Evil Geniuses wins first event since 2018 at ESL One Los Angeles

Steven R. April 3, 2020

Evil Geniuses has taken first place in the ESL One Los Angeles North American division.

The team placed first at the expense of three other North American teams, with the final standings shaking out as follows:

  1. Evil Geniuses
  2. Quincy Crew
  3. CR4ZY
  4. business associates

Evil Geniuses capped the league off with a strong 3-1 victory over Quincy Crew. The team quickly forced its way to match point with Artour “Arteezy” Babaev taking over the first game with his Terrorblade, which was followed by a massive showing by Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen dominating Quincy Crew on Mirana.

Quincy Crew sprinted its way to victory in game three, avoiding the sweep with a 20-minute victory courtesy of a successful, greedy early game from Yawar “Yawar” Hassan. The team couldn’t do much more than that however, as Evil Geniuses posted a comeback victory to seal up the series and the majority of the $40,000 prize pool.

Though Evil Geniuses is the best and most proven organization of the four that participated, the win comes as something of a surprise. Evil Geniuses played with two substitutes at the event:

  1. Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
  2. Eric "Ryoya" Dong
  3. Sam “BuLba” Sosale
  4. Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen
  5. Tal “Fly” Aizik

Ryoya has been one of North America’s most enduring journeymen. His career dates back to 2014, but he hasn’t managed to make a serious impression at the top of the pro scene during that time. The most notable part of his time in Dota 2 to this point was his time with Team Team in 2019, which saw him added to the team at the expense of Nico “Gunnar” Lopez.

EG wins ESL LA event with BuLba and Ryoya

BuLba is a far more recognizable name for Dota 2 fans. He was the MVP of Team Liquid’s dramatic upset victory over LGD Gaming at The International 2013 and played with a number of top organizations in the years that followed. He retired as a player in 2017 and became the coach of Evil Geniuses.

More than anything, Evil Geniuses winning with two substitutes stands as something of an indictment of North American Dota 2. All the other teams were playing at full strength but came up short against an EG that was playing without its mid and off laners.

Regardless, this is an important victory for Evil Geniuses. Despite steadily standing as an elite Dota 2 team over recent years, the organization hasn’t been able to lock up a first-place finish in nearly two years, with the last tournament win coming all the way back in 2018 at Dota Summit 9. Though much of this can be chalked up to the team exclusively competing in majors and other prominent events, this does end a lengthy drought for the team.

This win undoubtedly feels good for the squad, but the team faces an uncertain future. It is anyone’s guess as to when the Dota 2 pro scene will return to action, or when Evil Geniuses’ roster will be fully reunited.

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