|PRESS RELEASE SUMMARY
– Gaimin Gladiators have been crowned Champions of DreamLeague Season 20 powered by Intel®, winning $300,000 of the $1,000,000 total prize pool .
– The two-week online competition began on June 11 as 16 teams were whittled down to the top two of the tournament.
– Runner-up BetBoom Team, alongside six other top teams, qualified for Riyadh Masters at Gamers8 to compete for the $15,000,000 prize pool.
– DreamLeague Season 20 saw well over 20 million hours watched, with a peak viewership of more than 276,000.*
New York/Cologne, 25th June, 2023 – The Grand Finals of DreamLeague Season 20 powered by Intel® concluded with a nail-biting fifth game as Gaimin Gladiators emerged victorious against BetBoom Team and claimed their spot as champions and $300,000 in prize money.
The 20th Season of DreamLeague took place on June 11-25 and saw 16 of the world’s best Dota 2 teams battle it out online for their share of the $1,000,000 total prize pool and a spot in the Group Stage of Riyadh Masters at Gamers8.
Group Stage 1
The tournament kicked off with Group Stage 1 where teams were divided into two groups of eight. The competition was fierce with many of the matches ending in draws. Despite stellar performances at DreamLeague Season 19 and the ESL One Berlin Major, Team Liquid was the first team to be knocked out of the competition. Shopify Rebellion also made an early exit as they struggled to perform with the last-minute stand-in of Amer “Miracle” Al-Barkawi.
In contrast, 9Pandas came out strong at the top of their Group and secured their place in Group Stage 2 as the frontrunner of the tournament, alongside fellow Eastern European squads Team Spirit and BetBoom Team.
The Chinese teams of PSG.LGD and Team Aster would follow suit and establish themselves as a region to be reckoned with. Soon after, the South East Asian squad of TALON and reigning Champions Gaimin Gladiators cleared qualifiers for Group Stage 2.
Lastly, the South American squad of Evil Geniuses clutched their way into the next stage, defeating the likes of Team Secret and current The International champions, Tundra Esports, in a series of tiebreakers.
Group Stage 2
In Group Stage 2, it was BetBoom Team that proved to be unstoppable with the squad going undefeated after the fifth day. TALON handed BetBoom Team their first defeat in their comeback run to secure their place in the Playoffs, having to beat Team Spirit the following day as well.
Following close behind were PSG.LGD, who suffered one game loss after the fourth day of Group Stage 2. They took down Team Spirit with ease and even finished a game against Evil Geniuses in just 15 minutes. This was momentous for the region as they have now proven themselves as contenders to be reckoned with in international Dota 2 tournaments.
Evil Geniuses and Gaimin Gladiators took an alternate path as they built up their momentum over each match to secure every crucial victory. Gaimin Gladiators found a second wind after receiving two consecutive defeats in the first two days, utilising potent drafts that required correct execution to be effective.
In a surprising twist, 9Pandas were unable to proceed into the Playoffs as they failed to translate their strong initial performance into further success. Following suit was Team Aster who also failed to make it out of Group Stage 2, finishing their campaign with zero wins.
Four teams headed into the Playoffs, with BetBoom Team and PSG.LGD in the upper bracket, gaining the best chance of making it into the Grand Finals. In the end, it was BetBoom Team who secured their spot in the Grand Finals and their place at Riyadh Masters.
In the lower bracket, it was Gaimin Gladiators against TALON. Both teams deserved to win after their underdog performances to make it into the Playoffs. However, only one could proceed and it was the Season 19 champions, Gaimin Gladiators, that managed to beat TALON and left PSG.LGD as the only remaining non-European team.
Gaimin Gladiators and PSG.LGD battled it out for the final spot in the Grand Finals. After an intense series, Gaimin Gladiators emerged victorious and ended China’s last hope.
The best-of-five Grand Finals would see a clash between the dominant BetBoom Team and the resurging Gaimin Gladiators. For BetBoom Team this had been the best international performance so far this year. While for Gaimin Gladiators, this was their chance to continue their dominance, having been victorious at the Lima Major, DreamLeague Season 19, and the Berlin Major earlier this year.
Gaimin Gladiators took the first game in the series after a close but ultimately decisive victory. BetBoom Team rallied to secure a commanding win for the second and third games. Gaimin Gladiators would not go down without a fight and took the Final to a close fifth game.
In the final game, Gaimin Gladiators came out strong with the superior draft, and despite BetBoom Team taking the first kill Gaimin Gladiator’s coordinated effort led to the win crowning them consecutive DreamLeague winners.
“To scrape it together and come back from losing game one in two series’ back to back, and then coming back 2-1 in a best of five, sticking it out and having the grit to win when we’re not at our peak feels amazing,” said Quinn “Quinn” Callahan from Gaimin Gladiators. “BetBoom are a sick laning team and they were using that the entire tournament. Almost no one could keep up with them in terms of lanes.”
DreamLeague Season 20 saw well over 20 million hours watched, with a peak viewership of more than 276,000.*
By securing a spot in the Grand Final, BetBoom Team have also qualified for the ESL Pro Tour (EPT) for Dota 2 Championship event – Riyadh Masters – which is set to take place live at Gamers8 on July 17-30, 2023. There they will join DreamLeague Season 19 winners Gaimin Gladiators and 18 other teams, including Tundra Esports, PSG.LGD, Evil Geniuses, TALON, Team Spirit, and Shopify Rebellion** that qualified because of their overall outstanding performance during the two most recent DreamLeague Seasons, and MENA Qualifier winner Quest Esports. The epic conclusion of the inaugural EPT season not only features the coveted title of EPT Champions, but also a whopping $15,000,000 total prize pool. Please check the official Gamers8 website for more information.
*According to escharts.com.
** As DreamLeague Season 20 Grand Finalist Gaimin Gladiators, already secured their spot in the Riyadh Masters Group Stage by winning DreamLeague Season 19, the second direct DreamLeague Season 20 slot was replaced by an additional “Best average position at DreamLeagues” slot.
Assets for DreamLeague Season 20 can be found in the DreamLeague Season 20 press kit.
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ESL creates a world where everybody can be somebody. For more than two decades, we have been shaping the industry and leading esports and gaming innovation globally across the most popular video games, creating a comprehensive ecosystem with opportunities for players to go from zero to hero and for fans to witness the best stories esports has to offer. The ESL portfolio consists of high-profile products such as the ESL Pro Tour, Intel® Extreme Masters, the Snapdragon Pro Series, and many more, ranging from grassroots to global elite competitions. ESL is part of ESL FACEIT Group, the leading esports and video game entertainment company.
Founded by DreamHack in 2013, DreamLeague is one of the oldest Dota 2 brands and features the best teams from around the globe. The league is among the longest running Dota 2 leagues, celebrating its 20th season this year. Since 2023, DreamLeague is hosted online as part of the ESL Pro Tour for Dota 2 and has millions of US dollars in prize money up for grabs every year (https://pro.eslgaming.com/dreamleague/).