Gambit's rise to the top10

With Gambit's new lineup clinching two smaller titles, as well as two quarter-final finishes at big events in the last four months, we take a look at their journey to becoming a top10 team over the last year of the team's existence.

The creation of Gambit dates back to late 2015, when Mihail "Dosia" Stolyarov joined up with Kazakhstani duo Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev and Rustem "mou" Telepov, as well as veteran Dmitry "hooch" Bogdanov and Finnish up-and-comer Jan "wayLander" Rahkonen, to create HS.GG. Soon afterward, they got signed by Gambit and ever since then they've always had upset potential, which they showed time and time again at the biggest stages.

Beginning their road to success at the CIS Minor ahead of MLG Columbus, Gambit clinched their spot at the offline qualifier and went on to secure a place at the first Major of 2016. They couldn't make playoffs with losses to Astralis and CLG, but AdreN and company had their hands in Envy' last-place finish at the event.

It wasn't until ESL One Cologne, after Ivan "spaze" Obrezhan came into the lineup for wayLander, when Gambit became Legends for the first time, but not before passing OpTic, Envy, and G2 at the preceding offline qualifier. At the Major itself, the CIS-based squad added another high-profile best-of-one scalp with a win over Astralis which earned them that all-important Legends status.

Despite showing potential, the Gambit side was unable to put forth the same level of play in series, notably getting thrashed by Virtus.pro at ELEAGUE Season 1, fnatic in the quarter-finals at ESL One Cologne, and later on by Envy at DreamHack ZOWIE Open Bucharest.


Zeus' leadership helped Gambit enter the top10

Perhaps it was the combination of those disappointments and a big opportunity presenting itself that helped AdreN's side decide to let hooch and spaze go to bring in better versions of those players; an ocean of experience in Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko and young talent in Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov, who made his name in Tengri. That change didn't pay off right away as Gambit finished 5th-8th at a small-scale ESWC following a tough loss to Space Soldiers, but they quickly progressed as time went on.

Their first triumph, albeit a small one, came at Predator Masters 3 where Gambit took down Kinguin twice in a row with ease. DreamHack ZOWIE Open Winter — not the highest of competitions, yet at least one level above Predator Masters — followed and the Kazakhstani-Russian-Ukrainian squad seemed to overcome their best-of-three issues, defeating a top10 team Cloud9, as well as GODSENT and Renegades in series on their way to their second consecutive title.

Fast-forward two months and loads of training, Gambit returned to Atlanta for the ELEAGUE Major and retained their Legends status after going 3-1 in the Swiss group stage, beating big names North and FaZe in the process. fnatic were in their way once again in the quarter-finals, but Dosia's roster couldn't take their revenge for the loss in Cologne.

Gambit's quarter-final dismay continued at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas, as once they strolled through the groups with victories versus fnatic and Virtus.pro, they fell short to North on two narrow maps.

While the team hasn't been able to take the next step and take down one of the elite teams in playoffs just yet, they've continued to improve ever since the addition of Zeus and Hobbit, breaking into the top10 as of February 6th.

Alongside AdreN who continues to be the main star, the Kazakhstani youngster Hobbit has been pivotal in Gambit's success, most notably at DreamHack ZOWIE Open Winter where he was the team's best player and earned the HLTV MVP award after having only played in the top-tier scene for less than two months.

As for Zeus, his contribution cannot be overlooked. With the former Na`Vi captain, Gambit have made a lot of work on their map pool, bolstering their Cobblestone and becoming Overpass specialists, a map they only played once before the Ukrainian in-game leader came into the picture. In fact, they have a perfect record on both of those maps on LAN with the current lineup, which is something no other top10 team can boast about.

Gambit's map statistics on LAN since DreamHack ZOWIE Open Winter


 Gambit are on 8-0 and 7-0 winning streaks offline on Cobblestone and Overpass, respectively, since Zeus' and HObbit's addition

While it is an impressive feat, it's a bit worrying that Gambit have played those two maps much more than any other - a total of 10 times out of 21 maps they have played offline since DreamHack Winter. However, they were quick to include the new Inferno into their arsenal and seem to be more open to playing Nuke, possibly due to Cache making its way out as Zeus notoriously avoided the map when he was still with Na`Vi.

