It usually takes 12-18 months for a newly formed esports team to come together and become successful, but GAIMIN Gladiator’s Dota 2 team was only launched in January 2022, and their Dota 2 rankings have moved up into ESL One DOTA The top 14 2 Major took place in Stockholm this May, growing their following and generating significant brand awareness for GAIMIN.
Arseny Kuzminsky recently interviewed the founders of GAIMIN Gladiator’s about their Dota 2 team and its formation. We are proud to republish his articles and interviews in preparation for the DOTA 2 ESL One Major in Stockholm.
2020 is a breath of fresh air in competitive Dota. Viking.gg. In the internet age, these guys were able to go up against the strongest teams for nearly a year; cheeky, fearless, and smashing well-known lineups at numerous events. Taking a closer look, it turns out that players and coaches have a unique chemistry – strict discipline, fatherhood, brotherhood and deep friendship.
Then, Vikin.gg disbanded. Returning as Team Tickles with almost the same core.
Melchior “Seleri” Hillenkamp, Miroslav “BOOM” Bičan and Daniel “ImmortalFaith” Moza team up with Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard, Erik “tOfu” Engel and Anton “dyrachYO” Shkredov. New player, same playstyle. Fixed on team interaction, it was impossible to pick the strongest player in the top five. Honestly, there is no reason to do this. GAIMIN Gladiators work smoothly like a clock, every gear counts, and once one sags, four cover. GG is an example of how a team can become strong through great player interaction and balance of power.
I spoke to the top of GAIMIN Gladiators and asked them to explain why the Tickles team was their choice. And more on their history, investments, future plans and why they’re confident in the success of the Dota 2 roster.
GG’s foundation sounds like a typical Silicon Valley startup story – four friends who are passionate about what they love decide to launch their own project. But before GAIMIN Gladiators, that was another story.
“We’re getting a little older and not finding that much success in professional games, so we started OCG Esports about three years ago,” said Alex Cuccovillo, GG’s vice president. He joined CEO Shawn Porter and president Nick Cuccovillo Had this chat with me.
Shawn and Alex met long ago while playing Dota and have professional backgrounds in various MOBAs. The latter was involved in mentoring and commentary in the early Dota 2 days. Nick has been working on FPS games and in talent recruitment. So they have enough knowledge and connections in every esports field, which gives them an edge in esports thanks to their understanding of the ins and outs of esports not only from a business perspective but also from a player perspective.
Alex admits that they had to leave competitive NA Dota 2 to play other games because of its lack of tournaments and funding. OCG Esports began signing players, helping them, and finding investors and partners to maintain the finances. In January 2020, OCG Esports changed its name to GAIMIN Gladiators.
GAIMIN Gladiators is headquartered in Canada, but is more on the global stage, acquiring teams in the EU and Southeast Asia, studying Brazil, and trying not to limit itself to North America.
But in addition to the Gladiators side, which has about 5 employees and a few contractors, there is the parent company Gaimin.io, which is the corporate side of the entire company umbrella. “They take up more of a company level, and honestly, we feed back some of the business stuff to them, and they either approve or they don’t. So it works on both ends,” Nick told me. “They confirm all transactions or any decisions made on behalf of the GG party”.
Alex continued: “We always had a plan. We always knew that, at some point, we needed to get investment. No organization can really do that without some type of increased investment. So we Always have a plan of action. We created investment decks a long time ago and are updating them all the time. We met with some investors a few times through talks; after a few months, they found that esports is a good thing for the app method.”
GAIMIN’s mission is basically this; “Passive Autonomous Monetization for Gamers”. It’s a pay-as-you-go platform: get game rewards for free, then use those rewards to do whatever you want.
“While there are elements of crypto and NFTs in our platform, we are a game engine by design.” Nick explained that the platform’s core focus is “using processing power, not mining or buying coins, nor NFTs.”
GAIMIN’s software “just uses Blockchain Elements for background work and should be considered a game engine capable of launching private server games including Minecraft and GTA 5, watching Content Creators via Streams, and practicing your favorite games with skill training .”
He was also quick to clarify that “GAIMIN is not asking people to buy currency or buy NFTs under any circumstances.” The core use case for building the platform is “actually acting as a processing power aggregator, providing processing for video rendering and AI production. capabilities”; the use of the technology is quite different from most crypto-based businesses.
Acquisitions and rebrands are quite a lengthy process. From the first meeting with GAIMIN, it took a year to close the deal. We came up with a plan that would benefit them in terms of acquiring users for the platform as well, and they really like it. “
“They’ve invested in us more than the team we have,” Alex said. “We have some absolutely good teams and some very high-level players, but we don’t have any of them that are at the level of our current Dota 2 team. We’ve identified different teams at different cost points that can bring What, what success, and what type of audience metrics. We showed our plans for the next year and a half, which teams we’re bringing in, why we’re bringing them in, and what kind of potential they have. So honestly, there’s a lot more Background work, which is another reason why they really like what we’re doing.”
get team tickle
Sean and Alex have Dota backgrounds and are considering a return to the Dota scene due to the very high ratings. In the middle of the season; back in late December to early January, they saw something special in the Tickles team.
Alex continued: “We talked to a few teams. But the reason we were most interested in them wasn’t how good they were, but because they brought the team against Team Liquid, OG and Secret. New organization with brand awareness coming. All of these teams allow the new organization to gain brand awareness quickly and not in a lot of other regions. So that’s a huge decision maker for us as well. And we’re also seeing a roster of young players that has great potential.
However, signing a North American team will give you a higher chance of playing at the Majors and subsequent TIs, adding that some teams need high skills from sponsors. However, we decided to focus on other regions such as CIS, Europe and Southeast Asia. Our eyes caught the Tickles team and we caught up with them. “
Alex continued: “Dota 2 is actually still doing really well in terms of ratings. Especially now that the live events are back, it means a lot to us. But after doing the overall analysis, we just thought that going into Dota was a A wise choice.
Training Camp, Stockholm and Program
GAIMIN Gladiators remain at the Relog Media Facility for the entire DPC League. Instead of sending players around and trying to resolve visa issues, GG’s management decided to keep them in Belgrade for as long as possible. They have a good connection with Relog and they are “very, very helpful” in this regard.
Nick highlighted the importance of training camp and its impact on player success:
“Everyone thinks that training camp is about 24 hours of honing and practicing. However, in some ways, the players never meet. So it’s an ideal time for them to meet, develop team bonds and even build team culture. It’s a necessary aspect if we’re going to the next Major or a big event like The TI; it’s crucial for a team to have at least initial engagement. We also have weekly mental sessions for them A physician checks with them. This is important for mental performance and mental perseverance, so they don’t feel exhausted or exhausted.
“We used to be top two teams and regional champions,” Alex said. “The EU has four seats. OG was a bit of a surprise, but they have a very strong young squad. So they surprised us a bit, but I think we always knew our team could go to the Major. But in the end, we have faith, immortality faith, you know.”
Follow the Gladiators in Stockholm from May 12 to see what they’ll show us next. https://www.esl-one.com/dpc/
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