Gaimin Gladiators and Tundra Esports rise for ESL Stockholm Major 2022
Gaimin Gladiators and Tundra Esports made some big waves over in Europe’s Tour 2. Can they do the same at the Stockholm Major?
As far as we were concerned, we haven’t given Western European teams the credit when it was due. Especially after the founding members of Team OG disbanded, the DPC Western Europe (WEU) scene just felt underwhelming against the likes of their global counterparts.
While Team Spirit (EEU) and PSG.LGD (China) served their role as inter-regional heavy hitters this season. It’s high time we look at what WEU got to offer at the Stockholm Major 2022.
Old-timers phase out of the DPC scene
The most recent DPC WEU Tour 2 saw a new selection of top finishers; Team OG, Gaimin Gladiators, Team Liquid, and Tundra Esports.
Compare that to last season’s DPC, where Team Secret, Alliance and Nigma Galaxy were household names in majors. It’s pretty evident that DPC WEU has shifted to accommodate the likes of stronger and perhaps, younger prodigies. Alliance was the first team to embarrassingly lose their Division 1 title despite being a former International Champion. Subsequently, Team Secret and Nigma Galaxy were the most recent tumblers. Nigma even got demoted to Division 2 next Tour.
Welcoming the new powerhouses of DPC WEU
One notable team that has made international headlines is Gaimin Gladiators, the runner-ups at DPC WEU Tour 2. Having incurred their only loss versus Team OG, they came just short of first place despite having the same scores. Even then, Gladiators’ record was impressive for a team without a familiar brand name.
As a team they are well-versed with overpowering drafts, and capitalize on cheese strategies if they aren’t banned. For instance, Gladiators wouldn’t hesitate to first-pick Io if the opponent ever so slightly assumed they wouldn’t abuse it. Seasoned teams, such as Team Secret even didn’t mind letting Io go, assuming they could counter it. Yet, Gladiators often efficiently use Io for its global presence, catching Syed “SumaiL” Hassan off-guard.
Even in times when opponents ban Io, Gladiators have alternative combos to secure a series. While they have a vast hero pool, most of their draft trends point towards durable and single-target initiation. Exceptionally effective against teams that heavily rely on a mid-player to be their playmaker.
Tundra Esports is yet another notable candidate heading for Stockholm Major 2022. After their clutch victory to secure fourth place, they join the proclaimed big four from WEU. For a team without high-profile carry players, Tundra did well to render Team Secret obsolete by shutting down SumaiL. Knowing full well how much of a non-threat the rest of Team Secret are, Tundra focused their bans to solely SumaiL’s top picks. In fact, they had six out of eight bans on mid heroes, notably Storm Spirit and Ember Spirit.
We saw a similar drafting pattern from Wu “Sneyking” Jingjun during their round versus Team OG and Gladiators. Albeit with less effectiveness due to their all-rounder team.
The WEU threat at Stockholm Major 2022
For the first time in ages, the WEU candidates look more menacing, and are a force to be reckoned. OG’s revamped roster delivered better than fans’ expectations. However, the rest of the league certainly are no pushovers either; Gladiators, Liquid, and Tundra Esports are considered seasoned opponents nowadays.
Of course, the other regions haven’t been slowing down either when it comes to improvement. While EEU and China have their respective titans, we have yet to welcome BOOM Esports from Southeast Asia, which have overpowered several regional rivals during their LAN encounter at GAMERS GALAXY Invitational 2022. Let’s not forget about TeamSoloMid, the NA powerhouse to rival Evil Geniuses. And even the South American team, Thunder Awaken, which recently absorbed former NoPing e-sports’ line-up of promising young guns.
The Stockholm Major 2022 will be a thrilling playing field to watch which region stands at the top. And frankly, we don’t mind the absence of old-timers, such as Team Secret or Nigma if they have fallen off in relevancy. Watch out for the “new” DPC WEU representatives at the Stockholm Major.
Tundra Esports & Gaimin Gladiators just qualified as the EU representatives for the Gamers Without Borders 2022 final event in July.