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Ever since the new season started, Evil Geniuses’ performance was not as impressive as what everyone expected from a top-tier lineup. Betting on Dota 2 for the team didn’t pay off very well, to the point that it’s always a risk. The first Pro Circuit tournament, StarLadder Season 3, was held in October last year but the team failed to qualify. The next one that came was the PGL Open Bucharest but they only placed 4th despite having the direct invite. From that tournament thereon, EG went downhill and is now nowhere to be seen in the top eight teams in the Dota 2 Pro Circuit leaderboard who are about to receive a ticket towards The International 8. This meant one thing, that we were due an EG DOTA Roster Change.
EG, who were at one point considered to be the strongest team in the scene and always the safe bet on Dota 2, have lost their race in TI8 direct invite. But before the TI8 qualifiers begin, EG will take a new journey towards the dream by replacing their rosters. Let’s see what went wrong with the previous lineup they had.
In December 2017, after placing only 6-7th in Dota Summit 8, EG made massive changes in their positioning. Nobody knew that this was the start of the season where betting on Dota 2 for Evil Geniuses will be unrewarding. They released their offlaner Universe and replaced the position with Sumail. In addition, they hired MiSeRy as a support and captain at the same time. Their carry, Arteezy was assigned to play as their midlaner. As if the changes weren’t enough, they put their coach, Fear, to play hands-on as a carry. They may have believed that they made the right decisions but the outcome says otherwise as they didn’t make any improvement.
The ‘Dota prodigy,’ as what they called him, SumaiL has always been a midlaner. He wowed everyone with his Storm Spirit and owned the midlane during his plays in 2015 DAC and TI5. He decided to take the offlane after they released Universe, but was it worth? There’s no questioning SumaiL’s capacity as an offlaner, but you can’t compare a midlaner-turned-into-offlane to Universe who has been there since the start of his career.
Some free advice @EvilGeniuses kick @Arteezy or @SumaaaaiL. Not @UniverseDota who is a godlike player, especially on the big stage. Here’s hoping he joins another NA team and dominates! #Bleedblue
– Peter Dager @Peterpandam
Ppd was quiet right with what he said about Universe. Uni is a top-tier offlaner and he proved his worth during his stay on EG. For years, he helped the team achieve victory over many premier tournaments including The International 5. Sumail has been doing good in the offlane, but not as good as the ones who are straight-up offlaners. If Evil Geniuses want to experiment with Sumail’s capacity as position 3, this is probably not a good time since every team is striving to gain DPC points and there’s no room for experiments this season.
Arteezy, at the start of his career, played the midlane. His signature heroes were Dragon Knight, Naga Siren, and Razor. In 2015, Team Secret saw his potential in flash farming so Puppey hired him and played hard carry role. Arteezy is one of the carry players who are good at farming, gaining enough gold and experience while the other team mates are buying time for him. When EG put him back in the midlane, his full potential was suppressed. He is now buying time for his team mates instead of them doing it for him.
After a few years of taking a break from hands-on playing, Fear have decided to go back to the scene. From being a coach of Evil Geniuses, he is back in the booth since last year. However, not as a support as he used to play anymore, but as a carry. Fear hasn’t played carry professionally since 2013 and EG’s decision to take double step by having Fear back as a carry instead of a support seemed to be in a backward direction.
Fear is a veteran of Dota 2. He is one of the players who have been there ever since professional Dota 2 became a thing and there’s no doubt that he knows a lot about the game. However, that cannot justify his decision to play as a carry after long time of hiatus. In the current status of pro Dota 2 and meta of the game, carry is the last thing Fear should be playing for the team.
It seems like the problem with EG’s current state was their unconventional positioning. The team consisted of few of the best players in Dota 2 – Arteezy, Fear, Sumail, Cr1t, and Misery. If they were put in positions where they fit best, they could’ve done better and betting on Dota 2 for the team would’ve been more rewarding. Cr1t and Misery are the only ones who are in a position where they belong. However, Cr1t could be better if he is a roaming support instead of babysitting a lane. Moreover, EG’s previous lineup had a problem with priorities. There were games where everyone’s focus was on Sumail’s offlane and Fear’s safelane instead of Arteezy in the mid.
Evil Geniuses have realized these mistakes that costed a direct invite to The International 8. The only way they could participate in the biggest Dota2 event of the year is thru the regional qualifiers. Before the playoffs begin, EG have decided to overhaul their lineup and made big corrections – Sumail is back in mid, Arteezy as carry, and cr1t as a roaming support. To complete the team, EG acquired the frontliners of OG – s4 as offlaner, and Fly as the team support and captain.
Looking to The International, we have agreed to receive Fly and S4 from OG to complete our roster. I could not be more excited about the potential of the group we have put together, and I know none of them take lightly the challenges ahead.”
-Phillip Aram, Evil Geniuses COO
EG’s current players and positions are far better than what they had. Everyone is playing roles they are comfortable with. The TI8 qualifiers will start soon and surely, EG will perform better than ever. If you risked betting on Dota 2 during the matches of the old EG, you might as well take a risk with the current EG because this is definitely a better version of the team.