Evil Geniuses and T1 esports faced each other in the lower bracket finals. The North American team books its second Major Grand finals appearance after a 2-1 victory over T1 esports. EG will now face off against PSG.LGD in the Finals of the WePlay Animajor.
On the final day of the WePlay Animajor, North America’s Evil Geniuses and Southeast Asia’s T1 clashed in the Lower Bracket Final. According to host Jake "SirActionSlacks" Kanner, the winner would be “The greatest otaku of all time” according to Sir Action Slacks
But these teams were actually fighting for a slot in the Grand Final of the second Dota 2 Major of the season.This Lower Bracket finale would decide who moved on and who headed home with $75,000 in prize money and a now redundant 400 DPC points. With T1 fighting to prove that SEA didn’t have a ceiling, and NA attempting to once and for all dispel the “LUL NA” memes.
A Commanding Start For EG over T1
After a short delay to the start of the matchup, picks and bans started off with a surprise, with no ban for the Terrorblade that had caused so many issues yesterday. But ultimately EG wouldn’t pick it, instead going for the Naga Siren as their main carry, with T1 picking the TB for themselves. The Siren began the game in an tri-lane with both supports attempting to get a good start for Artour "Arteezy" Babaev. And once EG’s cores were able to stand on their own, the team began to push into T1’s jungle and take fights.
With a 2k gold lead, and control over their opponent’s jungle, EG attempted to solidify their position. However, T1 shot back, grabbing pick off kills on their opponents. This kept T1 within a stone’s throw of EG, but it didn’t seem to matter. Even in crucial fights EG were able to pull our miracle saves and live through insane combos.
Time after time, EG’s flawless team fighting would prevent T1 from being able to push back their opponents. As EG pushed into T1’s high ground at the 30-minute mark, T1 were constantly baited a near-unkillable Arteezy. Ultimately after one final hail-Mary fight, T1 would call GG and go next.
Neutral Items Break A Stalemate Between EG and T1
EG looked to finish things off quickly for game two, picking up the Terrorblade and Dragon Knight picks to open, forcing T1 to try and counter it. However, with Phantom Lancer and Ancient Apparition banned, it looked like there were almost no options for T1. So ultimately, Juggernaut and Doom would be their picks.
In game, the lanes started even, but with a lack of immediate aggression, it allowed T1’s Nuengnara “23savage” Teeramahanon to look for an early Aghanim’s Shard on Jugg quickly. However, just as T1 started to get comfortable, EG started roaming and looking for kills. Nevertheless, T1’s carries could still farm up to the top of the net worth, despite Abed Azel L. Yusop popping off on Tiny. However, T1 still struggled to take fights, only trading even with EG.
Even with the vast amounts of lockdown on the side of T1, and the excellent team fight potential, EG came out on top in 5v5 team fights. T1, with their potentially unstoppable carries, struggled to secure kills.
After a Roshan take, T1 was able to secure some valuable kills and delete Arteezy’s Aegis and started to swing things in their favor. Taking two lanes of barracks from EG, the only thing stopping T1 was 23savage being thrown by Tiny into the fountain. But as Arteezy picked up a Rapier, EG was able to completely turn around a fight, killing four members of T1. This put the game within EG’s reach, giving them a set of towers and a Roshan.
As the game veered towards the 60-minute mark, both teams’ minds turned to Tier 5 Neutral Items. A disastrous fight for EG at Roshan gave T1 the advantage as those items spawned. T1 could eventually secure the win after one final fight in perhaps the best game of the AniMajor so far.
Iceiceice's Broken Sand King Wins it For EG
In the deciding match, EG banned T1’s Doom, fed up of it having such an effect previously. Both teams fell back to comfort picks, insta picking Phoenix, Puck and Lion, Dragon Knight respectively. With Terrorblade open, EG seemed baited into picking it, despite T1 having three heroes that could reliably counter the pick.
EG starts with another tri-lane to try and give the TB a lead. And this tactic worked worryingly well, as EG grabbed a half dozen early kills, and punished T1. Having sacrificed the Sand King top, EG could match any of the pushes T1 wanted. This was possible as Daryl Koh "iceiceice" Pei Xiang hung in there and distracted their opponents.
T1 attempted to stall for as long as possible, so their Phantom Lancer could scale into late game. But iceiceice had already scaled into a monster, as the Sand King began to take over the game. At a fight by the Roshan, the hero practically 1v5’d the enemy.
Ultimately it was far too much for T1 to handle as EG constantly forced team fights. Marching into T1’s base, EG secured their spot at the finals. Thanks, in large part, to an incredible game by iceiceice
Looking towards the Grand Final
EG advance to the Grand Final of the AniMajor, to face PSG.LGD and decide overall victory at the Major. T1, on the other hand, head home to prepare for TI10, albeit $75,000 richer. T1 looked incredibly strong this entire tournament, but ultimately in any single game, any player can pop-off and carry their team to victory—just like iceiceice did in game three.