Gambit will have had over a month's worth of practice ahead of their next event, SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals, and they could very well have improved the remainder of their map pool. With two more events, cs_summit and DreamHack Open Austin, coming up for them before the end of April, they are looking to get as much as they can from the time they have and to continue to rise up the ranks.

You can follow HLTV.org's Milan "Striker" Švejda on Twitter

Kazakhstan Rustem 'mou' Telepov
Rustem 'mou' Telepov
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
990
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.11
Kazakhstan Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1441
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Kazakhstan Abay 'Hobbit' Khasenov
Abay 'Hobbit' Khasenov
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
627
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Russia Ivan 'spaze' Obrezhan
Ivan 'spaze' Obrezhan
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
534
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.14
Russia Mihail 'Dosia' Stolyarov
Mihail 'Dosia' Stolyarov
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1396
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Ukraine Danylo 'Zeus' Teslenko
Danylo 'Zeus' Teslenko
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
1400
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.17
Russia Dmitry 'hooch' Bogdanov
Dmitry 'hooch' Bogdanov
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
848
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Russia Jan 'wayLander' Rahkonen
Jan 'wayLander' Rahkonen
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.91
Maps played:
672
KPR:
0.64
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.13
#1
 | 
Lithuania Tomekas85 
GAMBIT top5 inc
2017-03-22 20:22
No, cause Zeus is born to win.
2017-03-22 20:23
Zeus is a legend. GL to Gambit in the upcoming months. I only see them becoming better and better in the future
2017-03-22 20:57
their best time is gone, first hype is over, they started to lose to ter3 teams already
2017-03-22 21:20
+1
2017-03-22 22:01
#133
 | 
Finland Lehtori 
Look at then after the major, they dobt even want to win anymore
2017-03-23 06:33
LaNbit?
2017-03-22 22:17
#104
 | 
Paraguay HighAIching 
they have been losing to tier 3 teams online since forever...
2017-03-22 23:30
#135
 | 
World JustFix 
They play badly in online, but on lans they are better several times
2017-03-23 08:28
ONLINE u fuking stupid hater kid keep your shit with you, he is LEGEND and he make Gambit taer1 team, it's a fact
2017-03-23 10:51
lol why so mad :D do u even know what is tier1? gambit didnt reach it yet XD
2017-03-23 16:54
keep your shit with you hater
2017-03-23 18:16
wtf is ur problem? do u even know what it tier1? man just sit and watch they will not win any tournament any time soon, wont even reach semifinals, im sorry but this is my opinion and i wont change it just cos u cry XD
2017-03-23 18:50
He is gay
2017-03-24 23:52
#119
 | 
United States r0seCS 
+1 tbh HObbitt can only get better with experience. IMO he's one of the next superstars.
2017-03-23 00:54
#106
 | 
Kazakhstan 44s3r 
so we know that Zeus lost all majors, which makes him a loser. since he is a loser when he loses he wins. if that makes sense then you are right.
2017-03-22 23:47
Gambit has worked hard prior to eleague and vegas, they've practiced for 9 hours 6 days of each week. Hard work, dedication and having top captain(Zeus),consistent top-fragger(Adren) and 3 ok players are all you need to become top 8. ezpz
2017-03-24 21:16
#2
 | 
Finland neksu 
easy for X god
2017-03-22 20:22
#4
Friis | 
Poland Austinn 
