadh Masters 2023 in the Lower Bracket Semi Finals. The series was intense to say the least, with all three games going the distance.

But in the end, Talon Esports came out on top and dethroned the kings of Dota 2.

Heading into Riyadh Masters 2023 Lower Bracket Semi-Finals

The series was hyped and full of storylines, to say the least. The most prominent of which is the undeniable strength of the Gladiators. The team won tournament after tournament and were seemingly unstoppable. That is, until their rivals, Team Liquid, pulled an upset in the first round of the playoffs and knocked GG into the lower bracket.

Meanwhile, we have Talon Esports--the last hope of the SEA Dota scene. The squad has been quietly destroying teams throughout the tournament. The most excitement we've seen from them was during 23Savage's early celebration, which sparked countless memes. But even still, Talon has been under the radar for most of the community. Heading into the match, they were undeniably seen as the underdogs.

But at the end of the day, who doesn't love an underdog story?

Talon Esports versus Gaimin Gladiators

The David and Goliath-esque series went the full length of all three games, going back and forth. Talon in game one took a unique draft against GG's well-known Leshrac and Io draft. Meanwhile, Talon featured a terrifying tri-core line up of Ember Spirit, Terrorblade and Razor. Throughout the match, it was a sight to see to watch all three cores of Talon become highly farmed throughout the game.

The three cores couldn't stand up to GG's draft, and Talon took game one.

Gaimin Gladiators said "run it back" during game two. They drafted a almost identical Leshrac and Io draft. But this time, they swapped out game one's Tidehunter and Disruptor for a Beastmaster and Shadow Demon.

Talon swapped their draft up. This time with the long forgotten fairy dragon Puck and the ever-popular Lycan for the offlane to pair with 23Savage's Terrorblade. And unlike in game one, Gaimin's Lesh and Io draft took the game in 47 minutes.

The last and final game of the series was close. Both teams significantly switched up their drafts, deviating from the previous two games. GG drafted around their Morphling with an Underlord and Storm Spirit. While Talon took a different approach and pulled out the long forgotten 23Savage Monkey King alongside Snapfire and Dark Seer. Game three was tough for GG, with Talon playing a strong early game that left GG way too behind to take good fights.

In the end, the combination of mega creeps, near level 30 cores and over a 31k gold lead broke GG's winning streak and ended their run at Riyadh Masters 2023. Now, Talon will take on Team Liquid in the Lower Bracket final of Riyadh. The winner of tomorrow's match will then take on Team Spirit in the Grand Finals of Riyadh Masters 2023.

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