Will Evil Geniuses Reclaim Their DOTA 2 Glory?
The heroes begin darting around the battlefield, frantically attempting to stem the flow of troops flooding into their base as their enemy continues to press the attack, then retreating further back as the opponents continue onward.
Suddenly, one of the ally heroes becomes the target of the opposing force, and the enemy pounces on them like a group of rabid hyenas tearing apart their dinner. One after another, they begin to pick the last of the defenses apart, and finally, there is nowhere else to run.
As the enemy makes their approach, the realization of their looming demise washes over the remaining heroes. Their fate has been decided, and defeat is the last thing they will know before the warm embrace of death surrounds them. Match ended. Evil Geniuses lose.
The crowd looks on at the spectacle of the goliath known as Evil Geniuses succumbing to the bitter realization of their second-round elimination. They were one of those teams favored to take victory in the whole tournament, and now that dream is crushed.
Today you will learn about the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Evil Geniuses’ performance at The International 2017 and how the organization is recovering from the loss. As an esports bettor, it is important to note how the team is restructuring because it can impact the way you bet.
Evil Geniuses and DOTA 2 – Then and Now
If you are familiar with the esports scene at all, then you have heard the name Evil Geniuses uttered with a form of respect. They deserve the accolades since they are the second-ranked esports organization in the world.
They have been in the competitive scene for quite some time and have represented across almost every genre of the esports world. Most notably, Evil Geniuses won The International 2015, which played no small part in lining their team coffers and launching them up the earnings ranks.
Recently, Evil Geniuses have not been having that same success that they once knew, and are recovering from a rather dramatic team shift. Only time will tell if they can recover from their DOTA hiccups enough to reclaim their former glory.
The International 2017 Fallout
Within the DOTA 2 community, The International is the big boy on the block and the tournament that every team aspires to win. There is ample reason why this tournament is so important within the esports scene because whoever wins it will launch up the team ranks.
Evil Geniuses won in 2015 and were defeated in 2016 by Wings Gaming and then Digital Chaos in the second round, putting them in the 3rd place slot. They designed a team that was touted as a potential dream squad to hopefully win it all.
The dream team consisted of Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, Andreas “Cr1t” Nielsen, Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan, Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora, and Ludwig ”Zai” Wahlberg. Two of the primary superstars of TI15, Peter “ppd” Dager and Clinton “Fear” Loomis, were not on the roster but played a supportive role.
Fear would be on the sidelines coaching, and ppd took over as CEO of Evil Geniuses, while Cr1t was to lead the team at TI17. There were rumors that Peter Dager giving up the captain position on the squad was less than voluntary. However, the group looked like it was quite solid.
In many of the prior tournaments leading up to the main event, the players did quite well together, and Cr1t seemed like he was adjusting to the leadership role.
Wings Gaming had been disbanded after their glorious 2016 victory stint, and since they were not going to be competing, the ones that knocked them out from victory the previous year would not even be in their way. But when the time for the actual event came, things did not go as hoped.
Whether it was the lack of leadership on the field by veteran Peter “ppd” Dager or the fact that the squad just wasn’t ready to compete together at that level is unknown. They, unfortunately, were knocked into the lower bracket by Newbee and then had the nail hammered in by Team Empire.
Evil Geniuses finished in the 9th-12th place bracket, which was not anticipated from such an impressive team, but hey, things happen. Yet the story does not end for the problems that this tournament brought to the EG DOTA 2 squad.
The International is known to be the point where team shuffles and different changes are put into practice to prepare for the up-and-coming season. That was an understatement when it came to the changes that occurred within the Evil Geniuses organization.
First off, Ludwig “Zai” Wahlberg departed from the team after the unfortunate performance at the TI17, even though the squad had been quite successful throughout the year. Zai put a Facebook post on EG’s page that he did not see a future with the team and hoped his departure would be good for both.
That was not the only loss that the team had after the unfortunate results of that tournament. The veteran captain and CEO Peter “ppd” Dager left the organization. He stated that he wanted to pursue other ventures and was uncertain of his path forward, but it would not currently be with EG.
