The greatest moments in esports are often Cinderella stories, where a team goes up against all the odds and achieves a great feat. Whether it’s ENCE going up against Astralis in a Grand Final or Cloud9 winning the ELEAGUE Boston Major, everybody loves to root for David when he faces Goliath.
Gambit at the PGL Krakow 2017 Major were no different. They were Underdogs. Ranked as the 15th best team in the world, yet they went on a historic run, taking down the giants of Astralis, to make the final. Although their confidence was at an all time high, things didn’t start well for Gambit as they lost the first map 16-4. Through sheer mental resilience, and impressive showings on Train and Inferno, Gambit came back and beat Immortals to win the Major.
But like many Underdog stories, the players who are a part of them often don’t reach the same heights. Which begs the question, where are the PGL Krakow Major winners now? So with CS:GO coming to an end, a new game on the horizon and today being the six year anniversary of their win. Let’s take a look at where Gambit's Major winning players and coach ended up.
Rüstem "mou" Telepov was a crucial part of Gambit’s success during his three year tenure on the roster averaging a 1.06 HLTV rating over the 669 maps he played. After winning the Major, mou would go on to compete on Gambit for another two years before he parted ways with the team.
After leaving the side in 2019 he continued to compete with various teams, including Syman and K23, until late 2021 when he took a year break. He then signed with Forward Gaming in November 2022, whom he still competes with today. Forward were one game away from the IEM Rio Major RMRs, falling to GamerLegion at the final hurdle.
Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev won the MVP at the PGL Krakow Major, putting on an incredible display against Immortals to bring his team back after losing the first map 16-4. He stayed on the team until late 2018. After his departure he was a stand-in for FaZe Clan for four months and then joined AVANAGAR where he found more success.
The pinnacle of his time on AVANAGAR was when he became the sixth ever player to make a Major Final with two separate teams, finishing in second place at the Starladder Berlin Major in 2019. Unlike mou, AdreN continued to compete at the tier one level. He moved to Virtus.Pro later in that same year and enjoyed six months on the roster. His last team, as a player, was K23 after which he re-joined AVANGAR as a board-member. He now occasionally streams and is an ambassador for 1xBet Kazakhstan.
The first player to leave Gambit was Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko, who made a return to NAVI shortly after winning the Major. He continued to find success winning an IEM Cologne and coming second at the FACEIT London Major 2018. In 2019 he retired from competitive play. He is still ever present in esports and is often seen in attendance at events.
He stills owns the inactive CIS Esports League which he bought in 2018. On top of that he remains the President of Pro100, of which he became an owner in 2017 while he was still playing for Gambit. He’s also been the advertised face of Parimatch, a betting company, tried his hand at streaming, and most recently, wrote a book.
Abai "HObbit" Hasenov, after Zeus, was the second member of Gambit to leave after the win in Krakow. Due to disappointing results he departed from the team and signed with Hellraisers. After six months he was benched from the active lineup and loaned out to Winstrike. He didn’t make much noise during this time, mainly playing in C-tier events.
It was after this loan that he made a true comeback, rejoining Gambit aspart of their Youngsters project. The Youngsters project became one of the most successful rebuilds ever seen in Counter-Strike Global Offensive history and HObbit was an integral part of that. Gambit invested into young talent alongside the experience of HObbit and began their rise through the Online circuit before being made Gambit’s main team. They continued to dominate online, but struggled to replicate that form in tier one offline play.
HObbit and the rest of the GAMBIT squad were picked up by Cloud9 where he still plays now, however the team has changed very recently with Denis "electroNic" Sharipov and Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy joining from NAVI.
The X God. Mikhail "Dosia" Stolyarov played on Gambit up until 2019 and became a key part of their branding. His persona as The X God made him easily marketable. Since he left Gambit, he jumped around teams, but never found his way back into tier one play.
His last competitive endeavour was when Dosia played on Forward for a month alongside Krakow winning teammate, mou. The team came ever-so-close to making the IEM Rio Major RMRs, losing out to GamerLegion. Dosia left the roster shortly after and prioritised streaming over competitive play.
Most recently, Dosia has been playing in the GOAT League, a content league with streamers, players, and talent alike which sees Dosia leading his own team.
The final member of the Krakow Major team was the coach, Mykhajlo "kane" Blaghin. Shortly after the Major, Kane and Zeus both left the team to join NAVI. Kane then coached NAVI for two years, finding continued success including making the Grand Final of the FACEIT London Major and winning StarSeries & i-League CS:GO Season 7 in a 3-0 victory over Fnatic.
Kane left NAVI in September of 2019 and only coached twice more in CS:GO. The first coaching role was for over a year with The Incas and the second was a short stint as the trial coach for EC Kyiv. He has not coached since October 2022, but has continued his competitive poker career which he started in 2009.
The PGL Krakow 2017 Major winners all have very different stories. Some continued their success in competition whilst others found careers in streaming and Zeus became the face of countless companies. But one thing unites them all. Their names are etched in CS:GO history.