After placing third at three Dota Pro Circuit Majors and second at their only other Major this year, Evil Geniuses are one series away from claiming their first top finish of the season at ESL One Birmingham.
They had an eight-game win streak until LGD Gaming beat them in the group stage, but EG took down TNC Predator and set up a rematch against the Chinese juggernaut in the upper bracket finals.
Unlike in their first meeting of the event, EG weren’t overconfident and treated LGD as threats from the start. Instead of rushing out and trying to establish position, the North American squad was patient and picked their fights until they felt secure.
LGD did hold the early advantage, pushing the more timid EG back slightly with the help of a powerful Sven pick. It took a long time for EG to get their offense rolling. Teamfights were rough for their lineup against LGD’s squad that featured some strong offensive heroes. But in the late game, things flipped.
EG managed to push LGD back and slowly took control of the game. Key picks and great rotations by Artour “Arteezy” Babaev led to an easy break into LGD’s high ground and the game ended after 40 minutes.
Game two’s draft featured EG’s bread and butter—an offensive lineup with the addition of a Mars that steamrolled their opponents.
Things spiraled quickly for LGD as they kept making small mistakes that allowed EG to force them further back and take a bigger lead. Arteezy once again had some beautiful rotations that led to cut off picks on some of LGD’s supports and a deeper push for EG.
It was still a fight as LGD managed to extend the game by holding the high ground well. But it wasn’t enough to stop EG, who eventually edged out the defensive team to finish a dominant showing and break their third-place curse.
They’ll be playing the winner of LGD and Team Secret in the grand finals on June 2 at 10am CT. At this point, EG would likely rather see LGD again than Secret, who’s already bested them in multiple events this season.