BTS Pro Series: Americas has been the biggest and best tournament in the western hemisphere since Dota 2 organizers began moving events online. Bringing together the five best North American teams and three best South American teams has resulted in a good bit of excitement, albeit alongside a little bit of lag-related disappointment.
The teams will face off in the upper bracket of the BTS Pro Series playoffs in an intriguing matchup.
Evil Geniuses has been the best and most consistent team in North America since 2014. That’s still the case on paper given their strong showings in both Dota Pro Circuit majors this season, but in practice, Evil Geniuses is looking vulnerable right now.
The roster is currently scattered around the world, with off laner Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev and Abed “Abed” Azel L. Yusop both separated from EG. That has led to coach Sam “BuLba” Sosale returning to active competition and the addition of journeyman Eric “Ryoya” Dong, with the complete roster standing as follows:
That lineup made a strong first impression by winning the ESL One Los Angeles North American league, but the team hasn’t been quite as impressive in the BTS Pro Series. Evil Geniuses went 4-3 in the group stage, with two of those losses being sweeps at the hand of first-place group stage team Quincy Crew and second-place CR4ZY. The loss to Quincy Crew was particularly devastating, with one of the games being finished inside of 15 minutes.
Evil Geniuses is still capable of getting wins with its current roster, but it can’t be looked at as the sure thing it would be at full strength.
CR4ZY was dealt a tough blow when carry player Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao and Jingjun “Sneyking” Wu abruptly left the team in order to join the North American Cloud9 roster. Though its roster is weaker as a result, CR4ZY doesn’t seem to have lost a step:
CR4ZY underwhelmed in the ESL One Los Angeles North American league, but rebounded well in the group stage of the BTS Pro Series. The team went 6-1 in its seven series and 13-4 on maps.
The jury is still out on CR4ZY’s long-term prospects and whether skiter and KheZu will end up being better for the team over time. It’s been proven many times over that a team of middling players with good chemistry will almost always beat a more talented team with weaker chemistry. It’s much too early to start putting any serious faith in CR4ZY as a top team, regardless.
CR4ZY and Evil Geniuses have faced off a few times over the last few months. Evil Geniuses got the better of them twice in ESL One Los Angeles, while CR4ZY won their group stage showdown in the BTS Pro Series.
This one could go in either direction and the odds speak to that. Winners.bet has the series as a near coin toss, with both teams sporting similar lines here. To the surprise of nobody, this one is tough to call. The decision on betting here boils down to whether one has faith in CR4ZY’s ability to gel as a unit because when it comes to sheer talent and their recent matchups, Evil Geniuses gets the nod.