Facing the fearsome Virtus.pro, EG was dealt a tough 2-1 loss. The lower bracket defeat bumps the team out of the tournament and leaves Evil Geniuses with an eighth-place finish.
Game one was a vintage performance from Artour “Arteezy” Babaev. While Virtus.pro carry Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev was poised to go wild as Lone Druid with early Hand of Midas and Radiance purchases, Arteezy kept up with him in gold as Lycan and generated the necessary lane pressure to keep VP from threatening his base. Gustav “s4” Magnusson’s Bounty Hunter helped the entire Evil Geniuses lineup earn solid farm, which allowed Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen’s support Pangolier to become a serious threat in the late game. That tipped the scales in EG’s favor and allowed the boys in blue to take the first point.
Though Evil Geniuses managed to outlast Virtus.pro in the first game, the Russians showed their resilience in the second. While Arteezy posted another stellar carry performance, Vladimir “No[o]ne” Minenko’s Lone Druid was an absolute force throughout the game. EG was able to stay alive with some crafty plays, but the team’s lineup didn’t have as much scaling potential as it did in the first game, making Virtus.pro’s win an inevitability.
The deciding game was the most straightforward Dota 2 game of the lot. While the first two saw EG and VP even in farm for the majority of the game, RAMZES666 got an early lead in game three while playing as Phantom Lancer and never looked back. With limited AOE options and no burst damage potential, EG had no check for him which resulted in a clean loss.
The loss to Virtus.pro hands Evil Geniuses an eighth-place finish in the tournament. It’s a relatively disappointing end for a squad that was looked at as a serious contender to take home the gold but EG is likely content in the outcome.
Just by reaching eighth place at the DreamLeague Major, Evil Geniuses placed high enough to guarantee a spot at The International 2019. Though it takes home just 450 Dota Pro Circuit points from the event, that tally combined with its third-place hauls from the Chongqing Major and the Kuala Lumpur Major ensure a direct invitation to the year’s biggest tournament.
That gives EG plenty of freedom over the coming months. The team has poured all its efforts this season into qualifying and succeeding at majors for the sole purpose of ensuring a berth at TI9.
With an invitation now in its pocket, the team is free to either take some time off or to experiment at smaller tournaments.