Banner Image Credit: Valve
I am a die-hard #BleedBlue fan. I have been ever since I first saw their banner being flown by Starcraft II Zerg player Greg IdrA Fields way back in 2010. Peter ppd Dager may be THE Evil Genius but IdrA will forever be my original Evil Genius. There was something about the EG brand that just spoke to me to root for them.
Evil Geniuses, the narcissist connotation of being that genius of a villain you're conditioned to hate, and the color blue. C'mon, who doesn't like the color blue? In the eyes of my younger self, Evil Geniuses was an obsession born in a heartbeat.
EG was originally formed as a Counter Strike team in Canada way back 1999 but their CS presence did not last. The currently California-based organization expanded into the fighting game scene, one of their stronger divisions, in 2010 by acquiring the legendary Justin Jwong Wong. But the most important milestone for the organization, at least for this writer, is their first foray into the wonderful world of competitive Dota 2 in 2011.
The Beginning of EG Dota
Image Credit: Dota2.com
Clinton Fear Loomis was given the honor of leading EG's first foray into Dota 2 after his eye-catching performance in the first ever The International with Online Kingdom. Fear was joined by another popular DotA 1 player, Jimmy DeMoN Ho. The first Dota 2 roster of EG was then completed by Amel PlaymatE Barudzija, Rasmus MiSeRy Filipsen, and Per-Anders Pajkatt Olsson Lille.
Many storied Dota 2 names started their careers for EG which underlines the organization's pedigree today. Unfortunately, this particular roster's run in the competitive scene didn't get to win anything of note. Except for team captain Fear and DeMoN, the bulk of the squad departed the organization shortly before The International 2.
They then acquired current EG offlaner Saahil Universe Arora and Danish player Jacob Maelk Toft-Andersen for their first taste of TI action. But the team also did not find success at Dota's so-called 'World Championship' as they just finished 9th-12th, succumbing to the stronger competition.
The struggles continued well into 2013 after they tried their luck with Filipino player Jio Jeyo Magdayag, who played with compLexity Gaming for TI2 . Sadly, they did not even qualify for The International 3. The string of losses was too much for long-time member DeMoN as he parted ways with his team of nearly three years.
It was a low point for every EG fan as The International's Aegis of Champions was slipping further and further away and the players kept leaving for supposedly greener pastures. But being a true fan means sticking with your team in heartbreak and elation right?
We Made It
Image Credit: Opterown Liquid
2014 was a new generation for the boys in blue as they acquired S A D B O Y S, a squad formed by Fear in his brief time away from EG. The team was bannered by pub star Artour Arteezy Babaev and the drafting genius himself, ppd. This year was going to be EG's year. We could feel it in our bleeding blue hearts. But a couple of months before The International 4, Fear was sidelined by an elbow injury.
It was a cruel joke. This was their strongest roster ever assembled and it was heartbreaking to know that EG's ascent to the upper echelons of competitive Dota was derailed by an injury. We had to face reality that Dota indeed went outside of our computers. EG announced that to standin for Fear at the premier meet was an up-and-coming American carry player, Mason Mason Venne.
EG managed to finish 3rd after losing to the Xu Fy Linsen in TI4, their highest ever attained in the Valve-sponsored event. I kept telling myself what if Fear never got injured? What if Mason had a better hero pool? There were so many what-ifs going on in my head. But it wasn't going to change the result.
Mason was kicked from EG shortly after their bronze finish at TI for reasons undetermined. The Pakistani wunderkind Syed SumaiL Hassan entered the picture for EG as he took the Dota world by storm, literally.
With a revamped roster featuring Kurtis Aui_2000 Ling as a replacement for Arteezy who departed for Team Secret, they won the first ever Dota 2 Asia Championships and DotaPit League Season 3 in the build up to The International 5. Claiming the 2015 Aegis of Champions was inching to reality as the boys in blue looked unstoppable.
Credit: NoobFromUA YouTube
A six million dollar Echo Slam later, Evil Geniuses have finally claimed the Aegis of Champions for themselves after roughly four years of hardship and never-being-good-enough. EG are the kings of the Dota 2 world and one cannot describe how that must have felt for this loyal fan. Basically, I was screaming at the top of my lungs and jumping in glee early morning causing my whole family to wake up in utter confusion. It was all so worth it. There really is no greater feeling seeing a team you support lose so many times and watch them win it all for the very first time.
The World's Best
Image Credit: Official DotaPit Twitch Stream
The boys in blue kicked off 2017 by winning DotaPit League Season 5 against OG. No team comes to close to EG's level today in my humble opinion.
They have the best mid laner in the world, SumaiL. Even the great 9k god himself, Amer Miracle- Barqawi would be hard-pressed to beat the Pakistani hotshot in a pure 1v1 duel with no support rotations. Despite supports nowadays trying their best to clamp down, SumaiL in the mid lane he still finds a way to come back strong and dominate.
Then there's Arteeezy, a fan-favorite in every sense of the word. While he may have shunned EG fans for his Team Secret life-cycle for many instances, the Canadian carry is undoubtedly among the best in the game. His impressive map awareness is a big factor in why he averages roughly 600 GPM in his entire EG career.
Universe, a stalwart figure in the EG ranks ever since 2013, is one of the most consistent offlaners to ever play the game. He knows how to make space for Arteezy and SumaiL and can take over a game when necessary. The EG offlaner possesses a career average of 4.4 KDA in over 900 matches for the boys in blue.
The support duo of Andreas Crit- Nielsen and Ludwig Zai Wahlberg cannot be underestimated. Crit- is a drafting genius, much like PPD before him, and is one hell of an Earth Spirit player. While Zai can swing games for EG's favor with his early game aggression just by himself. If anyone looks to punish their cores, they will have to go through Zai and Crit first.
Fear may have retired from playing but as a coach he brings years of insights into making EG, the well-oiled machine that they are today.
EG is a complete team in every aspect of Dota 2 and the boys enjoy playing with each other. With Fear keeping them in tow, EG are unlikely to be sidetracked. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that EG are at the top of the Dota 2 world and the view could not be any sweeter. I'm enjoying it while it lasts because times may change but I will always be a #BleedBlue supporter.
If you liked this article and want to join more discussions about esports, join our Facebook group at the Barangay Mineski FB group.