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Evil Geniuses start to break third-place curse at ESL One Birmingham

Steven R. June 2, 2019

Evil Geniuses hasn’t won ESL One Birmingham yet, but the organization still scored a key victory.

On day five of the event, the North American team managed to topple PSG.LGD 2-0 in the upper bracket finals. That would be a big win for the team under any circumstances, but it also helps EG break an unfortunate streak.

The boys in blue have looked exceptional throughout ESL One Birmingham, and that didn’t change here. While PSG.LGD are bona fide elites, Evil Geniuses made quick work of them, staying strong in the laning phase to set up to dominant efforts from cores Syed "SumaiL" Hassan and Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, which led to two wins inside of 40 minutes each.

That kind of smooth and efficient effort against a top opponent is a great sign for fans of the team, and the fact that it guarantees them a top-two finish at a prestigious event doesn’t hurt. But the biggest part of this win is how it helps the organization break its dreaded third-place curse.

Though Evil Geniuses has won its fair share of notable events including The International 2015 and the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2015, the organization has fallen short of the grand finals of far too many tournaments. The team has stumbled early on several occasions, but for whatever reason Evil Geniuses seems to constantly get tripped up on the third-place hurdle. This has seen the team land in that spot in 11 Valve-sponsored tournaments, alongside many other smaller events, most recently the Adrenaline Cyber League 2019.

That changed here with Evil Geniuses reaching the grand finals of ESL One Birmingham, setting them up with a second-place finish at minimum.

Evil Geniuses will play in the grand finals on Sunday against the winner of the lower bracket finals showdown between PSG.LGD and Team Secret. Should they win, it will be the first tournament win for the team since Dota Summit 9 in July 2018, and the biggest paycheck the team has earned from a tournament outside The International since the Manila Masters in 2017.

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