Gambit Esports endured their first two games in the losers bracket of ESL One Birmingham's playoffs, living up to their potential as a dark horse favorite.
Caster Toby “TobiWan” Dawson spent much of the day hyping up Gambit as a sleeper pick to win the whole tournament, and both of the team’s wins against Team Liquid and Vici Gaming suggest he may be right.
Gambit started strong, showcasing the kind of methodical long-game that’s tense to watch but exhausting to endure. Yet, after their 50-minute victory, TL fired back by outdrafting Gambit and using Amer “Miracle” Al-Barkawi’s play on Morphling to earn a quick win. .
If TL thought they had a chance of eliminating the Russians after game two, Gambit was happy to prove them wrong. Despite another Morphling pick up for Miracle, plus Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen’s use of the 20 webs Aghanim’s Scepter Broodmother, Gambit’s picks ultimately secured enough Roshans to get the win.
After a short but sweet sweep of OG by Team Secret, Gambit returned to the stage against Vici Gaming. This time, the Russian team dealt with their opponents quickly. Alexander “Immersion” Hmelevskoy’s stand-out play on his signature hero, Earth Spirit, helped Gambit secure both games.
Tomorrow, Gambit will play the winner of Secret and TNC Predator for the chance to play the loser of LDG Gaming and Evil Geniuses. The first game starts at 4 a.m. PDT.