Evil Geniuses will have to get past the top team on the HLTV ranking in Gambit if it wants to continue the journey at IEM Summer. On paper, the battle will be very hard, but there’s a chance for a big upset. So far at the tournament, Evil Geniuses has been a bit shaky in its games while Gambit has only been defeated once.
As the unofficial best team in the world, there have been high expectations for Gambit at this tournament. The team has won several trophies this year including the IEM Masters World Championship in February. Now the CIS team is on the chase for another IEM trophy and could be looking towards the semifinals.
The only team that has been strong enough to beat Gambit this tournament was Vitality in the upper-bracket semifinal, where Gambit was caught on a bad note and lost 2-0. A single loss wasn’t enough to throw off the talented players of Gambit, as they went on to defeat both Astralis and Complexity to reach the quarterfinal.
For Evil Geniuses, the time before IEM Summer has been very shaky for the team with losses that would usually never happen. This had fans lower their expectations of the North American squad prior to the tournament, but so far it has gone fairly well. Evil Geniuses started out with a solid win against Spirit, followed up by an unexpected surprise victory over Heroic. In the upper-bracket final, Evil Geniuses fell short to a strong OG squad but still had one chance left in the tournament.
When the teams hit the server, it will likely be with Gambit trying to dictate the pace. Gambit has slowly proven itself as a force to be reckoned with, especially with players like Dmitry “sh1ro” Sokolov and Sergey “Ax1le” Rykhtorov who can pop off at any time. If Gambit gets the maps and tempo that they like, any opposing team would be in for a lot of trouble.
To avoid this, Evil Geniuses will have to play smart and not fall into the traps of Gambit. This will have to start from the veto phase, where Evil Geniuses need maps that they are confident on. If Evil Geniuses don’t win their own map pick, then a win looks almost unthinkable. The team is currently being outperformed on every map compared to Gambit, so it might be time to pull out something unexpected.
To match Gambit’s individual skill, Evil Geniuses need Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte, Tsvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov, and Owen “oBo” Schlatter to show up. On paper, Evil Geniuses has a lot of firepower. But the usual individual level from these players just hasn’t been there of late. If these players find back old form, this match against Gambit could be explosive and entertaining.
Evil Geniuses roster:
From a purely statistical standpoint, it’s only logical to give Gambit an edge in this matchup. Gambit’s recent track record speaks for itself and will still make them one of the favorites to win the whole tournament. Evil Geniuses has been the underdog this whole tournament. This will likely allow the players to play without as much pressure and potentially hit the right shots they need. The matchup will start in the veto, where it seems like Gambit will come out with an advantage no matter what. Because of this and recent results, chances are that Gambit will take this fairly convincingly.
The favoritism towards Gambit is clear as the team only gives an odds of 1.25 to win, while Evil Geniuses gives a much higher odds of 3.56. An upset bet could be made on Evil Geniuses, but it will also take a lot to make the upset a reality.