But now they’re stumbling to the lower bracket, after the American heroes Evil Geniuses swept them off the stage, much to the delight of the packed crowd at KeyArena in Seattle.
The first game was an epic 56 minute showdown. Evil Geniuses managed to steal kills around the map, but it was struggle for them to stave off the split pushing power of Team DK, who managed to keep the game even despite a double digit kill deficit. The Chinese team would take the first barracks, but Evil Geniuses hung on, hoping to drag the match into a late game where their Mirana could act as a fourth core player against the three of DK.
Eventually the tides would turn. DK could not keep Arour “Arteezy” Barbaev and his Razor from pushing down their base, eventually leading to a push situation where Evil Geniuses charged through mid lane towards the Ancient, with Team DK out of position at the top of the map desperately trying to fall back to their base.
An iconic moment was Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung, rushing into Evil Geniuses’ spawn in a desperate attempt to die so he could get back to his base to defend in time.
In the second game Evil Geniuses put together a ridiculous push team featuring Dragon Knight, Razor, and Nature’s Prophet, and shoved into DK’s territory, attacking their bottom lane barracks over and over until they beat it down.
Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora had a field day on Nature’s Prophet with an 8/3/7 KDA. Barbaev abused one of his favorite champions, Dragon Knight, to simply sit on the Team DK base. Evil Geniuses’ positioning was impeccable, preventing Team DK from putting together a solid initiation with Faceless Void. It took 35 minutes for Evil Geniuses to force the surrender.
“We’re all really excited we beat DK. We thought they were our strongest opponents. We feel good,” Arora said in a post-game interview. “We can stay humble. We’re just going to do our best, that’s all we can do.”
The win guarantees Evil Geniuses a top three placement in the $10.7 million tournament, a payout of over $1 million.
Evil Geniuses will now face Newbee in a best-of-three series to decide which team will reach the grand finals of The International, as well as over $450,000 more guaranteed prize money.
Interestingly, Team DK beat Newbee in the finals of three major Chinese events in June. The last time Team DK lost in a final? The Summit, against Evil Geniuses. A good sign for the Americans.