I really, really liked game two. I don’t think this series topped Invictus 2-1 but it was great for it’s own merits. Newbee completed a sweep of Evil Geniuses 2-0 and send Evil Geniuses to the lower bracket with Team Liquid. Let’s break down the series;
Predicting this series was not as cut and dry as the first series. While a lot of people carry a bias for Evil Geniuses there are still a number of Newbee supporters as well. Both teams had moments of brilliance interspersed between heartbreak in the Group Stage. EG were most notable in the Group Stage for their creative use of drafting heroes that can be placed in multiple lanes. Let’s break down the series;
Game One; We Watched The Tapes
Newbee’s bans here were brilliant. Every single ban was something Evil Geniuses had found success on. They didn’t ban the meta, they didn’t ban any over powered picks. Newbee banned out EG themselves and it worked. They forced EG off comfort picks and drafted a solid late game lineup for themselves. EG did pick Naga Siren and Kunkka; but zai’s couldn’t counter engage with Siren’s Song against this Newbee draft. When a team with Kunkka is behind he’s much less effective, his pick and teamfight oriented kit did not benefit EG in this game. SumaiL was kept down this game and he never really got going on Mirana. It’s unfortunate that the same team who always seemed to pick Lycan after Nightstalker didn’t see Newbee picking Disruptor into their Mirana. Eg got a pick onto Outworld Devourer but that lead into a 4-0 teamfight win for Newbee. After that EG attempted to split push but Newbee exploited this and forced their way into’s EG’s base. While EG took two lanes of melee barracks Newbee were winning the game.
Game Two; When You Can’t Pin Down Universe, Kill SumaiL
Evil Geniuses had a plan and Newbee had no really way to disrupt them. Newbee drafted to win lanes and they crushed EG early in this game. Newbee had a massive number of denies across their lanes and they jumped out to a 3K advantage at 10 minutes. EG fought back, the started to win teamfights and Universe’ use of Black Hole was solid. Unfortunately for EG, Newbee adapted and SumaiL got killed at the beginning of seemingly every engagement. Universe use of Black Hole started to stumble here, EG needed more than one member of Newbee being caught. EG had a fantastic hold at their base, they immediately streaked down to the dire side and marched into Newbee’s base. EG went all-in and tried to bring down kpii, Universe did catch him with a Black Hole but kaka blinked in just in time to Boulder Smash kpii to safety. EG got wiped soon after and they quickly surrendered as a result.
Evil Geniuses (0) vs Newbee (2); Now What?
Newbee are facing a tough matchup with Invictus Gaming, it’ll be a rematch from Group B. Newbee & Invictus split their earlier series. Honestly that series will be a pick-em; whichever team does more prep (like they both did today) will go into that series with an edge. Evil Geniuses current situation is a lot more problematic. It looks like Newbee figured out EG’s entire drafting strategy in game one. If EG’s future opponents watch this series they will see a solid strategy for beating EG. EG have tonight and tomorrow to modify their current strategy or come up with something for their lower bracket match. EG shouldn’t put so much of the teams success into Universe’ hands again. He’s entirely capable of carrying this team from time to time but they had no back-up plan in game two. The worst part of their plan was that they didn’t take into account Newbee’s ability to adapt to their playstyle. EG have a potential that few teams at TI7 can match; but they’ll never reach it if they keep drafting like they did today.