Nice gambit
2017-03-22 20:22
#5
 | 
Poland Snacer1337 
n1 gambit!
2017-03-22 20:22
n1
2017-03-22 20:22
#7
 | 
Brazil StupidNigNogs 
Boi that its nice
2017-03-22 20:22
Nice for Zeus
2017-03-22 20:22
good
2017-03-22 20:22
#11
 | 
Finland kAlluYT 
Gambit is awesome!
2017-03-22 20:22
nice
2017-03-22 20:22
#14
 | 
Other ZmajOli 
ez
2017-03-22 20:22
#18
FalleN | 
World Vechnyp 
adren did it
2017-03-22 20:22
ruski power
2017-03-22 20:22
reported because racism
2017-03-22 21:08
XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD ?
2017-03-22 21:49
#138
 | 
Russia skipster 
reported because racism
2017-03-23 09:34
commended because racism
2017-03-23 09:48
#152
 | 
Czech Republic realProkda 
why your post is yellow and your username is black? reported because double racism
2017-03-23 16:46
he is ucranian
2017-03-23 10:54
HeT
2017-03-23 19:49
i mean Zeus
2017-03-23 19:50
#162
Zeus | 
Russia Klugervl 
Zeus is ukranian like u are portugal. He was born in 8.10.87 in USSR in russian speak town Harkov
2017-03-24 00:17
so if he is a russian, why he live in Kiev!?
2017-03-24 03:03
he was born there
2017-03-26 16:44
ofc, he is Ukranian L - logic upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/t..
2017-03-26 17:22
Reported
2017-03-23 12:27
#23
 | 
India TYZ4 
Unexpected, and a tad undeserved, TBH.
2017-03-22 20:22
+1
2017-03-22 20:22
expected
2017-03-22 20:22
Zeus was the problem.
2017-03-22 20:22
Kappa
2017-03-22 20:55
#115
 | 
Brazil VAC0 
starix too
2017-03-23 00:18
gambit rise ? :)))) nice bait Striker
2017-03-22 20:23
2 ez 4 xgod
2017-03-22 20:24
#35
 | 
Turkey who_dis 
losing tough against ss but legend on the next major elegiggle
2017-03-22 20:25
ss is most likely not even going to qualify lul
2017-03-22 21:08
Lol noone cares about losing to ss They still have their spots at lans and if u read the srtical u. Know they still place well at lans considering the little amount of time they plaid together so no problem here
2017-03-23 04:45
#36
 | 
Turkey KacaKTV 
ez 4 zeus
2017-03-22 20:26
GL Gambit, im pulling for you guys
2017-03-22 20:26
ZEUS > NAVI
2017-03-22 20:27
i'd say Zeus = Na`Vi
2017-03-22 20:29
fuck yea
2017-03-22 20:29
#39
 | 
Sweden Traitorz0r 
without Zeus they are bots honestly...
2017-03-22 20:27
#40
es3tag | 
Germany vipitis 
I met them at Predator Masters Season 3 and can confirm, those are legends to win; they should get to Major Semis.
2017-03-22 20:28
#41
 | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina lousooo 
#GOD_ZEUS
2017-03-22 20:28
#43
nak | 
Brazil hAGGRAZ! 
zeus is true leader!!!
2017-03-22 20:29
#46
 | 
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
nice
2017-03-22 20:30
gl kazaks
2017-03-22 20:30
thanks abi
2017-03-24 21:08
#48
s1mple | 
Russia pEndos 
It is all about Zeus aka the Father of Counter-Strike.
2017-03-22 20:31
#52
 | 
Germany grimmtz 
Zeus is the best IGL I think. He did so many crazy things in both versions of CS.
2017-03-22 20:32
#53
 | 
World WestSideDude 
In Zeus we trust! #GODZEUS
2017-03-22 20:33
Zeus made this shit team top10
2017-03-22 20:34
+1
2017-03-22 20:38
+1
2017-03-22 20:39
#69
FlipiN | 
Spain rastleh 
+1
2017-03-22 20:43
+1 this is the fact. they have good players, but without Zeus they are nothing honestly.
2017-03-22 20:52
#56
 | 
Indonesia holyjoe 
onlinebit and lanbit is two different team
2017-03-22 20:35
Nice new team...cool games
2017-03-22 20:35
Under Zeus' leadership even 4 bots could be in top5 teams in the World.
2017-03-22 20:38
#59
 | 
CIS CA1MAN 
Gambit is exactly as NAVI. BO1-Kings. come on both! #makecisgreatagain
2017-03-22 20:38
zeus is such an amazing igl. godlike igl from 1.6 were zeus, ave, carn, taz, walle. and from all of them he was the best i think.
2017-03-22 20:40
