Steven R. March 18, 2019
Stockholm should be renamed upset city.
After a predictable group stage, the DreamLeague Major’s playoffs have seen a number of massive upsets involving elite Dota 2 teams. The latest victim of that phenomenon is Evil Geniuses. Facing off with Keen Gaming in the first round of the upper bracket playoffs, the boys in blue were handed a rough 2-1 loss.
The series initially looked to be going according to plan. Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen’s Clockwerk was a force, setting up kills across the map to swing things in his team’s favor. Once the snowball started rolling for EG, there was no stopping it and Keen was quick to surrender the first game.
EG was initially set to dunk on Keen. With Artour "Arteezy" Babaev on Ursa, the game became a battle for control of the Roshan pit. Early game disables allowed EG to flex, but Keen was able to push back once Wang "old chicken" Zhiyong and Ren "Old eLeVeN" Yangwei acquired Black King Bars. Neither team had the opportunity farm, making for a slow battle until EG overcommitted to a gank on Old eLeVeN. That led to a lost team fight, lost barracks, and eventually a lost game.
The deciding game saw EG and Keen go all-in on late and early-game lineups, respectively. Playing as Spectre, Arteezy needed his team to buy him the time and space to farm a Radiance, but Zhai "一" Jingkai’s Shadow Fiend and Old eLeVeN’s Leshrac created too much pressure for EG to handle. That had EG turtling in base before long as Keen successfully sieged and took the 28-minute win and the series.
It’s a tough loss for EG, who entered the tournament as one of the favorites to win. The North American elites still have hope to lock up a spot in The International 2019, but will need to navigate treacherous waters in order to do so.
Now working in the lower bracket, EG is one stumble away from elimination and will be facing stiff competition from here on out. It will need to get by former captain Peter “ppd” Dager and Ninjas in Pyjamas next in order to stay alive.