Season 19 of DreamLeague powered by Intel®, the longest-running Dota 2 league hosted by the ESL FACEIT Group, has come to a thrilling close, with Gaimin Gladiators taking the win over Team Liquid in the Grand Final by 3-2. Gaimin Gladiators will take home the largest share of the $1,000,000 prize pool and qualify for the Riyadh Masters Group Stage at Gamers8 later this year.
This year, DreamLeague Season 19 saw exciting new changes and updates to its existing format and schedule, including changes to the number of teams competing and the different tournament stages as well as returning to its multiregional roots. Commencing on April 9 with Group Stage 1, 16 teams battled for the eight available spots in Group Stage 2, with the top four teams then progressing to the Playoffs.
Featuring elite squads from across the globe – including Lima Major winners Gaimin Gladiators, and reigning The International Champions Tundra Esports – Group Stage 1 began on April 9. The 16 teams competed in a single round-robin format with all matches being best-of-two. In this stage, five teams went unbeaten: Gaimin Gladiators, Shopify Rebellion, Evil Geniuses, Team Liquid, and beastcoast.
In Group Stage 2, all eight qualified teams were put in the same group, where they fought in a best-of-three single round-robin format. Here, the eight teams were whittled down to four, as Team Liquid, Gaimin Gladiators, Shopify Rebellion, and Tundra Esports all made it through. Team Liquid and Gaimin Gladiators dominated this stage, with both boasting 6-1 records at the end of Group Stage 2.
In the Playoffs, the remaining four teams battled in a double elimination bracket, playing in the best-of-three format, with Team Liquid and Gaimin Gladiators making it to the best-of-five Grand Finals.
The Grand Final saw Gaimin Gladiators bag the first-round win before Team Liquid rallied and took round two to tie the scores. However, in game three, Gaimin Gladiators picked up where they left off in the first round to make it 2-1. A stunning fourth game saw Team Liquid dominate, sweeping Gaimin Gladiators away to set up game five, where Gaimin Gladiators secured a 3-2 win.
Gaimin Gladiators topped Group A in Group Stage 1, going unbeaten in a tough group, which included Shopify Rebellion, Evil Geniuses, and TSM, boasting a 3-4-0 record. In Group Stage 2, they finished second, just behind Team Liquid. In the Upper Bracket Final of the Playoffs, they were then beaten 2-0 by Team Liquid, sending them to the Lower Bracket Final, where they dispatched Shopify Rebellion by the same score to set up the Grand Final with Team Liquid.
The DreamLeague Season 19 Grand Final saw nearly 18 million hours watched,* with a peak viewership of over 268,000*.
“Team Liquid are an insanely good team but the third game was such an epic comeback from us,” said Quinn “Quinn” Callahan from Gaimin Gladiators. “[At] the end of a tournament we know we’re going to win [and it] is almost like a victory lap, it’s such a nice feeling to know you’re going to win in a few seconds.”
Soon, fans can expect more top tier Dota 2 action with the ESL One Berlin Dota 2 Major, taking place in Berlin, Germany, on April 26 – May 7. After that, the ESL Pro Tour for Dota 2 will continue with DreamLeague Season 20, taking place online on June 11 – 25. For more information about the ESL Pro Tour for Dota 2, check out the official website, and follow ESL Dota 2 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
*According to Escharts
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