The International 2019 will be kicking off its main stage events on Aug. Evil Geniuses, of the tournament contenders and one of the few to lift the trophy, comes into the event looking to lift it for a second time.
Position 1: Artour "Arteezy" Babaev
Position 2: Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan
Position 3: Gustav "s4" Magnusson
Position 4: Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielson
Position 5: Tal "Fly" Azik
This roster has a bit of a history with The International. SumaiL previously won The International 2015 under the EG banner, and s4 won back in 2013 during The Alliance's glory days.
Suffice to say, EG is made of TI material. Every single player is infamous as a play-maker — and the team as a whole relies heavily on their ability to out skill their opponents in lane and in fights. Over the last year, though, we've gotten to see a bit of how they work as a team.
Evil Geniuses in 2018-19
Last year EG managed to take 3rd place at The International with this exact roster, losing out to PSG.LGD and OG. The team felt that they had what it what it would take to claw their way up those final two positions — that a year's worth of practice and coordination would give them what it would take to win The International without changing their lineup. And so far in the last year, they seem to have made the right call.
The season got off to a rough start, where a series of middling performances saw the team knocked out early from ESL One Hamburg by Team Secret. In the first Major of the year, the Kuala Lumpur Major, EG again found themselves on the back foot: they were knocked out of the upper bracket by Ninjas in Pyjamas early in the playoffs. EG then clawed their way back to the semifinals, defeating PSG.LGD and NiP along the way, and took a respectable 3rd place in the tournament.
EG would go on to take third place again at the Chongqing Major, second at MDL Macau, and top eight at Dreamleague Season 11. More recently they took third at the MDL Disneyland Paris Major.
Fans of the team are somewhat split now, though. EG has been performing consistently well over the last year, and they're undoubtedly the strongest contender from North America. The big question is whether the players will overcome their apparent third place curse going into TI.
The Dota boys are off to Shanghai for their bootcamp before #TI9, so this will be our last Twitch highlights video for a bit!@GrandGrant and @Cr1tDota are the stars of this one. Watch ?: https://t.co/9KUnKGAGwe pic.twitter.com/blhwmjBKpx— Evil Geniuses (@EvilGeniuses) July 30, 2019
As always, teams live and die by The International, and EG's future in Dota 2 might depend upon their placement in the tournament.
Cover Image Courtesy of Valve Corporation