Making its lower bracket debut opposite Ninjas in Pyjamas and former captain Peter “ppd” Dager, Evil Geniuses kept its tournament hopes alive with a 2-0 victory. That keeps the team in the hunt for its first victory at a Valve-sanctioned tournament since The International 2015.
Though the matchup looked to be a competitive one on paper, Evil Geniuses had little trouble taking the victory.
The first game was shaping up to be a close one, as Evil Geniuses’ early aggression rolled off the back of NiP’s Marcus “Ace” Hoelgaard and Neta “33” Shapira, both raking in farm even as their teammates were brutalized. However, as EG’s cores became more powerful NiP was put into a position where it needed to fight for objectives toe-to-toe, and it just couldn’t do so. Artour “Arteezy” Babaev tore the team up on Sven while Syed “SumaiL” Hassan’s Viper melted NiP in team fights and solo picks. That made for a convincing 34-minute win for EG to start the series.
Interest in the second game piqued around a last pick of Huskar for Adrian “Fata” Trinks on NiP. While that sneaky draft could have made PPD look like a genius, it instead came back to bite him as EG trampled NiP.
In the 28-minute game, NiP only managed to secure three kills to Evil Geniuses’ 30. Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen had the stat line of a carry while playing as Earth Spirit, topping the game in kills and propelling his crew to a quick win to close out the series.
The victory was a huge one for Evil Geniuses. In addition to moving forward in the DreamLeague Major and taking a jab at a player they have some ugly history with, the boys in blue now have a guaranteed spot at The International 2019 with 4,650 qualifying points. That gives the team a fair bit of flexibility heading into the spring, and makes the upcoming MDL and Epicenter major events much less stressful affairs.
The team could technically lose its spot if it undergoes any roster changes, but with solid success to this point in the season there’s little need for a shakeup.
Evil Geniuses isn’t done in the DreamLeague Major. It faces a serious challenge in the third round of the lower bracket as it takes on Virtus.pro.