Rebuilding the Squad
After the unfortunate loss of both Ludwig “Zai” Wahlberg and Peter “ppd” Dager, the EG DOTA 2 squad needed to rebuild their strength if they wanted to return to their former status. The legend known as Clinton “Fear” Loomis was ready to step up and meet that challenge.
Fear stepped out of his coaching position and back into the ranks of his former teammates to take over the captain position of the team. Since Loomis was the coach of the squad through the 2016/2017 DOTA 2 season, he was quite familiar with the team’s tactics and the game styles of the players.
That did not mean it would necessarily be as simple as throwing these great players back together and expecting them to just decimate the extremely competitive scene of the DOTA 2 world. There would be an acclimation period, of course.
So far since TI17, the squad has raked in a total of around $85,000, including a $30,000 win in 3rd-4th place at PGL Open Bucharest and a $40,000 win for a 5th-6th place at ESL One Hamburg 2017. Although that money isn’t too shabby, it is nowhere near what they were once seeing flowing into their coffers.
It will just take a bit of time to identify whether this current squad setup will have what it takes to bring the fight during the 2018 season and at TI18. Even though Clinton “Fear” Loomis was in a coaching role for the team, he was not leading the team on the front lines.
As Fear becomes more familiar with his new position as captain, it would not be surprising to see the team become one of the top contenders again. We will just have to sit back and watch what happens as the glorious matches unfold through the upcoming season.
What Does This Mean for Bettors?
Evil Geniuses is at an interesting time in their DOTA 2 battles, because they are, after all, in the rebuilding process. If they find that secret sauce, it can indicate a return to their former glory. They followed Team Liquid, the winner of TI17, in the ESL One Hamburg tournament.
Liquid came in 4th place in that tournament, even though they are the most notable and recent grand champions of the DOTA 2 scene. There is a clear indication that even with the disappointing performance at TI17, Evil Geniuses is not out of the DOTA 2 game yet.
With Clinton “Fear” Loomis at the helm, we might see a new revitalized Evil Geniuses that will obliterate the competition to reclaim that dynasty position they once held. As esports bettors, we want to keep an eye on these guys, because they have been one of the most successful organizations to date.
People aren’t known as legends because they are terrible, and experience within the competitive esports scene means a lot. Teams will have hiccups, and one cannot deny the TI17 was a big one. Whether they are successful in reclaiming their throne or not will not matter as far as our wagers are concerned.
If we noticed that the team is still not working together optimally, that could be an ideal time to place a wager on their opposition.
It might also be worth keeping an eye out for where Ludwig “Zai” Wahlberg and Peter “ppd” Danger end up in the esports scene. Those power players are still going to be important to watch, whether they are on the EG roster or not.
Peter “ppd” Danger and Ludwig “Zai” Wahlberg have recently re-entered the DOTA 2 scene, representing OpTic Gaming in the Midas Mode North America, where they took first place. Their former teammates, Evil Geniuses, took third place in the event.
OpTic Gaming will be an important team for esports bettors to keep an eye on because of the power players that are involved. OpTic Gaming became well known in the FPS world for their skill in CS: GO, Gears of War, Halo, and Call of Duty.
With “ppd” leading their DOTA 2 team for the 2017/2018 season, don’t be surprised to see OpTic Gaming in the top competitive tiers of the MOBA scene. Evil Geniuses will have their challenges ahead of them when dealing with their ex-teammates in the competitive world.
Overall, Evil Geniuses’ DOTA 2 squad has had an interesting 2017, with a stellar performance throughout the season and an obviously disappointing TI17 end. Whether they can recover fully is yet to be seen, and the current performances are not any indication one way or another.
The loss of the great Peter “ppd” Dager from the EG organization will be a clear bump in the road that the team must overcome. It would be unwise to count this team out in any way, because we have seen truly impressive performances from them in the past with many of their current players. We cannot forget that Evil Geniuses is filled with great talent and remains the second leading esports organization in the scene.
It is not likely we have seen the last of the competitive DOTA 2 squad any time soon, and it is just a matter of time before they become a force to be reckoned with in the scene. We should all make sure that we keep our eyes on Evil Geniuses and what lays ahead for them.