Evil Geniuses are on fire. Despite having to crawl up through the Open Qualifiers, due to a violation of the player transfer window, EG have managed to make The International one of their finest tournament performances. An incredible performance in group stages, dropping only a single series, was a harbinger of the incredible run that has since followed. In a much anticipated match against fellow TI Champions Newbee, EG completely swept the Chinese juggernauts, taking the set 2-0. Up next were the unexpected dark horses of the event, EHOME. While there was excitement between the clash of the two teams, following both teams’ impressive group stage performances, no one could have expected what would ensue.
Simply put, Game 1 of EG vs EHOME is one of the greatest games of Dota ever played. EG demonstrated some of the best play that has ever been seen from a team, especially considering the circumstances of the match. EG’s early game was, simply put, abysmal. The North American favorites had poor lanes and left EHOME’s aggression unchecked and uncontested. The Chinese team swarmed EG and were pushing the high ground of their base by the 16 minute mark, without having lost a single tower of their own. Any other team would have accepted the poor first game and conceded at that moment. But PPD, ironically famous for his early tapouts, refused to yield. An incredible engagement at EG’s bottom Tier 3 tower gave them a large opening with a brilliant 4 for 2 trade. Universe, Sumail and Fear ran with the minimal momentum swing and built on it with multiple kills and tower kills. Universe’s omnipresent Faceless Void, paired with Sumail’s predictive movement with Mirana gave map control back to EG, allowing them to take better and better engagements with each passing minute. EG would go on to give a veritable clinic in lategame play, demonstrating perfect teamfights, itemization, gold management, buyback timings and sheer willpower. Seriously, just go watch this game.