+RobbaN +B1ad3 and I agree.
2017-03-22 20:51
#64
 | 
Kazakhstan Trapptrapp 
#ZeusMadeGambitTopLanTeam Thank you Danya, that you are with us!
2017-03-22 20:41
#65
 | 
Brazil vinnyzeraNTC 
Zeus best IGL in the world!
2017-03-22 20:41
#66
FlipiN | 
Spain rastleh 
+1
2017-03-22 20:42
+1
2017-03-22 20:43
#67
FlipiN | 
Spain rastleh 
You can clearly see how F*CKING HUGE Zeus impact is and how unseen it was before..
2017-03-22 20:42
spaze?
2017-03-22 20:43
#71
 | 
Hungary raffai 
Gambit <3
2017-03-22 20:44
It is all about the legend a.k.a. Daniil 'Zeus' Teslenko
2017-03-22 20:45
ez 4 X GOD
2017-03-22 20:46
#76
 | 
Poland FREDDY_KRUGER 
Zeus the best IGL
2017-03-22 20:48
#77
device | 
Israel Aarod 
If starix joins as a coach they will be top5.
2017-03-22 20:49
+1 ez
2017-03-22 20:50
#108
 | 
Russia grEminence 
i aren't think that
2017-03-22 23:53
Interesting article.
2017-03-22 20:54
#84
cArn | 
Vietnam milandini 
Fixed: Gambit's rise to the top10 based on BO1
2017-03-22 20:57
#87
 | 
Russia Drinkins 
decent article tnx mr striker
2017-03-22 21:06
#92
 | 
Argentina roulettesoad 
only team that sucks online but they play like gods offline LANbit
2017-03-22 21:23
#114
 | 
Argentina func_wall 
Virtus.pro?
2017-03-23 00:18
Virtus Pro aka eliminated from EPL because of online matches, but got a wild card and still not in finals?
2017-03-23 22:45
#93
JW | 
Sweden JW_top1 
AdreNMostConsistent, where u at
2017-03-22 21:28
Always believed <3
2017-03-22 21:35
#98
 | 
Ukraine petruska 
go go go Zeus <3 You are my memories from navi 2010
2017-03-22 22:01
#99
cyx | 
Germany Trestre 
offline top 10 yes online more like tier 2
2017-03-22 22:05
#100
 | 
Kyrgyzstan Devilr0ck 
LEts go GAMBITO
2017-03-22 22:08
X GOD Kreygasm
2017-03-22 22:28
#105
 | 
United States Theking5221 
God Gambit Had faith since Columbus
2017-03-22 23:41
my favorite team with VP <3
2017-03-22 23:47
nice read, good article. more of this please!
2017-03-22 23:54
#111
 | 
Russia AR4ER 
Agree.Zeus true In Game Leader. Gambit ftw,gL guys.
2017-03-23 00:01
very nice
2017-03-23 00:01
#113
 | 
Portugal dracø 
zeus <3 xgod <3
2017-03-23 00:05
#116
 | 
Denmark potatomato 
Nice.
2017-03-23 00:20
#120
 | 
Korea chog5469 
gl AdreN
2017-03-23 01:27
ez4adren learned ruski to join a good team and represent NA PogChamp
2017-03-23 02:01
lmao that was gold
2017-03-23 08:29
Zeus is a trash, So much that it left the NaVi
2017-03-23 04:08
And now Na'Vi struggles...
2017-03-23 12:39
struggles, but without success
2017-03-24 04:27
That's what I meant. Struggles to get its glorious past back
2017-03-24 04:55
Past ? Only if it is cs1.6 rofl
2017-03-24 05:38
#127
 | 
Sweden lagcats 
I thought zeus did extremely poorly even tho hes igl.
2017-03-23 04:17
#132
 | 
Brazil FaZe_Top_One 
Gambit online VP online PogChamp
2017-03-23 05:10
Nice
2017-03-23 08:50
#139
 | 
Russia skipster 
Why Na'Vi kicked Zeus? Because of being always 2nd positions? lol xD
2017-03-23 09:37
its like new-old fnatic disband after top2 Eleague,and now they not even in top10
2017-03-23 09:50
#144
 | 
United Kingdom HarryBotter 
Gambit top 3 confirmed
2017-03-23 11:53
#145
 | 
France remyos 
They need to improve/increase their mappool, if not, they will never win a big tournament.
2017-03-23 12:14
#150
 | 
Malaysia phyzell 
Next year they can be neighbours of VP in top 5. Practice made perfect.
2017-03-23 15:49
kick dosia and welcome into top 5
2017-03-23 22:47
#161
 | 
Denmark geerZo 
zeus wasnt the problem
2017-03-24 00:03
ez sexgod
2017-03-25 05:29
Ty Mr.Zeus
2017-03-25 06:33
sexgod & Zeus Is good.
2017-03-26 16:02
I really like this team.
2017-03-27 00:43
rip Hooch you were too cute for this world
2017-03-29 16:31
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