For the Boys: Arteezy marks his return to EG with MDL victory

After nearly a week of competition, the highly-anticipated MarsTV Dota 2 League for Fall 2016 has come to a conclusion. Evil Geniuses claimed a hard-fought victory against Newbee in the grand finals, and proved themselves to be the temporary winner of the Fall Shuffle. This is a much needed morale boost for both the American squad as well as their fans, especially Canadian carry player Artour “Arteezy” Babaev – as this is . Team OG also came out strong, while Secret, MVP Phoenix and LGD.Fy leaves much to be desired.

 

Evil Geniuses: A well-oiled machine

 

When Arteezy announced his third time of rejoining Evil Geniuses, along with the departure of Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis and Peter ‘ppd’ Dager, a lot of people expressed their doubts on the new squad and Andreas ‘Cr1t’ Nielsen ability to lead this team to success. However, the Danish proved himself to be a more than capable captain, as he made full use of EG’s versatility to keep the opponents guessing during drafts. During their first series against Vici Gaming, EG picked up 14 different heroes in 3 games – a display of their adaptability and variety in terms of strategies. Their drafts gradually stabilized in the later stages of the tournament, as Cr1t figured out what work best against respective enemies.

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Cr1t made a successful debut as EG captain

 

The support duo between Cr1t and Ludwig ‘Zai’ Wåhlberg also impressed as they brought about an arguably better synergy than what EG had during the ppd . Instead of having a set-in-stone starved support and a greedy one which scales better into the late game, EG now rotate between many different support pairs that fit in different strategies. They range from extremely aggressive (Sand King, Kunkka), to solely defensive (Wisp, Omniknight, Oracle) or a combination of both (Naga Siren, Keeper of the Light, Warlock). This opens up a lot of options which is definitely a distinctive edge during a meta which focuses on versatility.

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Arteezy lifting his first major trophy since The Summit 4 last December

And finally, the question “Who gets the farm” between Arteezy and Sumail ‘SumaiL’ Hassan had been solved by splitting the resources to both. Depending on the strategy and the flow of the game, these superstars take their turn distributing the farm on the map which best fits the situation. When OG turned Arteezy’s Anti-Mage into the prime target in game 1 of Loser’s Bracket for example, sumaiL stepped up to the challenge, picked up on the space created and decimated the opponents with his Veil of Discord/Dagon combo. Instead of competing against each other for items, they managed to work together and forced the opponent to diverse their focus on multiple threats. In a sense, Arteezy’s playstyle somewhat resembles EG’s old legendary carry Fear: selfless yet effective. If they can keep up this deadly alliance, Evil Geniuses will undoubtedly prolong their post TI6 reign for some time to come.

 

Newbee and OG: Off to a great start

Newbee and OG finished second and third respectively, and both of these teams had a reason to be satisfied with their performance. Like EG, many people were anxious about the Newbee lineup as the TI4 champion picked up questionable players such as Xu ‘uuu9 or Zheng ‘Faith’ Hongda. However, they rose to the occasion by handily taking down all the Western teams until the last day; including a 2-0 sweep over eventual winners EG in the Upper Bracket final. 9000 MMR player Song ‘SCCC’ Chun was definitely the star of the team, as his display of Invoker against EG was a sight to behold. The team excelled at forcing successful teamfights with strong initiators such as Sand King, Tidehunter or Faceless Void and taking objectives afterwards. They are arguably one of the two strongest Chinese teams right now – alongside TI6 winners Wings Gaming.

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SCCC proved that his MMR was not just a number

 

OG also had some drastic roster changes during the Fall Major, with the most significant one being the departure of their star player Amer ‘Miracle-’ Al-Barkawi. However, the two-time Major winning team remained a force to be reckoned with; as they managed to pull off convincing victories over difficult opponents such as Secret or Vici Gaming. OG favored team-oriented lineup which revolved around Drow Ranger or Naga Siren, as well as prioritizing Batrider for Gustav ‘s4’ Magnusson for kill potential and vision control. The Swede seemed to have some trouble getting used to his new position as an offlaner, it was understandable given that he had a fairly short period of time to practice. Anathan ‘ana’ Pham was also stable for the most part, but his inexperience showed during crucial moments – notably the nightmarish 1/12 Sniper game against Newbee. The team as a whole needs a lot of work, but they showed potential and are definitely a name to look out for.

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OG has as much potential as room for improvement

MarsTV Dota 2 League Fall 2016 final standing:

  1. Evil Geniuses  $112,500
  2. Newbee  $50,000
  3. Team OG   $31,250
  4. Team Secret    $18,750
  5. LGD Forever Young    $12,500
  6. Vici Gaming    $12,500
  7. ig.Vitality    $6,250
  8. MVP Phoenix    $6,250
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