In the most hotly anticipated match of The International 2019 thus far, the rival squads faced off in round two of the upper bracket. Once again, OG got the better of Evil Geniuses, taking a 2-1 victory to advance to the upper bracket finals.
Game one was an almost perfect performance from Evil Geniuses. Syed “SumaiL” Hassan rolled over Topias “Topson” Taavitsainen in lane, killing him twice within the first five minutes of the game. In the safe lane, EG put a trilane together around Artour “Arteezy” Babaev to ensure he could effectively farm on Terrorblade. That set both cores up for success and when both SumaiL and Arteezy get off to a strong start, it’s hard to beat EG.
Evil Geniuses was able to comfortably siege towers with Terrorblade. OG tried to initiate fights to turn the tide, but EG was able to get the better of them and keep the pressure on until the Ancient broke.
Game two went in a sharply different direction. OG absolutely embarrassed Evil Geniuses early, notching kill after kill in the laning phase to the point where they were diving tier-two towers with multiple heroes and escaping without issue.
That was a strong start for OG, but early game kills mean very little in the current meta. Evil Geniuses swung the momentum by grouping and looking for larger team fights just 10 minutes into the game. The lead swung back and forth until a fight for an Arcane Rune in the river broke in OG’s favor, allowing them to take the mid barracks. That blew the game open for OG, allowing them to control the map and tie the series.
In a somewhat surprising move, Arteezy agaithen laned against OG carry Anathan “ana” Pham. That was good news for offlaners Sébastien “Ceb” Debs and Gustav “s4” Magnusson, but resulted in a relatively slow start for both carries. OG started balling up to push towers which opened things up for Ana and forced Arteezy to slow down his farm.
Ana quickly rocketed to the top of the net worth chart to the point that EG was actively avoiding him. They found some ganks, but when OG came together as five to take Roshan, EG couldn’t avoid him any longer. OG pushed the high ground and took it without issue, taking mega creeps and sealing the win up shortly thereafter to advance to the upper bracket finals.
The post-game handshake was somewhat anticlimactic as there was no mean mugging or shoulder checking, but there is no shortage of drama moving forward.