Steven R. August 23, 2019
Evil Geniuses are out of The International 2019.
The North American squad was sent home from the event with a 2-0 loss to Team Liquid. That sends them home in fifth place with a prize worth nearly $1.2 million.
The opening was a rocky one for Team Liquid. EG cores Syed “SumaiL” Hassan and Artour “Arteezy” Babaev jumped out to an early lead in farm and experience, largely coming at the expense of Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi and Ivan "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov. Liquid made up some ground Aliwi “w33” Omar’s Tinker scored a few kills in quick succession but Liquid as still in a precarious position.
Trades started to become more even with time, but EG was never really able to accelerate past Liquid. When Miracle- scored a huge Chronosphere with his Faceless Void, it sparked a team fight that ultimately cost EG the opening game. Liquid picked off the two supports and chased down SumaiL and Arteezy. They wound up getting both kills, and by that point EG’s supports had respawned and teleported over to help only to be killed again.
This resulted in eight deaths in quick succession, swinging the game around in Liquid’s favor and allowing them to take the opening win.
That unfortunate series of events seemed to rattle EG, who looked shakier in game two. EG went kill for kill with Liquid early, but couldn’t match their farm as Miracle-, MinD_ContRoL, and W33 sat atop the net worth chart.
Unlike EG, Liquid was able to build upon their lead. Every team fight in the mid game favored them, which saw W33’s Alchemist become nearly unstoppable. Liquid closed the game out in 30 minutes, sealing the series 2-0.
Evil Geniuses' run ends at TI9
The loss is a crushing one for Evil Geniuses, who seemingly turned a corner during the event. Though they started the group stage in shaky fashion, the team rebounded and earned an upper bracket slot.
Their main event run began with a strong 2-1 victory over tournament favorites Team Secret. They were sent to the lower bracket the next day by OG, but looked generally solid during the series and seemed capable of potentially making a run to the grand finals. Alas, this did not come to be.
Instead, they were taken down by a surging Team Liquid.
While there were plenty of surprises during the group stage, the biggest was the poor group stage performance of Team Liquid. The squad came in second place at the Epicenter Major, but inexplicably went 6-10 in the group stage en route to a lower bracket start in the main event.
Liquid seemingly came alive once they actually reached the main stage. They started by eliminating Fnatic and have taken 2-0 wins in their three series thus far.
Liquid will play in the lower bracket semifinals opposite the winner of Team Secret vs. Vici Gaming.