Evil Geniuses was one of the most prominent teams coming to the major. Invictus Gaming had its moments of rearing its heads high but still had some things to sort out. EG started the Grand Final series in dominating fashion, so everyone assumed we would have a boring, one-sided Grand Final. But as is the way of most Dota teams, IG adapted and overcame EG’s strategies after losing two games in a row, pushing the series to the final fifth game and winning it.
Both teams showed tremendous adaptability and flexibility. You could feel their gears turning as they accommodated and rebuffed each other’s strategies. IG played impressively well given it played a total of eight matches and 332-plus minutes in one day. With a gruelling 12-hour day, it’s beyond impressive that IG won the series.
IG had a greedy late-game lineup with flyfly on Naga Siren and Emo on the Morphling. EG’s advantage was its lineup having low cooldowns; its longest CD was the Beastmaster’s Roar. IG managed to keep the game going in its favor for the most part with a 2-3k gold lead till the 20-minute mark when EG took a great fight with Abed’s help, securing four kills on IG and opening up Rosh.
Arteezy’s Leshrac took the Aegis but quickly lost it at the T2 tower attempting to kill Emo. Even so, EG managed to keep its gold lead going and IG barely managed to save face with Naga song in sticky situations.
The game went back and forth, but Emo didn’t seem to be in his element, getting caught out multiple times, not getting his Attribute Shift off in time. It wasn’t long before Abed caught IG on its back foot in its base, netting multiple kills with his Zips on IG without losing anything. IG’s cores had no buybacks left, and EG called GG in 31 minutes with Abed going deathless.
One more series where Game 2 featured an Alchemist. EG picked an Ancient Apparition and Bloodseeker to counter JT’s Alch. In a surprising move, IG picked Faceless Void for the first time in the tournament for flyfly. EG’s reaction to the pick perfectly summed up Game 2.
EG pressured all lanes, helping Arteezys BS get lane advantage. flyfly’s laning was trash; he barely had any HP. Abed’s active play around the map established why teams need to ban his Storm Spirit. Even with IG making the right moves and netting two quick kills on Abed, it couldn’t counter EG’s pace.
EG’s kill score was 15-5 15 minutes into the game. flyfly got Maelstrom at 18 minutes, but he dealt no damage to anyone inside his Chronos. Unafraid, EG took Aegis for Abed as IG contested the Rosh with a smoke play but gained nothing more than three dead heroes.
IG tried to smoke again, catching Arteezy in a Chrono but didn’t have the damage for a quick kill. IG lost three heroes for Arteezy’s kill.
IG crumbled under EG’s crushing weight. The last fight came when Abed jumped Lion and flyfly whiffed his Chrono and died to Beastmaster’s Roar.
This match proved why Faceless Void had a 0% pick rate in the Singapore Major. Emo, Kaka, and Oli~ could do nothing to help their carry. EG looked comfortably flawless as they 2-0’d the series in its favor. Things were looking worse than grim for IG.
EG picked Storm right away, sticking to its same tempo-based picks with Razor and Lycan instead of late-game farming heroes. IG switched things up a little, picking Phoenix, Nyx, Void Spirit, Underlord and a Sven.
It was a relatively slow game, but IG seemed to be adapting its playstyle. Both teams played it safe, reacting quickly to ganks.
The first big fight came at 10 minutes when Emo killed Crystal Maiden. EG’s backup was swiftly disposed of to secure IG a 3k lead and the mid tower.
Sixteen minutes in, EG turned it around with a clean team wipe on IG after Emo’s over-ambitious attempted kill.
EG won another decisive fight four minutes later off the back of Cr1t’s playmaking and iceiceice’s vision game, securing the Aegis for Abed.
Even though flyfly was leading the net worth chart, IG couldn’t secure any fights in its favor. EG had a 5k gold lead approaching the 30-minute mark when IG killed Razor and Earth Spirit to even the odds.
iceiceice and Cr1t dialed their game up as they caught three of IG’s heroes in separate positions, securing the mid T3 tower for EG, baiting the Supernova and Sven’s BKB before withdrawing. At 32 minutes, EG took another favorable fight with Cr1t’s help, killing Emo and securing another Aegis which went to Arteezy.
Emo’s Sven seemed to crumble with every passing minute as EG caught him in almost every skirmish, but IG had a moment of resurgence as it turned a fight around at the 36-minute mark to bring down four of EG’s heroes.
A 47-minute Aegis for Emo, after catching Abed and Cr1t previously, helped IG get back in the game. Soon after, Arteezy got caught without a buyback and EG lost almost two full sets of Rax.
