ROG DreamLeague Major Finals Day 2 – Evil Geniuses Roll Through Top 3

Day 2 of the ROG DreamLeague Major Finals ends with Team Secret taking down the reigning TI champions, Team Liquid, to move on to the Grand Finals. They’re now one of the few teams to have ever taken multiple series off of Team Liquid since they started their run of dominance back in May. But, as monumental as an achievement as that may be, the biggest story of the day was perhaps Evil Geniuses looking and playing like the top-tier team that everybody used to love to hate.

After pulling off unlikely sweeps against Virtus Pro and Natus Vincere, the boys in blue will look to continue their lower bracket run tomorrow against Team Liquid on Day 3 of the ROG DreamLeague Major Finals. Whoever wins will earn the right to face off against Team Secret in the Grand Finals in a best-of-five series for the title.

The Great CIS Implosion

Both Natus Vincere and Virtus Pro came into ROG DreamLeague Major Finals primed to make a deep run. The former was fresh off their first LAN title win in over a year, while the latter remain arguably entrenched as one of the Top 3 Dota 2 teams in the world. However, only one of them would make it to the Top 4.

Matched up against a limping Evil Geniuses in the first series of the day, Virtus Pro suffered a disheartening Game 1 loss as they blew a huge lead and let the boys in blue come back late to win the game. It was the same story in Game 2, albeit things were a bit shorter this time around. Not long after the loss, Virtus Pro announced that their captain and position five support player, Alexei ‘Solo‘ Berezin, was set to take the rest of the year off.

In the next series of the day, Natus Vincere took down the Chinese titans, Newbee, 2 maps to 1. However, as good as they had looked earlier against Newbee, they would suffer the same fate as Virtus Pro did against Evil Geniuses

Already considered by many as an afterthought, it seems that Evil Geniuses had found the proverbial switch at just the right time. They gave Natus Vincere a good drubbing in Game 1, ending the game early with their disciplined play and preventing Vladislav ‘Crystallize‘ Krystanek and his Phantom Lancer from getting too big. Their discipline was again on full display in Game 2 as they came back from a considerable deficit early in the game to take the win with an all-in push at the 38-minute mark.

Secret Outplay Liquid Once Again

In a rematch of the ESL One Hamburg semifinalsTeam Secret proved again that they are Team Liquid’s proverbial kryptonite. After losing Game 1 quite handily and letting Maroun ‘GH’ Merhej go ham on his vaunted Io pick, Clement ‘Puppey‘ Ivanov outdrafted Kuro ‘KuroKy‘ Salehi Takhasomi in the next two games. Although he let him pick signature heroes, Io and Invoker, for GH and Amer ‘Miracle-‘ Al-Barqawi respectively, Puppey made sure that his team were fully prepared for this time around.

Puppey, for one, gave their future opponents another reason why they should respect ban his Bounty Hunter in Game 2. His constant presence around the map made it easy for his team to push the tempo throughout the game. Of course, not to be discounted was Marcus ‘Ace‘ Hoelgaard and his performance on Lifestealer. His farming efficiency and constant, controlled aggression resulted in a stat line of 18 kills and just 2 deaths at the end of the game.

Game 3 was nowhere as close. Team Secret ran off to a 4k net worth lead just 10 minutes into the game and never looked back. Team Liquid tried their best to prolong the game for Miracle and his Morphling to come online, but to no avail. The reigning TI champions just dug themselves too deep of a hole early on.

With every member of Team Secret playing like champions, KuroKy and the 36K stack had no choice but to call GG and drop into the lower brackets just 34 minutes into the game.

ROG DreamLeague Major Finals Day 3

  • 11:30 CET — Evil Geniuses vs Team Liquid
  • 15:30 CET — Team Secret vs Evil Geniuses / Team Liquid (BO5)

Despite the loss, Natus Vincere can go home with a bit of cash on hand and quite a bit of Qualifying Points at 75 per player. As for Evil Geniuses, they now have at least a Top 3 finish in the bag. Even if they lose tomorrow, they now at least have enough Qualifying Points secured to put them among the season leaders. If they win, then all the more better as they’ll also become the first team since Invictus Gaming to eliminate Team Liquid in a LAN tournament.

Who’s your pick to walk away tomorrow with the ROG DreamLeague Major Finals title in hand? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below. 

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