The third-ranked team in the Dota Pro Circuit, Evil Geniuses, put on a show on the first day of MDL Macau 2019—but it wasn’t a perfect opening.
The tournament is in the middle of the round robin opening round that will seed the playoffs after every team has played in a best-of-one against each team competing.
EG faced another top contender in Virtus Pro to kick off their tournament. VP came into the event as the favorite since Team Secret is playing at ESL One Katowice, but EG quickly showed that they’re ready to compete.
Evil Geniuses’ well-known offensive mindset carried them to a quick 26-minute victory. They went on to do the same thing to both Newbee and Royal Never Give Up—but they did drop a game to Vici Gaming.
Despite missing one of their key players in SumaiL Hassan, who’s taking a much-deserved vacation before the next round of DPC events begins, the team seemed to be in top form. EG’s stand-in, former paiN X midlaner Quinn “CC&C” Callahan, played well for the squad.
At the end of the first day, EG sat atop the standings with a 3-1 record. Team Liquid sit just behind them at 2-1 after winning against Invictus Gaming and a massively-depleted EHOME roster.
EHOME managed to escape the first day with a 2-2 record despite having to get Zhao “XinQ” Zixing from Team Serenity to be a last-minute substitute for their squad after Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida suffered an upper arm fracture while filming the team video before the event.
That injury put more pressure on the team after their coach, Dota 2 veteran Zhang “xiao8” Ning, announced that he’d also be a stand-in for his team following a delayed passport for Li “ASD” Zhiwen. The fact that they were able to beat a team like Vici and play both Liquid and Newbee extremely close is a massive positive for that squad.
VP had a rough tournament after their loss to EG, winning only one of their next two matches. Invictus, who had a terrible 0-3 outing, are the only team with a worse record heading into day two.
The opening stage of MDL Macau will continue on Feb. 20 at 9pm CT when EHOME and VP face off.