Given the ever-changing nature of Dota 2, it is difficult to predict if a team that was good last week will be as good when the next patch is released. Will the style of play that had just worked be made obsolete and have the team fade into obscurity? Or will they redefine the way they play and last until the next patch, only to find themselves repeating the process and vanishing into a sea of other teams anyway a month or two later? Countless teams have shown tremendous ability for a patch or two but as time passes they struggle to maintain their relevance. Evil Geniuses are not one of those teams.
EG has had rough patches like everyone else, that much is normal, but they never let themselves fall too far behind for long. If we look at EG’s TI placements we can see a very telling story. They have placed 3rd at TI4, 1st at TI5, 3rd at TI6, and 3rd at TI8, four top 3 placements in the last five years, which includes winning The International, a tournament which is supposed to place a “curse” on the winning team to prevent them from remaining competitive in the years following the big win. EG has been the most consistently competitive team in Dota 2 bar none, no one else even comes close.
Arteezy, Suma1L, s4, Cr1t, and Fly were all a part of the team that came 3rd at TI8, and with no changes being made during the roster shuffle period and no patch between then and now they are a real favourite to win the first Major of the year. Watching their play during the Kuala Lumpur qualifier gave the impression that EG have not slacked off during the short off-season, instead we’ve seen an even stronger team emerge. The depth of EG’s strategies and technical skill the players have in order to pull them off is second to none.
In order to get to the first Major of the year we saw them run a number of different pushing strats involving Lycan and Furion, Drow and Venomancer, or Pugna with a Spectre and Invoker to secure the late game as well. However just because EG focused on strong pushing heroes in some games, they did not ignore team fighting heroes either. We saw Suma1L’s Storm Spirit make a triumphant return, showing everyone that despite Storm being a somewhat weak laner against many of the popular meta heroes we see mid, Suma1L is capable of going into those matchups and still coming out even, or even ahead, as he went 3-0 on the hero.
We also saw a favourite of the current patch, Terrorblade, picked up by EG more than once and used to great effect as they dashed CompLexity’s dreams with the hero. Arteezy has proven time and time again that he’s one of the best farmers in the game, and while the safelane has been under more pressure than ever before, it has not stopped him from single handedly taking over games when EG needs it. S4, Cr1t-, and Fly are no slouches either, each boasting world class abilities on their heroes and roles in general. EG is the amalgamation of five of the fiercest competitors in Dota 2, and their ability to adapt to any situation comes from their deep knowledge of the game.