TI7 Preview: Evil Geniuses

Though Evil Geniuses has been around longer than most, their time in the spotlight is still in its infancy. Rising to prominence in 2014, Evil Geniuses, seemingly condemned to eternal irrelevance, was born anew. Despite bringing home the Aegis in 2015, Evil Geniuses has still endured turbulence from within. With memories of their championship run being conjured, the boys in blue have set their eyes on Seattle and look to be the first team in history to bring home a second Aegis of Champions.

Current roster

Artour "Arteezy" Babaev

Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan

Saahil "UNiVeRsE" Arora

Ludwig "zai" Wahlberg

Andreas "Cr1t" Neilsen

Recalling the past year

After taking 3rd at The International 2016, Evil Geniuses went through some major changes. They announced that Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis would be retiring from the active squad and taking up the position of Coach and that Captain Peter ‘PPD’ Dager would also be stepping away from competitive play to become the CEO of Evil Geniuses. EG quickly rebuilt their roster with a familiar face in zai and one newcomer from OG, Cr1t. The new Evil Geniuses wasted no time proving that they were the real deal, taking 1st place at MDL 2016. They have achieved no less than 6th place in every tournament on their road to The International 2017. They took 3rd place at both Majors during the season while taking 1st at China Top 2016, Dota Pit Season 5, and The Manila Masters.

If OG is the presumed champion then Evil Geniuses is the jaded rival, lurking in the shadows waiting to strike. Since November, EG has been knocked out by OG in five tournaments, besting them only once in an elimination match when they met in the grand finals of Dota Pit Season 5, where EG emerged victorious. Evil Geniuses is one of three teams at The International 2017 seeking to claim a second Aegis of Champions, and of the three, they seem to have the best chance.

Strategies to watch

Evil Geniuses have the most flexible lineup in Dota 2 at the moment. Arteezy and SumaiL could conceivably swap roles at will along with zai and Universe. Both pairs of players have considerable experience in the other’s position. While Evil Geniuses has not chosen to implement this specific strategy, their flexibility manifests itself in other ways.

The boys in blue seem to prefer a hybrid lineup regardless of meta, preferring to put Arteezy on a powerful pushing hero and placing SumaiL on a space creating, high-damage mid laner. With each player sporting an incredibly deep hero pool, Cr1t has no problem implementing EG’s preferred strategy into whatever they draft. Though Evil Geniuses on the surface seem to rely on SumaiL and Arteezy, at their heart they are dependant on Universe. Universe has long been the driving force behind Evil Geniuses success, making one of the greatest plays in the history of the International to help bring home the Aegis in 2015. With his favored heroes Earthshaker and Faceless Void coming back to prominence, Evil Geniuses are looking mighty dangerous going into Seattle.

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