After a failed attempt to compete in the MDL Chengdu Major, Na`Vi came back strong in Leipzig. The team impressed fans by going 2-0 to claim a spot in the upper bracket playoffs.
The group stage saw the Ukranian team upset North America’s favorites, Evil Geniuses. The series started with an eccentric Riki carry pick for Evil Geniuses, which follows a similar pick at the WePlay! Bukovel Minor by Royal Never Give Up. Abed Azel “Abed” L. Yusop opted for Outworld Devourer against Idan “MagicaL” Vardanian’s Templar Assassin.
MagicaL asserted dominance in the laning phase as he took a couple of kills. Tips were also used to taunt enemies after a successful pick-off.
However, Evil Geniuses had a few tricks up its sleeve. Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev’s Legion Commander came online and, with the help of Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen’s Io, had a global presence that forced Na`Vi to stick together.
EG played the map from there. Artour “Arteezy” Babaev’s Trick of the Trade synchronized well with Abed’s Sanity Eclipse and melted enemies’ health bars. It didn’t take long for Evil Geniuses to close the first game.
The second game saw another Riki pick for Arteezy. Na`Vi responded with a tanky lineup around Drow Ranger.
Na`Vi had a better time during the laning phase. The team forced Evil Geniuses to dedicate four heroes just to rotate mid and make a play. The rotations turned into kills, but the investment was large enough for EG that they didn’t gain much of a lead off it.
Na`Vi retaliated with smoke ganks and pickoffs of their own. Whenever they caught an enemy hero, they managed to convert it into at least one kill thanks to their catch-heavy lineup. Evil Geniuses tried to turn the tables but Na`Vi aggressively pushed for key objectives. Na`Vi was well-positioned in every team fight and Abed couldn’t find a big Reverse Polarity with his Magnus.
A successful team fight could have changed the course of the game for Evil Geniuses but Na`Vi stayed disciplined and evened the series.
The deciding game saw the two teams aiming for a late game victory. Na`Vi picked Naga Siren for Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek while Evil Geniuses opted for Abed’s signature hero, Meepo.
The game swung when Evil Geniuses’ attempt to take the Roshan at 16 minutes went haywire. Pavel “9pasha” Khvastunov’s Omniknight was too tanky to be picked off, but EG was committed. The chase down gave enough time for Na`Vi to help 9pasha wipe out EG.
Evil Geniuses focused on the objectives and took the enemy barracks. The team wanted to seal the deal but Na`Vi fought back hard.
The Naga Siren and Disruptor combo paid off for Na`Vi as the team defended the base and won a crucial team fight to leave EG’s base undefended. Despite the early net worth advantage, Evil Geniuses couldn’t help but tap out of the game.