SG Esports had already conquered a titan in Team Secret, and just a day later, the team found itself facing another giant in Evil Geniuses. Though the underdog didn’t overcome the odds this time, the match between these two was a barnburner.
Game 1 was the first sign that it would be a drawn-out contest between these two teams. An hour-long clash between SG and EG went back and forth, and though Evil Geniuses won, it was clear that their victory wouldn’t be easy. Game 2 went back SG’s way, another hour-long match where SG’s Otavio “Tavo” Gabriel shone on a pocket Engima pick, landing a crushing Black Hole at the last second to swing a fight in the team’s favour.
With the series tied 1-1, it all came down to Game 3, a single map making a $US125,000 ($166,003) difference. It was already over midnight and into the wee hours of the next day in Kyiv, and after two hour-long matches, the finale would be a test of both skill and endurance between the two teams.
Evil Geniuses had an early lead, thanks to multiple duels going the way of Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora. A misstep at the bottom lane ended up costing EG their barracks though, and though SG paid dearly to take those buildings, it meant that bottom lane would now be swarming with more powerful creeps, pressing further and further into EG’s base.
The next Roshan would be key for both teams: The massive monster drops the Aegis of the Immortal on death, an item that lets the holder come back to life a couple of seconds after dying. For SG, it would be a tool to take the high ground and secure the upset, and for EG, it was what the team needed to retake the map. The clutch player was EG’s Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan on Puck, whose orbs and coils would lock SG in place for his team to finish off.
With that advantage, EG gained back the upper hand, and a fight at the bottom barracks of SG’s base went disastrously for the South American underdogs. As player by player fell, each death timer was a toll of the bell for the team looking to continue its streak of upsets.
Evil Geniuses would close out the game with mega creeps behind them, ending the streak of SG Esports and sending them home at 5th-8th place. As desk analyst David “Godz” Parker would note, many will point to Evil Geniuses’ story as the team forged on through the major, but the run that SG Esports made wasn’t just exciting to watch, but a huge step forward for the South American region.
The Brazilian team had made the deepest dent into a Valve major of any team from its region, and silenced many nay-sayers. The outpouring of support on social media, even from EG itself, has been huge.
God damn that was hard
— Saahil Arora (@UniverseDota) April 29, 2017
Thank you @SGe_sports , you guys did everything you could!
And you are freaking awesome
— Vitalii Volochai (@v1lat) April 29, 2017
New top team, embrace the Brazilian underdogs, huge props, amazing patience and play.
— Rasmus Filipsen (@MiSeRyDOTA) April 29, 2017
Evil Geniuses advanced to take on OG in the semifinals. Unfortunately they fell 2-0, allowing OG to proceed to the grand finals and eventually take the $US1 million ($1.3 million) grand prize.