The Russian squad had an even record heading into its final match of the round robin group stage, and needed to defeat North America’s best in order to earn a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. They did so with a hard-fought 2-1 series victory.
The series kicked off with a brutal throw by Evil Geniuses. Despite maintaining a net worth lead for the entire game, Evil Geniuses’ cores just kept dying at the worst possible moments. This prevented the team from ever properly pressing its advantage, and when Virtus.pro found a full team wipe, it sealed up the opening victory despite still trailing in gold.
Evil Geniuses rebounded well in the second game. Despite falling behind early, Evil Geniuses rallied behind ex-VP star Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev, who pushed hard and farmed quickly as Nature’s Prophet. Virtus.pro isn’t a team that can be put away by just one player though, and they nearly pulled off a repeat of game one with a huge team fight victory. Evil Geniuses settled in and got the kills it needed to force match point.
Though the first two games were close, the decider was a lopsided affair right out of Virtus.pro’s 2018 playbook. The team was aggressive and unrelenting, gaining and maintaining an advantage entirely by scoring kills. In 25 minutes, VP scored 41 kills and a GG call to take the series.
— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) August 29, 2020
The win over Evil Geniuses advanced Virtus.pro’s record in the group stage to 3-2. Despite having the same record as Evil Geniuses, VP will be forced to start in the lower bracket due to its weaker overall record in games played.
The victory was still important for Virtus.pro, as it moves on directly from the group stage to the playoffs. The team will face one of the winners of the play-in stage, which currently includes 5men, Team Liquid, and Alliance. There is also a tiebreaker between FlyToMoon and Ninjas in Pyjamas currently scheduled to determine the final play-in competitor. Evil Geniuses will begin in the upper bracket with a series against Team Secret, a match they will be significant underdogs in.
Virtus.pro will return on September 2 while Evil Geniuses will face Team Secret on September 3.