America’s best Dota 2 team has added another piece of hardware to their growing trophy collection.
Evil Geniuses traveled to Kiev, Ukraine this weekend to take part in the live playoff final of the tenth Star Ladder Star Series competition. They were the sole American team involved in the competition, which also featured one Asian team and six of Europe’s best Dota 2 squads.
It was no walk in the park for Evil Geniuses.
After topping their opponents in the group stage, the American side beat Natus Vincere in a best-of-three semifinal to set up a final showdown in the upper bracket with Secret Team.
Secret Team formed in late August as a collaboration between several of Europe’s best individual players. Made of former players from Alliance, Fnatic, and Natus Vincere, the team has impressed since their formation.
Led by former International champion Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, Secret Team made the semifinal at ESL New York in their first tournament. Following that up with a finals appearance at the Star Series shows just how strong the team already is.
They flexed that strength by sweeping Evil Geniuses in the upper bracket final. But Artour “Arteezy” Babaev promised that his team would see Secret Team again in the grand final, and they wouldn’t renege on that promise.
Cloud9 did manage to push Evil Geniuses to the final game of their next series, but allowed Peter “ppd” Dager to select two of his team’s favorite heroes, Razor and Jakiro, during the third game’s draft. This misstep led to Cloud9’s elimination.
Playing from the lower bracket, the Americans began the series with Secret Team at a one to zero deficit. A split in the first two games put Secret Team on match point, but the American side wasn’t to be denied.
A fourth game victory for Evil Geniuses sent the series to a decisive fifth. That last game would last nearly 60 minutes and featured wild swings in momentum as the two squads exchanged the advantage in raucous team fights across the map.
Ultimately, Evil Geniuses made good on Dager’s trash talking that came early in the fifth game and were able to prevail. The title is the team’s fourth major championship since the month of June. Combined with three other top-three results during that span, Evil Geniuses have compiled a strong argument for being considered the world’s best in Dota 2.
Secret Team’s performance was also noteworthy. The relatively fresh team was unbeaten until losing three games to the Americans in the grand final, and even then looked very strong.
The event was a fine showcase for Star Ladder, especially considering that the organization had most recently been in the news for a match fixing scandal. And it was an even better event for Evil Geniuses, who walked away with more than $100,000 in prize money.
Screengrab via dotastarladder_en/Twitch