Team Evil Geniuses (EG) have won TI5, bagging the US$6.6 million (RM$25.8 million) prize money after overcoming CDEC Gaming of China.
The results were so close you could balance a razor on it, with the Americans winning after the four-game slugfest that saw the Chinese pushing the Americans to absolute limit in the bid to win the championship. Evil Geniuses with their Pakistani storm, Suma1L secured their victory in a thrilling match against the underdog Chinese team. CDEC was placed in the Wildcard spot, considered as a fourth-tier team when they arrived at Seattle few days ago. Now they are second runner up, going home with still very ample prize money worth US$2.8 million.
Here is the breakdown of the four games in summary, courtesy of SB Nation:
CDEC Gaming: Leshrac, Phantom Lancer, Winter Wyvern, Spirit Breaker, Queen of Pain
Evil Geniuses: Gyrocopter, Clockwerk, Crystal Maiden, Storm Spirit, Skywrath Mage
Evil Geniuses played everything perfectly until Suma1L got a little too greedy in the midlane and gave away first blood when Leshrac rotated and helped Queen of Pain. This was followed with more quick aggression courtesy of a Spirit Breaker charge to secure the second kill.
EG had the perfect team to force early fights, but played the early game a little too passively. Suma1L was picked off three times by the six-minute mark, with CDEC clearly intimidated by the prospect of a farmed Storm Spirit.
The catalyst for EG came from a failed smoke gank on top lane by CDEC. It was turned thanks to a Calldown and excellent Hookshot from UNiVeRsE that picked up three kills without an answer. This advantage was built upon with more successful team fights that punished every push CDEC tried to make.
Evil Geniuses jumped to such a large gold lead from these fights that CDEC simply couldn’t get an upper hand. Suma1L got a head of steam and completely took over the game. He jumped into fights with seemingly reckless abandon, and with the support of Clockwerk the EG team fight was unbeatable.
Evil Geniuses win Game 1
CDEC Gaming: Leshrac, Tusk, Visage, Queen of Pain, Broodmother
Evil Geniuses: Gyrocopter, Clockwork, Crystal Maiden, Winter Wyvern, Windranger
There was some trickery from CDEC in Game 2 that put Evil Geniuses on tilt from the get-go. What seemed like a solid lane matchup for EG was turned on its head when Queen of Pain went to the offlane and Broodmother took mid vs. Suma1L’s Windranger. It was a shakeup that helped CDEC decide the tempo and completely dominate the early phases of the match.
It allowed them to rotate between the lanes successfully, getting several quick kills. However, Suma1L was still able to farm, and despite being killed early he was able to reach equilibrium. This game was a true back-and-forth. Neither was able to get the upper hand, and while CDEC had a lineup that could move deal with EG’s heroes, it was unclear how CDEC could finish outside of a Broodmother split push and map control. Those aren’t small factors, but EG had the better pushing lineup and team fights — they just couldn’t find them.
The pixel-perfect Hookshots UNiVeRsE used in Game 1 abandoned him in the second, missing several big plays that could have turned the tide. When it felt like CDEC was on the verge of wrapping up the second game EG came roaring back. A few big team fights went to EG and the swing was on.
Before the comeback could be completed there was a huge team fight near the Rosh pit that saw Evil Geniuses get wiped and CDEC took Rosh. This was the change the team needed, and things began to snowball and the gulf was insurmountable.
CDEC Gaming wins Game 2.
CDEC Gaming: Leshrac, Visage, Lion, Dark Seer, Slark
Evil Geniuses: Clockwerk, Gyrocopter, Ember Spirit, Undying, Skywrath Mage
Evil Geniuses stuck to their familiar opening of Clockwerk and Gyrocopter, but changed the back-end of their draft to give Suma1L a hero he’s more comfortable with. The Ember Spirit selection was countered with strong lockdown heroes, even if CDEC supports were a little greedy and needed more farm than others that were on the board.
In both Game 2 and 3 it was the CDEC Leshrac pick that gave EG headaches. It was a confusing move to let him through the lineup before. This was a hero that was almost universally banned at TI:5, and yet in the series that mattered most he was available.
Early aggression by Evil Geniuses was punished, which caused them to slow the game down to get Suma1L farm and slowly close the gap. There was a no need to be aggressive with a Gyro and Ember, which proved to be the right move. The methodical pace and sensible pick offs allowed Ember Spirit to get the upper hand.
The gold was close between the teams, but experience was firmly in the hands of EG. A horrible team fight for EG saw a four man wipe, which swung the graphs firmly back in CDEC Gaming’s favor. Firmly on the back foot, Evil Geniuses needed to play mistake free, objective-based Dota — slowly picking targets and getting the upper hand.
They were able to pick off heroes, but nobody important. Each team fight that broke out was a slugfest with no clear winner. It was clear these teams deserved to be in the Grand Finals. Suddenly a Roshan win was the difference-maker EG needed. They turned two team fights with the aegis and cheese, riding this wave all the way to the end.
Evil Geniuses win Game 3
CDEC Gaming: Clockwerk, Lina, Winter Wyvern, Phantom Lancer, Dragon Knight
Evil Geniuses: Gyrocopter, Naga Siren, Storm Spirit, Earthshaker, Ancient Apparition
Both teams held a masterclass in excellent drafting. If this was going to be the final game of TI:5 it would be the perfect way to finish. Both sides were picking and counter-picking, and just when it seemed that Evil Geniuses had pulled ahead we saw strong late picks of PL and DK to pull it closer.
Both teams looked for a smoke gank at the nine minute mark, with the teams passing each other like ships in the night. Unfortunately for CDEC Gaming their smoke expired early, and the fight was on. EG claimed two quick kills without losing anyone in response.
There’s no good way to mitigate Suma1L’s wide variety of heroes he plays well, but allowing him to get Storm Spirit was a huge problem. He rushed to a huge early farm and selected one of the earliest Bloodstones of the tournament. This made him incredibly tanky, and it didn’t really matter what CDEC could do in response.
There was one problem looming for EG: A Phantom Lancer getting a stunning about of farm. Agressif jumped out to a 20 minute drums/ Diffusal Blade combo — which could have been huge, but in the end Evil Geniuses smelled the blood in the water after an early lead and they weren’t going to let this go. They pushed, they fought, they won — they willed this win of TI:5 until it happened with a mixture of brute force, perfect execution and amazing skill.
Congrats, EG and USA.
You might be interested in