IG rode its new wave of confidence, winning all skirmishes with its Sven hitting like a truck. EG had no answer to IG’s mounting lead, getting caught in the final fight in its own base just as Emo all-typed a BM ‘?’ after getting a kill on Arteezy.
IG make a goosebumps-worthy comeback to make the series 2-1.
EG started with a Storm pick for the fourth straight time alongside a Phantom Assassin, while IG picked a Bloodseeker, Troll and Ember.
Both teams seemed evenly matched, but Abed had no kills and two deaths 20 minutes in. IG’s draft was getting better with every game, as was its strategy.
IG pushed its luck and won a few skirmishes to establish a gold lead over EG, walking into the Rosh pit at 19 minutes, just as Cr1t’s Rolling Thunder came off CD. EG executed a great fight, securing the last hit on Rosh and getting the Aegis on Arteezy’s PA, nullifying IG’s lead.
Soon after, EG took a fight, netting kills on the BS and Phoenix, but flyfly turned the fight around off BS’ buyback, killing Abed and iceiceice and forcing EG back. IG’s itemization was coming in handy to keep EG on its toes.
Thirty minutes in, PA hit her power spike with level 18 and a BKB. EG smoked and took a fight in the mid lane, but IG was too cautious to be taken down with a surprise. IG counter-smoked to catch the retreating EG with the help of Supernova. EG lost PA, Pangolier and Death Prophet in that fight.
Soon after, EG lost another fight in an almost identical manner. IG secured Roshan and a 10k gold lead. Arteezy queued up a Divine Rapier as a last resort, getting it at 38 minutes, but that didn’t help EG with the fight on Bot lane. IG swept the fight with a DP pickoff, forcing buybacks from iceiceice and Cr1t just as Abed died without buyback. Moments later, IG caught Arteezy’s PA on top lane. EG called GG right as Arteezy died.
With that, IG pushed the series to a Game 5 decider.
Once again, EG picked Storm alongside a fresh new pick: Enigma. IG went for its comfortable traditional picks but lacked any BKB piercing spells to deal with the Enigma. And yet, it picked Spectre; the hero who has only been picked thrice in the tournament. EG, equally deviant, picked Lifestealer for the Storm-Infest combo.
The draft was surprisingly even… and fresh. Even the casters were unsure about which team had a draft advantage.
iceiceice’s Enigma had a six-minute Necrobok. He left no room for flyfly to farm at all on his Spectre, securing EG a nice 2k lead at 10 minutes, but IG punished EG’s aggression with a great fight, eradicating EG’s gold lead in a flash.
EG seemed to not be able to handle Oli~’s Phoenix. IG went mid push at 14 minutes, catching Fly’s DP just as iceiceice was TPing in. Unfortunately, iceiceice couldn’t get the Blackhole off before the Supernova was cast. IG secured four kills, only trading Emo for it.
Soon after, IG overstepped in its confidence, chasing EG on to its river-side high ground, committing all its spells without getting kills. EG waited it out, chasing IG down to snatch a triple kill and a Rosh for Abed.
Emo seemed to be having a bad time yet again with five deaths on his Void Spirit in 20 minutes, while Abed’s Storm was slaughtering everyone on the map with his jumps as his team followed up. The game was in EG’s favor but only barely in terms of net worth. IG reinstated its momentum with an Abed kill right after his Aegis expired. flyfly was still having a decent game on Spectre with zero deaths in 30 minutes.
IG smoked mid lane to get some kills; kaka blink-hexed Arteezy to start the fight, with Oli~ committing the Supernova very early making iceiceice whiff his Blackhole once again. IG secured a kill on LS and Engima.
IG waited for EG to make mistakes before aggressively going in to get nasty kills with its Aegis advantage. This fight is best described by the following clip.
Minutes later, IG turned another fight around when EG went on JT-. IG secured kills on LS, Storm and Tusk before destroying the mid rax. At 40 minutes, Spectre was still without a death, continuing her Godlike streak. EG committed the Blackhole in another nerve-wracking fight to try and bring down the Spectre but failed.
IG was 24k up in net worth when kaka, once again, went for an aggressive high-ground blind-hex onto Arteezy to secure a quick kill for his team; Arteezy didn’t have Buyback. iceiceice didn’t even get a chance to use his Blackhole as IG slaughtered EG into typing GG.
IG secured itself a 3-2 win over EG to become the ONE Esports Singapore Major Champion. The team had a phenomenal lower bracket run, beating the best of the best to claim its glory.
With that, IG has won $200,000 and 500 DPC points while EG has netted $100,000 and 450 DPC points. Dota Pro Circuit 2021 Season 2 will start on April 13 and will conclude on May 23 with the Major starting on June 2, 2021. Stay tuned for more Dota.