How Gambit Esports Stole The Show At IEM World Champs

How Gambit Esports Stole The Show At IEM World Champs

Written by 

Owen Turner


4th Mar 2021 20:00

After taking home the $400,000 grand prize along with bragging rights from IEM Champs, Gambit Esports have been placed on every team’s radar. They showed a great performance at the event and have only been teaming together since December of last year.

Their quick team chemistry led to fighting their way to the top and becoming one of the most dominant teams in the league. Gambit quickly soared from the top thirty to peaking at fourth-place overnight. Their world rankings skyrocketed along with one minor roster change and tons of passion for competing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). 

Gambit’s mostly Russian roster currently holds a successful representation of what it’s like to play as a team. They’re constantly trading out kills and making round winning plays that seem out of this world. 

Gambit has really begun to look like worthy opponents against some legendary teams. With a Major under their belt, hopefully, Gambit can make their way to the top in no time. 


At the start of this year, Gambit began competing within B and A-Tier events. Their first grab at a cash prize was during their invitation to the Vulkan Fight Series. Gambit went up against Nemiga Gaming in the semifinals before beating SINNERS Esports for the grand prize. 

While the $22,000 cash total was nice, Gambit was still at a loss when it came to proving themselves. Their venture towards A-Tier events resulted in good placements but didn’t result in taking home another victory. 

After placing fourth at the DreamHack Open back in January and second at Snow Sweet Snow, fans didn’t expect too much from Gambit at IEM Champs. The event was much bigger than their previous matchups, which is why predictions led to other teams taking first-place. Gambit’s love for the game was enough to produce highly skilled strats along with great predictions and killer instincts. 


Before making their way to IEM Champs, Gambit was stuck trying to perfect their roster. In the midst of creating their dream team, Anton "supra" Tsernobai was sent off to play with Nordavind. Supra began his competitive career originally playing for Gambit Youngsters. 

His time with the academy team allowed him to grow as a player until he found himself playing for the main roster. In a period of just two years, supra won a total of seven events under the Gambit organisation. 

He helped bring in roughly $170,000, mainly from C and B-Tier events. His career eventually came to an end after struggling to keep up during A-Tier tournaments. Since Nordavind competes at the B-Tier level, the transfer seemed like a perfect fit. 

This allowed supra to advance within the amateur scene while Gambit continued qualifying for huge events. Gambit now consists of Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov, Dmitry "sh1ro" Sokolov, Timofey "interz" Yakushin, Sergey "Ax1Le" Rykhtorov, and Abay "Hobbit" Khassenov. Along with their head coach Konstantin "groove" Pikiner, Gambit is beginning to look unstoppable. 


Once Gambit was finished with perfecting their roster and playstyle, they headed off to IEM Champs. Their history as a team was obviously treated with respect, but most people were focused on Team Spirit and NAVI. 

Gambit started out competing against Team One and mousesports during their first bracket matchups. Team One received the beating of a lifetime after losing 5-16 against Gambit on Train. Mousesports put up a better fight up until game three, which was played on Vertigo. 

Ax1Le really helped seal the deal by securing their tenth round after a 1v3 clutch while trapped behind a barrier. After finalising two much-needed wins, Gambit made their way to the group stage. While teams were being booted off one by one, Gambit was too busy focusing on the grand prize. 

Despite losing to Evil Geniuses in their first group stage match, the Russian gods took ownership of the lower bracket. They were able to beat three teams in a row, including mousesports, Heroic, and G2 Esports. 

Gambit had multiple 2-0 sweeps and successfully put G2 Esports in their place after they acquired one of the best players to touch CS:GO. Gambit’s biggest opponent was Heroic up until they beat them by thirteen rounds in game three. 


They earned two clutches which helped boost the team values. Gambit completed their run with a 7-1 record in the playoffs after earning a near-flawless execution. They beat fan favourites NAVI by two maps, including a 16-6 finish on Train.

After rolling right through Team Spirit, the last team standing in their way was Gambit lost their very first map but went on to take the other three along with bragging rights and a ton of cash from IEM Champs. 

The most important role that played into Gambit’s win was their ability to clutch up under extreme amounts of pressure. They produced a successful roster which clearly works well together for the time being. At this point, it looks like Gambit is on track to becoming a fan-favourite team once again. 


Images via Gambit Esports | Twitter 

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