An embattled North American Dota power is back on top after taking the second-largest prize pool in esports history.
Evil Geniuses ran roughshod over rival Vici Gaming, taking the Dota 2 Asia Championships and $1.3 million just five weeks after losing two of its biggest contributors. With the win, the Boys in Blue avenged a convincing loss at the hands of Vici Gaming just 24 hours prior and bring a budding competitive rivalry to 3-2 in favor of the Eastern powerhouse.
The new roster, featuring former Cloud9 staple Kurtis “Aui 2000” Ling and 15 year-old Syed “Sumail” Hassan, looked a sure bet for an early exit after dropping the winner’s bracket final two games to zero. Just hours later, however, the North American team showed renewed vigor, dispatching star-studded tournament favorite Team Secret.
With the bright lights and high stakes, the moment looked to cripple the young lineup and its fresh-faced Pakistani mid-laner Hassan. But Evil Geniuses looked far-and-away the superior side, handling the moment and its prominent Chinese rival with aplomb.
The win marks the largest victory in the long careers of both Loomis and the fledgling Hassan. More significantly, the triumph offers vindication to Peter “PPD” Dager, the Evil Geniuses captain whose qualms with former member Artour “Arteezy” Babaev allegedly led to the prolific carry’s departure. Now, with prodigious talents and veteran leadership proving its potency against top competition, the squad sets its sights on the ultimate prize: an International championship.