Four teams went 3-1 while the rest of the teams went 1-3. There’s a distinct line between the top and the bottom half of the table.

The WePlay AniMajor is in the group stages as even more teams start playing on LAN in Kyiv. Vici and Nigma qualified for the group stage after a strenuous two days of Wild Card matches. But awaiting them in the group stage are even stronger teams with innovative strategies and unique playstyles. Arteezy and co. have topped Day 1 of the WePlay AniMajor group stage.

The Day 1 group stage standings of the WePlay Animajor.
The final standings after Group Stage Day 1 at the WePlay AniMajorImage Credit: WePlay.

Southeast Asian teams need to have a good performance at the WePlay AniMajor to have more slots for SEA at The International. At the moment, no SEA team has qualified for TI10 based on points.

Arteezy’s Anime storyline at Animajor

Evil Geniuses still have a lot to prove. Despite having enough points to qualify to The International, EG had second place finish at the Singapore Major. Anyone familiar with star player Artour “Arteezy” Babaev knows that his track record with closing out tournaments has been abysmal. This has been particular to TI, never once reaching the finals. This EG line up however, looks like it could go far. This first day of the group stage has shown that EG stack up with the best of the best. The team is at the top of the table and looks en route to make it to the upper bracket of the playoffs.

Arteezy saves teammate Abed from TNC fury

Today during the group stage, EG were looking unstoppable. But in game 2 against SEA squad TNC Predator, EG faced tough opposition. TNC Predator’s line-up was focused on systematically picking off and isolating the three cores on EG. With a Nightstalker offlane, Puck mid, Lion and Tiny Supports and a Spectre, TNC had a strong start. EG’s supports Ancient Apparition and Shadow Shaman got annihilated almost instantly in teamfights.

TNC were rocking the early-to-mid game in the trademark Southeast Asian aggression. With a huge teamfight at Roshan, in which Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte snatched the Aegis from the hands of EG, TNC continued to batter EG in fights.

Two friends surrounded by enemies: Arteezy and Abed man up against TNC Predator

It was looking like TNC were taking good fights despite being down a set of barracks. Collapsing the map, TNC were moving into the Dire triangle to take a good fight. Gabbi, Jun “Bok” Kanehara, and Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios, quickly took out Tal “Fly” Aizik, and Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen and Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang on the Mars. This left Arteezy and “Abed” Azel L. Yusop in a 2v4 against TNC Predator. With the whole team focusing down Abed’s Dragon Knight, it looked as if the teamfight was a loss for EG. In an instant, Arteezy makes a play that changes the course of the game.

Putting the Terror in Terrorblade

In a clutch moment, Arteezy casts Sunder on Abed, swapping his higher health for the quickly dropping health of Abed. This allowed Abed to stay alive and pump out more damage. With a Satanic picked up by Arteezy, he was able to quickly gain the life he lost back and wipe out the rest of TNC with Abed.

And it wasn’t the only time he saved Abed either. During a highground push, Abed was tossed back by the Timothy John “Tims” Randrup’s Tiny. It looked bleak for Abed as he was quickly brought to low HP. Again, Arteezy sunders Abed to keep him alive.

When TNC Predator tried initiating on Arteezy, they simply did not have enough damage to bring him down. They turned their focus on to the other members of EG, but it only allowed Arteezy the freedom to output massive amounts of damage unhindered. On the two occasions that Arteezy saved his teammate, Abed was 0.06 and 0.07 seconds from death according to this reddit post.

Evil Geniuses ultimately won Game 2 with a 18,000 gold advantage but with an boss-like Arteezy. As one of the two North American representatives at the Animajor, Evil Geniuses’ form is a positive not for NA Dota 2 fans.

A solid start but some ways to go

EG have one series win and a draw on day one of the group stage. Dominating the first game against TNC and clutching out the second, EG showed that they still are a strong team. EG did have a devastating game 1 loss against Team Spirit during their series, however they turned it back around for game 2. With this start, EG put themselves slightly ahead of the other teams with a series win. This puts EG and Arteezy in a good position to stay ahead of the rest of the WePlay AniMajor group in the coming days! Only the top two teams from the group stage qualify to the upper bracket of the WePlay AniMajor playoffs.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Dota 2 news and updates.

Christian Decker -

Christian Decker

Christian is a student from Schenectady, New York, studying at Albany Law School. He is an avid gamer, writer, podcaster, and content creator who is passionate about Dota 2 and music!