Steven R. November 22, 2019
Evil Geniuses are still alive in the MDL Chengdu Major.
The North American team made fairly quick work of Team Liquid in the fourth round of the lower bracket. This guarantees Evil Geniuses a top-four finish at the event and a minimum of 1,350 Dota Pro Circuit qualifying points.
The win was a fairly straightforward affair for Evil Geniuses.
Game one saw Evil Geniuses absolutely crush Liquid in the laning stage. Artour “Arteezy” Babaev and Tal "Fly" Aizik used a deadly Night Stalker and Keeper of the Light lane to aggressively force away Liquid offlaner Samuel "Boxi" Svahn.
Down bottom was no better for Liquid as Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev and Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen used Omniknight and Disruptor to utterly bully them. Finally, Abed Azel “Abed” L. Yusop comfortably raked in gold with Storm Spirit mid.
With a lineup that scaled well and no game-changing plays from Liquid, Evil Geniuses closed out the game in casual fashion with a final kill tally of 41-8.
Liquid did better in game two, but only marginally so. Evil Geniuses drafted Kunkka for Abed and got Faceless Void for Arteezy, two of the most potent core heroes in the game right now. Both cores leveraged that strong draft well with Abed going 9-0 and Arteezy going 19-1 en route to another easy win. This made for a quick, clean, 2-0 victory for Evil Geniuses.
Despite loss to Evil Geniuses, Liquid still strong at MDL Chengdu Major
The loss to Evil Geniuses eliminates Team Liquid from the tournament. The team ultimately falls in 5th-6th place and takes home 900 Dota Pro Circuit points along with $60,000. Liquid undoubtedly feels a bit disappointed falling short of the top, but the team still looked very good during the event.
Though Liquid lost to Evil Geniuses, they actually got the better of them in 2-1 fashion in the group stage. That win, alongside another over Team Aster, moved Liquid into the upper bracket.
The playoffs started off poorly for Liquid as the team dropped a 2-0 loss to J.Storm, but Liquid fought theri way to the top in the lower bracket. The team recovered with a 2-0 win over EHOME and followed that up by beating Alliance, the organization the Liquid roster left after The International 2019.
The road ahead is still incredibly rocky for Team Liquid. Though the squad qualified for the MDL Chengdu Major and posted a solid performance, the European field is about to become considerably more competitive. Team Secret and the ex-Liquid lineup led by Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi are set to return and compete for spots in the DreamLeague Leipzig Major. TI9 winners OG will also resurface at some point.
Despite that, Liquid got enough of a head start in Dota Pro Circuit points that they are in strong position to make a run for an invitation to The International 2020. That’s mission accomplished for the team.