Neslyn A. January 21, 2020
The playoffs of DreamLeague Season 13 started with an exciting game between two fan favorites in Nigma and Evil Geniuses.
Though Evil Geniuses entered the matchup as a slight betting underdog, the North American squad managed to advance in the upper bracket with a 2-1 series win.
The series kicked off with a standard Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi draft, with strong counterpicks and a bit of quirkiness. The team opted for a Necrophos for Aliwi "w33" Omar against Abed Azel “Abed” Yusop’s Storm Spirit. Nigma also drafted Phantom Lancer for Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi, a hero he has been incredibly strong with over recent weeks.
The early phase of the game was a nightmare for Evil Geniuses. Nigma’s bust damage-filled draft countered Evil Geniuses’ squishy lineup. Nigma racked up kills and amassed an early advantage that Evil Geniuses couldn’t recover from.
The team showed a bit of life after Artour "Arteezy" Babaev started completing items but couldn’t turn the tide, giving Nigma the opening win.
Evil Geniuses rally past Nigma in DreamLeague Season 13 playoffs
During the second game, Evil Geniuses drafted the Disruptor-Naga Siren combo. The duo is incredibly popular in the current meta due to the natural synergy between Song of the Siren and Disruptor’s various AOE and pursuit tools.
This time, EG had the better laning stage and got an early net worth advantage. Nigma started to group up, but never really found its footing. In crucial team fights, EG came out on top and pushed its opponents to the edge.
Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen made sure that Nigma wouldn’t come back with his aggressive pickoffs as Nyx Assassin.
A couple of mistakes from EG cracked the door open for a Nigma comeback, but Arteezy was heavily farmed and styled all over his enemies. When EG managed to pick off Miracle- and w33, Arteezy and EG were able to empty out their base and even the series.
The deciding game was by far the best of the series. Several respect bans were put on the table with Nigma banning Nyx Assassin and Disruptor while EG took away Phantom Lancer and Doom.
Nigma ended the draft with a surprising Tinker pick for w33, a stunner given Tinker’s low win rate in pro play.
EG farmed efficiently and made plays around the map as Cr1t- and Arteezy nailed rotation after rotation.
EG had a hard time pushing high ground. The combination of Nigma’s strong defensive play, Treant Protector’s Living Armor, and a clutch Repair Kit neutral item stalled out the game.
Nigma exhausted EG by halting pushes and claiming Roshan, but EG played smart and went back to farming the map. After a draining 50 minutes, EG was able to take down Nigma and claim the series.
EG advances to the upper bracket semifinals of DreamLeague Season 13 while Nigma fights for its tournament life in the lower bracket. Evil Geniuses will face an incredibly tough matchup in Vici Gaming, while Nigma will look to stay alive at the expense of beastcoast.